Keeping well during lockdown.
How to support yourself and those around you.
Tips for physical and mental wellbeing at during lockdown.
This year we have had to adapt to a slightly different life to the one we are used to, staying home unless we absolutely need to go to work or to get essential food and medicine. Now that we have entered a second lockdown, finding ways to help us get through the next few weeks is important, particularly for vulnerable people in our communities.
Many things have changed since the start of the year, and there are now many resources available online, such as e-books, virtual museums and community forums. We have come up with some ideas to keep you, vulnerable family members, friends or neighbours safe and well during this challenging time.
- Share phone numbers and stay in touch: Many vulnerable people will experience loneliness and isolation during the lockdown, with fewer resources available to them. It’s important that their physical and mental wellbeing is monitored by a friend, family member or neighbour, particularly as we enter the colder months. Where possible, stay in touch with someone who could benefit from hearing another voice or having a chat over a cuppa, you could be the only person they speak to that day.
- Offer to pick up essentials: Elderly and vulnerable adults may struggle to get to the shops, particularly during the colder weather. If you’re doing your essential shopping, why not ask if they need any items left at the door to help them through the week.
- Keep up to date, share information and be a positive part of your local community: The news can sometimes have a negative impact on people’s wellbeing, particularly with the current focus on the pandemic. It’s important to keep up to date with factual news, but it’s equally important to take part in positive conversations and to share good news stories from the community. A small act of kindness and positivity can go a very long way!
- Offer support to anyone who may be feeling anxious about COVID-19 and signpost them to Public Health England for the correct advice. Anxiety levels are higher than normal, and if you know anyone who is suffering with COVID-19 related anxiety, suggest they speak with their GP or someone they trust.
- The government has launched a service dedicated to helping people who are extremely vulnerable to coronavirus and require additional support. Find out more here.
- Virtual activities: We’re delighted to share new virtual activities and support networks available online, while places of interest remain closed to the public.
Other ways to look after your physical & mental wellbeing during lockdown:
Eat healthy foods & stay hydrated!
Ensuring you maintain a healthy diet during isolation is really important. If you are exercising less, you might not be as hungry as usual but it’s important to keep your blood sugar levels up; this is particularly important in more vulnerable and elderly people. At the same time, we all need to keep hydrated so ensure you are drinking enough water in addition to other drinks such as tea or juice.
Stay on top of medication
Being stuck indoors all day may affect the normal daily routine. Elderly and vulnerable relatives may not be able to do the normal day-to-day activities they are used to, so they may not be getting as tired and as a result will be going to bed later and waking up later. This could affect the regularity of their medication. Encourage them to keep taking their medication at the same time – it might be a case of setting alarms as reminders or calling them to remind them.
If you or your loved one have regular hospital or clinic visits, find out what the care centres are doing to fulfil these appointments. Most care settings, like doctors and clinics, are encouraging patients to use video or phone calls to reduce the number of people having to leave home. You may find that some hospital and clinic appointments will be rescheduled during this time.
Food & Medication Supplies
If an elderly loved one needs to self-isolate, you need to ensure any carers or additional support you have coming into the home are aware. If your loved one needs essential supplies such as medication and food, we recommend a family member who isn’t in isolation deliver these. Alternatively, you can complete an online shop with retailers such as Tesco, Asda or Iceland. Iceland currently have good availability, and for other retailers, slots become free at around 11pm – midnight on a daily basis.
Recruit a Volunteer
We run a fantastic volunteering program called Abbots Friends. If you have an elderly relative who could benefit from a friendly chat and emotional support every week, please contact us at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you! To find out about the extra measures we are taking to ensure the safety of our customers, please visit our COVID19 advice page here.
Keep your loved one busy during isolation
Communication is essential during these difficult times and we know how difficult it can be to not visit our loved ones. Scheduling regular phone calls will give them something to look forward to. If your loved one is a bit tech-savvy and has access to a smartphone or tablet, you can communicate via video chat on something like FaceTime, WhatsApp video or Zoom, where you can include the whole family!
Keep Their Minds Stimulated
If you are not in isolation, why not dig out some puzzles you have laying around and drop them off to your loved one. Even some board games that they can play with their carer will go down a treat. Both keep your relative’s mind active.
Get Some Fresh Air
If your loved one is lucky enough to have their own garden or outside space, make sure they go out for some fresh air at least once a day. It can improve their mood and a change of scenery will do them good. If they don’t, encourage them to open their windows for a few minutes so they can still feel the breeze and breathe in some fresh air.
Government guidelines allow us to go outside for a walk once a day. Your loved one may enjoy this activity with their career. If they are unable or do not wish to go out, there are other ways they can keep active around the house.
- Light exercises – YouTube or Joe Wickes for Seniors workouts are highly recommended!
- Baking – keeping busy moving around the kitchen whilst cooking delicious treats.
- Gardening – whether that’s watering the plants, sowing some seeds or even just a stroll around the garden.
Take Up A New Hobby!
Your relative might already have a hobby they enjoy doing each week, but now is the time they could look to try something else. Here are some activities they will enjoy learning or picking back up:
- Knitting/ Sewing/Quilting
- Flower Arranging
- Watching Films/TV Shows
It’s important to keep communicating with loved ones during this lockdown. Especially for elderly relatives who are unable to leave the house for a long period of time, so checking in on them ensuring they have all they need is important.
If you are worried about the care of your loved one, please check out our Covid-19 resources page for more information regarding our procedures on coming into your loved ones’ homes and for more useful links.
“The Care staff that are supporting my Mum through her care needs are extremely lovely and supportive. Our Mum has cancer and she is receiving the most excellent and caring support from all Staff. We would just like to say a huge thank you as we know that there is more difficult times ahead for us as a family. ”
Child of Service User, Buckinghamshire BranchSee what our service users think