Social relationships are a key component of quality of life for older people and many of our Leg Club members and volunteers thrive in a collaborative social network each week.
However, this is about to change in the light of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Social distancing measures being imposed by the Government which will require people in certain risk categories, including the over 70 age-group to self-isolate for many weeks.
Loneliness and social isolation can have a serious effect on physical, mental and social health. But the risks of social isolation depend not only on who you are, but also on where you live. I live in a very small rural village without streetlights, a shop or community venue. As I work and travel, I have limited social contact with neighbours that I can call upon in an emergency, so I totally empathise with our members and volunteers within that age group.
Advice for senior / older people or anyone self-isolating
Home deliveries and coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Make sure you have your prescriptions delivered, this is something all pharmacies will and should offer
- Keep a close eye on your stock cupboard and freezer and order food as needed while the supermarket online ordering may be tricky, there are lots of local independent shops offering home deliveries, or ask a neighbour if they can help
Staying connected with people
- Remain connected to family and friends through phone calls, text, WhatsApp, email, Skype, Zoom etc…
- As well as your close family, ask friends and neighbours to keep in communication to ensure you have social contact but make sure you stay at least 2 metres away from one another
- Try to connect with people who you haven’t heard from in a while
- Make sure you recharge your mobile phone regularly incase you need it
Keep your body moving
- Keep your joints moving with some simple exercises – but only as much as you can manage
- Keep your fingers active by recommencing or learning how to knit – brilliant for keeping hands and mind active!
- Walk or exercise in the fresh air (as long as you remain two metres away from people as directed by the current Government guidelines, see link below)
- When we are in an involuntary situation, we may experience a change to our sleep pattern so think about organising a balanced range of activities in your day as outlined above – including physical exercise, connecting with others and pleasant relaxing activities as this may help with sleep quality
- Please look after your legs and feet and keep your legs elevated when sitting for long periods.
General coronavirus (COVID-19) well being
- Ensure your phone contacts are current and up to date with neighbours / GP/ Pharmacy / local shop
- Keep active, try baking – it can be extremely therapeutic for some
- Reading is very relaxing, and television is a way of social connectivity as there is a constant stream of news and commentary from experts
- Ensure you have fresh vegetables and a sensible diet – no raiding the fridge or comfort eating with lots of biscuits (my personal failing!)
This blog post was originally posted on the Legs Matter website, for more information visit Legs Matter.
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