A Simple Guide to Social Distancing
At Home Instead we have always actively encouraged as much social interaction as possible - we know how important it is to our elderly clients. However, due to new measures brought in by the government this week, we are all being advised to keep social activity to an absolute minimum in order to stem the transmission of Covid-19 (Coronavirus). It's an unprecedented event but we all need to do our bit to protect those people around us who are the most vulnerable.
What is meant by social distancing?
Social distancing means taking steps to avoid as much social or non-essential interaction as possible in order to try and reduce the transmission and the impact of Coronavirus.
The current guidelines that have been set out by the government are for everyone to follow - as much as is practical - but they are particularly important for those over the age of 70, or anyone with serious health conditions as it is these people who are most likely to be affected by Coronavirus.
What steps should you be taking?
We’ve outlined the main five steps below:
- Anyone who is displaying symptoms of Covid-19 should avoid social contact completely – if you live with other people, everyone in the household should self-isolate for 14 days. If you live on your own you should stay at home for 7 days. Symptoms include a new, persistent cough and a high temperature above 37.8. Head to NHS Wales for more information on symptoms.
- Avoid non-essential travel and use of public transport. If you can work from home, you should do so where possible and your employer should support you to do so.
- Large gatherings are to be avoided, as well as social gatherings in places such as pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres etc.
- Keep gatherings with friends and family to a minimum. Instead, try to keep contact by other methods such as phone or video calling.
- Use online services to access essential services such as your GP or utility providers.
Getting assistance with food and medicine
If you are in self-isolation, the government has advised to stay at home, even avoiding trips to the local shop or supermarket. It's also recommended for those who are the most vulnerable. It's important to make sure that you have access to food and medicine during this time, so please ask family, friends and neighbours for support if you need it.
If you are currently receiving care at home, whether from a family or a home care provider, this should continue as normal. Anyone providing care for you should take extra precautions to make sure that you are protected.
Attending medical appointments
The current advice is to access medical assistance remotely wherever possible. However, there will be many people who have scheduled appointments during this period that may be worried. You should continue to receive the services that you need, however it may be useful to talk to your GP or medical provider to discuss the logistics of your care at this time.
Looking after your mental health
It’s understandable that social distancing can be very frustrating and you may be worried that a lack of social interaction could lead to low mood and depression. It can be so easy during periods of uncertainty to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour but there are simple things that you can do to help you stay both physically and mentally active and to keep your mood boosted.
Try to keep yourself busy cooking, reading, learning online or watching TV and films. Gardening or light exercise can be good if you have access to outdoor space.
Look out for our next blog post with lots of suggestions to keep yourself entertained at home.
These are worrying times for many families – at Home Instead Wrexham & Flintshire we are making sure that all our home care services are continuing, with additional precautions in place to protect clients.
If you require care for a loved one at this time, please do not hesitate to call us to discuss your requirements.