While this a worrying time for many people, the outbreak of COVID-19 has the potential to cause an increase in loneliness and isolation amongst many older people who are no longer able to leave the house due to risk of infection.

We cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining some form of contact with your older family, friends and neighbours at this time.

While you may not be able to see them face-to-face, there are other ways you can reach out and show you care.

  • Picking up the phone and having a chat - this is such a simple and easy way to stay in touch but you could also try doing an activity over the phone, maybe doing a crossword puzzle or reading a story together. This can also be a good time to try to link older people into digital forms of communication if they are already online. Video calls will allow you to see each other on a regular basis as a substitute to face to face contact.

  • Introducing yourselves to older neighbours - if you have an older neighbour that you haven’t spoken to before, we recommend dropping a card or letter in with your contact details letting them know that you can offer support. Just knowing they have someone close could make a huge difference to their feelings of isolation. 

  • Offer support with shopping/meals - many older people may also find it difficult to do a food shop over the next few weeks so dropping off a bag of shopping or a home cooked meal could be a practical way of offering support.

  • Reach out to neighbourhood groups - if you would like to support people in your community, we also recommend looking at and contacting local neighbourhood groups and online forums to see what support is needed or to let people know what you can offer.

We know that this is a worrying time but small acts of kindness can help our community to stay connected and ensure no one feels alone.

We’re all in this together.