Christmas can be a difficult time for many in normal circumstances, but during a global pandemic, loneliness has been an issue many people have faced.
This month, we have launched our ‘Combating Elderly Loneliness’ campaign to support individuals in our communities who may be struggling with loneliness and social isolation during the festive season.
A lot of restrictions have been put in place this year which limits the ways we can support family, friends and neighbours, but we can still show our support and prevent loneliness. Here are just a few of the ways you can help someone feeling lonely this Christmas:
- Make time for a phone call – Age UK found more than one million people aged 75 years and over can go over one month without speaking to a relative, friend or neighbour. The current England guidelines prevent many households from mixing and having face-to-face contact. To find out what restrictions your postcode faces, please click here. If you live in Wales, restrictions are still in place following the recent ‘firebreak’ – click here to find out more. Schedule time for a phone call with an older or vulnerable loved one to help prevent social isolation.
- Set up a video call – this year, we’ve all embraced technology to keep in contact with friends and family. There is a range of free video call options, including Zoom and Skype, which helps people to see loved ones. A tablet can be very useful for people who struggle with mobility rather than using a computer, whilst individuals who have difficulties with arthritis or joint pain, a stylus pen can help when using the touchscreen.
- Enjoy a socially distanced walk – of the three tiers currently in place in England, the most restrictive tier allows people meet in a group of up to six in outdoor spaces, but not in private gardens. Social distancing needs to be in place, keeping at least 2 metres apart. This allows people to see others face-to-face and to continue to be active during the winter months.
- Collect their essential items – Research conducted during the UK lockdown found 3.3 million older people felt their access to essential items such as groceries and medication had been affected. As Christmas approaches, shops will become busier as families try to buy food and gifts as safely as they can. If you know someone who may need help purchasing their groceries or medication, offer to collect their essential items and deliver them to their door. This helps to keep vulnerable people safe at home and reassures them that someone is there for them.
- Don’t forget, Heritage Healthcare is here to help – our highly trained care team are on hand to support you and your loved ones at home. We have been able to continuously deliver care to clients within their own home, helping with companionship, personal care, domestic tasks and complex needs. The care we provide has ensured clients have felt safe and secure during the pandemic and has helped to prevent loneliness.
Information in article correct on date of publication: 9/12/2020