Here2Help Helping older people stay well and healthy at home
How to ask for help
The County Council is co-ordinating helpers and those who need support via our Here2help website.
If you don’t have any support from family, friends or neighbours, you can ask for help with practical matters like getting food supplies or putting you in touch with your local community groups or other people who would like to chat and keep each other company over the telephone.
If you are experiencing severe symptoms, have trouble breathing or any other urgent medical needs, please call the emergency services on 999.
As tempting as it might be to stay in pyjamas all day, regular routines keep us going. Try to start your day at about the same time you usually would. Aim to set aside time each day for movement, relaxation, connection and reflection.
Plan the practical things that could cause you to worry such as picking up essential supplies, getting your prescriptions on time, your finances and any caring responsibilities.
Stay in touch
Now is the time to think creatively about ways to stay in touch with your family and friends. We are all in this together and can help each other keep morale up.
It is more important than ever to stay in touch over the phone, online or by post.
As well as the usual routes of communication, explore new ways to connect with others, for example using mobile phone apps like next door or find out if your local community groups are hosting online conference calls or video-chats.
You could find yourself being a useful source of information sharing local historical knowledge or gardening tips specific to your street or location with younger generations.
Keep physically active
Staying at home doesn’t mean sitting in a chair all day. It’s important to find ways to stay active at home. Now is a good time to sort out that spare room or get to grips with gardening if you have one.
Getting physically active will also help lift your spirits as well as improving your physical wellbeing.
Provided you are well and have not been written to by NHS to stay at home, you can do one form of exercise outside each day, for example a walk, run, or cycle, alone or with members of your household. While you are out, always keep at least two metres or more away from anyone outside of your household and wash your hands when you return home.
You can do some forms of exercise at home and there are lots of online resources that have been made available for free to help you do this.
If you have not yet discovered Joe Wicks online and want something a little more gentle, try the chair based activities from Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire – download these exercise sheets or watch on YouTube.
There is no reason why, with a little adjustment you can’t continue with your hobbies, interests and things that normally keep you going. Here’s a couple of examples.
Worcestershire County Council libraries have temporarily closed their doors to the public but the library service is offering an alternative digital service that includes free access to e-books and audio titles via the BorrowBox app and free e-magazines via the rbdigital app. In addition, virtual reading groups will soon be available to join online.
Missing the footy? Try walking football in the garden: Website: Walking football (opens in a new window)
Take notice of things around you
There’s no rush hour at the moment so slow down and take notice of everything you normally miss. There’s lots to see if you look closely, Spring is a beautiful time of year.
Taking notice and staying in the moment stops us focusing too much on past events and worrying about the future. Practicing mindfulness is a great way of focusing on being fully present in the moment.
Setting aside time in your day to do the things you enjoy is a good way to distract yourself.
You could read a book, watch a comedy programme or play board games - just do whatever you enjoy!
Eat three nutritional meals a day, not forgetting your five portions of fruit and vegetables.
With a little more time on your hands you could experiment with new recipes. If you need help getting food, ask a neighbour or a loved one to help. If you are alone without anyone to help you get food, please contact Here2Help.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water helps keep you healthy.
Improve your sleep
There is a lot you can do to help you sleep. Aim to get up at the same time each day and go to bed at the same time, even at the weekend.
Try to get some natural sunlight. This helps to regulate your body clock which can help you sleep better.
Avoid using your phone, tablet, computer or TV for an hour before bedtime to help you wind down.
Keep your spirits up
It’s quite likely there will be times we all feel anxious or low in the days and weeks ahead. This is completely normal. If you are worried, talking really does help. Take time to chat about how you’re feeling with family and friends.
Focus on the things you can control rather than the things you can’t. This might mean focusing on getting into a routine and taking small practical steps each day to do what you need to do.
If you find the news is making you anxious and depressed, try limiting yourself to set times each day to check in on events. Also stick to trusted sources of information such as BBC or our coronavirus advice page.
Telephone support is being offered by AgeUK, Hereford and Worcester. There are wellbeing calls which also include a check on food and medicine plus heating and lighting issues. They can be contacted on 01905 740950 or 0800 008 6077.
Looking after another person
If you are looking after another person in your household with needs, you are their carer. Even if you don’t need any help normally, it is important to let us know. You can do this through the Worcestershire Association of Carers on 0300 012 4272. Find out more information on carers.
It’s important to give yourself some ‘me time’ and let each other have some downtime. Find some time to enjoy a bath, read a book in peace or whatever you like to do to relax.
If the person you look after has dementia, specific advice is available from the Dementia society. If you or someone you care for are worried about coronavirus and need support and advice, call the Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456.
We have taken these tips from the following sources, which you may find useful to look at in more detail:
Website: Age UK (opens in a new window)
Website: Here2 Help
Website: Age Uk Herefordshire and Worcestershire (opens in a new window)
Website: Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire (opens in a new window)
Website: Sport England (opens in a new window)
Website: NHS low impact exercise (opens in a new window)
Website: Campaign to end loneliness (opens in a new window)
Website: Next door (opens in a new window)
Website: Carers Worcestershire (opens in a new window)