Coronavirus Read our latest advice

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Coronavirus advice for older people

Older people are a greater risk of serious health issues during the coronavirus crisis. We provide up-to-date advice and information to help older people stay safe.
3 min read
In this article
Coping with coronavirus Staying safe and preventing loneliness  Coronavirus and care homes How to support an older loved one
Advice on face masks Health worries during the crisis More coronavirus advice from Which? Staying safe and independent at home

Coping with coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted everyone’s lives, but it’s been a particularly challenging period for older people who are at greater risk of falling seriously ill from the virus. A large proportion of COVID-19 deaths have sadly occurred in care homes. And many older people have experienced loneliness, isolation and less support than usual as a result of the social distancing measures that have been necessary to control the spread of the virus.

Throughout this difficult period, Which? has been working hard to deliver helpful guidance and support across a wide range of issues. This information will be updated regularly as the situation changes.

Staying safe and preventing loneliness 

Older people are at greater risk of serious health problems from coronavirus. Here’s what you can do to stay safe, avoid feeling isolated and keep active at home. 

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Coronavirus and care homes

A large proportion of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in care homes. If you have a loved one who receives residential care, you may be very worried. Find out about care home restrictions and regulations during this period - and learn what measures are in place to keep residents and staff safe during the pandemic. 

How to support an older loved one

You may need to limit face-to-face contact with older loved ones and friends during the coronavirus crisis, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch with them. Here’s what you can do to help them stay safe and avoid feeling isolated.

We also take a look at what coronavirus guidelines mean for carers and what extra benefits you may be entitled to if you have to look after a loved one during this time. 

Advice on face masks

If you're travelling on public transport or going shopping, you'll need to wear a face covering. We’ve got some advice on where to get one (or how to make one), and what you can do to make wearing a mask more comfortable. 

Health worries during the crisis

Coronavirus isn’t the only health problem you may be worrying about at the moment. Many appointments and operations have been postponed or cancelled. Many dentists and opticians have been closed. Your GP appointments may be via video call or over the phone for the time being. We explore where to get medical help during this time. 

It’s also never been more important to have a plan in place for the type of treatment you want to receive at the end of life (an advance plan or living will). 

More coronavirus advice from Which?

Which? is providing practical advice on the key challenges facing UK consumers during this crisis – from travel rights and shopping advice to personal finance and tech.

Staying safe and independent at home

If you’re worried about feeling isolated at home during this difficult period, or concerned about an older relative or friend, you can find lots of information on Which? Later Life Care about staying safe and independent at home.

Care homes and support at home near you
Use our directory to find local care homes, home care agencies and carer support services across the UK.

Further reading

Home care services

If you’re finding it difficult to manage, home care can provide the support you need to stay independent at home.

Taking exercise

Find out more about how to stay active and healthy in older age, with advice on doing gentle home exercise.

Last updated: 30 Sep 2020