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.
- Coping with coronavirus: practical guidance for older people
- Loneliness prevention tips for older people
- How older people can stay active at home
- 8 ways older people can stay safe at home
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.
- Coronavirus: how families and friends can support older loved ones
- What financial help is available for carers during the coronavirus pandemic?
- 5 ways tech can help you stay in touch with friends and family
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.
- Where and when do you need a face covering?
- Where to buy face masks and how to make your own
- Five tips for avoiding common face mask problems
The coronavirus vaccine
There are currently two coronavirus vaccines approved in the UK. Each jab needs two doses (within 12 weeks of each other) to be fully effective. The government has pledged that all over 70s and vulnerable people will receive the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by mid-February.
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. 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.
- How to get tested for Covid-19
- How to get the most out of a video GP appointment
- What to do about medical appointments including seeing your GP, dentist or optician
- Dental appointments during the coronavirus crisis
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.
- Keep up to date with all the latest coronavirus news and advice from Which?
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.
- Personal alarms
- Easy-to-use mobile phones
- Home safety tips
- How to employ private carers
- Benefits for older people
- Lasting Power of Attorney
If you’re finding it difficult to manage, home care can provide the support you need to stay independent at home.
Find out more about how to stay active and healthy in older age, with advice on doing gentle home exercise.
Read about ways to increase the quality or quantity of contact with other people and tackle feelings of loneliness.