Covid-19 infection rates are rising once again in people over 60 in Leeds. People aged over 60 are at a greater risk from COVID-19, with age proving to be a significant risk factor. Even with the roll out of the vaccine underway, it’s important that we work together to keep you safe, keep you active and keep you socially connected whilst minimising any physical contact with others.
Advice for over 60’s to stay safe during Coronavirus – August 2021
As we enter a new phase of living with the virus, with very few restrictions in place we would like to share with you some key advice and messages that may make you feel a bit safer and secure, when adjusting to this new guidance. We know older people may have experienced the toughest of lock downs and we would like you to know we are here for you to help, support or guide as we all try to get our lives going again.
- Covid-19 continues to be a feature of our lives, so this next step on the roadmap is around learning to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and others.
- Rates of Covid infection are high and even after 19 July we should all continue to be cautious, help to reduce the risk of spread and protect people at highest risk of serious illness.
- If you have not yet had your vaccine, we are here to support you whenever you are ready.
- From Monday 19 July you will no longer have to wear a mask or social distance by law, but our advice is to continue to wear a mask in enclosed and crowded spaces such as public transport. Some organisations, eg health and social care, might ask you to wear a mask.
- If you are still working you no longer need to work from home but if you can, but the recommendation is for a gradual return over the summer.
- To keep yourself and others safe, try and limit the contact you have with people you do not usually live with, including keeping the number of people and the time you spend with them low, and not getting too close to them.
- Where possible, meet outdoors and let fresh air into homes and other enclosed spaces.
- Many people will be excited about the return to the way things were before Covid, whilst others, may be more cautious.
- Please get both doses of the vaccine when called to make sure you have the highest level of protection.
- It is also important to reduce the risk of spread by washing hands, getting tested if you have symptoms, and isolate if advised to do so.
We want to make the advice as relevant and as clear as possible. We have created these LIVING THE ‘ADVICE’ Top Tips for you to use
For older people:
- Keep a mask handy – in a purse, pocket, the car or your bag
- Keep washing your hands for 20 seconds or more
- Remember to carry some hand sanitiser and use it regularly
- Avoid busy, indoor spaces and meet outside if you can – whilst it’s warm take advantage of sitting outside when you can.
- Take an extra step – try to keep some distance from others where you can
- Let the fresh air in – open more windows or sit near a door. Take time to enjoy the weather or view outside
- Take a regular Lateral Flow Test, or ask someone to help you do one
- Please ask family members to take extra care and follow the hands, face, space guidance if you are helping out with summer child-care or going on family trips.
Advice for staying safe at home, outdoors and at work
This advice is also explained in an Easy Read version.
- Staying active is important for your physical health and mental wellbeing. There are plenty of options indoors or outdoors that keep you safe and healthy.
- If you haven’t been very active, start by reducing the time spent sitting down for long periods. You could do this by reducing the time you spend watching TV; taking regular walk breaks around the garden or street.
- Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity every week – this can be broken down into 30 minutes chunks, five times a week. Moderate activity could include walking briskly, dancing or pushing a lawn mower.
- If you can safely leave your home to exercise, you should do so while maintaining a distance of at least two metres from others.
- For ideas about keeping active at home, you can get free advice and tips from Active Leeds by visiting their healthy at home webpage.
- Although avoiding physical contact with others is the best way to keep yourself safe, that doesn’t mean losing touch with friends and family.
- Talking on the phone, staying in touch via messaging apps like WhatsApp or having video calls on Skype, Zoom or FaceTime are great ways to keep in touch.
- Reach out to friends and family if you are feeling isolated – and check that they are feeling OK too.
- If you need support, services in Leeds are here to help you – even if it’s just a friendly voice at the end of a phone. For more information, visit leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus or call 0113 376 0330, or if you have difficulty hearing, text07480 632 471
- We want to help you stay connected and active while reducing your risk of catching COVID-19 by limiting physical contact as much as possible
- Plan your leisure time around quieter times of the day so you can reduce the risk of being in close physical contact with others
- Have shopping delivered if possible, or visit shops at quiet times to reduce contact with other people
- If you are working, your employer can help you to stay safe by ensuring COVID-19 measures are in place and you have access to protection equipment, or helping you to work from home if possible. For further information on working safely during coronavirus, please visit gov.uk.
- Remember to wear a face covering, maintain a two-metre social distance from others and frequently wash or sanitise your hands if you are out and about.
For friends and family of people over 60
If you support or care for someone over 60, here are some ideas for you to consider:
- Encourage your friend or loved one to reduce physical contacts with other people where possible. You might be able to help by doing shopping for them, collecting and dropping off medicines or walking pets. If you don’t live locally, support can be accessed via Leeds City Council, visit leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus for more information
- If you are not in your friend or loved one’s support bubble, stay connected by phone, social media or video call to make sure they are not feeling isolated. Encourage them to stay in touch with friends and family virtually.
- Remind your loved one that staying active is important. Encourage them to exercise, whether that’s going for a socially distanced stroll or trying out armchair exercises. Ideas for how to safely exercise from home can be accessed at the Active Leeds, healthy at home webpage.
For employers of people over 60
If you employ people aged 60 and above, here’s some things you could consider.
- Talk to employees about how you can help them reduce physical contacts – eg. working from home, changing shift patterns, ensuring the workplace is COVID-19 safe and ensure they have access to appropriate PPE.
- Stay in touch with staff working on-site or working from home by phone or video call. Encourage virtual catch ups to stay connected and reduce the risk of social isolation.
- Keep talking to employees about what you can do to keep them working safely. Encourage them to take exercise and to stay connected to colleagues if they are working from home.
This is a summary of key things you can do to keep your employees safe. To get the latest Government guidance please visit the working safely during coronavirus guidance page at gov.uk.
Two Leeds residents share their experience of the pandemic:
Dot’s Lockdown Video:
Let’s all work together to keep each other safe.