People over the age of 70 have been urged to self-isolate as
much as possible to protect themselves from the coronavirus.
As one of the demographics most vulnerable to the disease,
the elderly should avoid public places and refrain from gathering with family
Of course this isn't easy, with isolation often leading to
feelings of loneliness and alienation.
Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to support
your older friends or relatives during this difficult time.
You should try to leave supplies on the doorstep, but if
that's not possible you can go into the house.You should stay two metres apart, avoid touching anything,
and make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you arrive.It's also important to check in regularly by phone or text -
or, if possible, ideally Facetime or Skype. Being able to see someone's face
helps people to feel more connected.And kind gestures go a long way. Send a card or drop off
some flowers - anything to let the elderly people in your life know that you're
thinking of them, and are available to help if they need it. If you're struggling to get your elderly relatives to take
the coronavirus crisis seriously, it's a good idea to gently remind them that
it's not all about them.They might think they're being brave by venturing out, so
you should explain to them that they'd actually be helping other people by
sticking to the rules, and self-isolating as much as possible.Putting a human face on the coronavirus will also be
helpful. Instead of throwing numbers and statistics at your elderly relatives,
tell them stories about people who have been affected.And instead of telling them not to do something - ask them
to do something else.But remember to be gentle, as this is a worrying time for
many.If you're worried about the mental health of somebody who is
self-isolating, the best thing you can do is check in.