Across Leeds, organisations are working together to keep older people safe and well as COVID-19 restrictions end. The following advice aims to keep our valued residents safe, well and connected, and also signpost to further resources and information.
Advice for older people to stay safe and well as COVID-19 restrictions end
As we enter a new phase of living with the virus 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 new guidance. We know many older people may have had difficult experiences during the pandemic and we would like you to know we are here to offer advice and signposting.
- COVID-19 continues to be a feature of our lives, so this next phase is around learning to live with it and managing the risk to ourselves and others.
- Rates of COVID-19 infection are high and 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.
- You are no longer legally required to wear a mask, social distance or self isolate, but our advice is to continue to wear a mask in enclosed and crowded spaces such as public transport and health and care settings. Public Health advice still recommends self isolation if you test positive for COVID-19.
- If you are still working you no longer need to work from home.
- 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-19, whilst others, may be more cautious.
- Please get both doses of the vaccine and the COVID-19 booster if you are eligible 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 isolating if advised to do so.
We want to make the advice as relevant and as clear as possible. We have created these Top Tips for you to use:
- If you wish to wear one, keep a mask handy – in a purse, pocket, the car or your bag
- Do 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 wish
- 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
- Please ask friends and family to take a lateral flow test before they visit you
- Please ask family members to take extra care and follow the hands, face, space guidance if you are helping out with child-care or going on 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 safe distance 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.
- 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 still working, please discuss with your employer options to work from home to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
For friends and family of older people
If you support or care for an older person 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 able to see friends and family in person, stay connected by phone, social media or video call to make sure you or your contacts are not feeling isolated.
- Remind your loved one that staying active is important. Encourage them to exercise, whether that’s going for a 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 0lder people
If you employ older people please see the following advice:
- Talk to employees about how you can help them reduce physical contacts – working from home, changing shift patterns, ensuring the workplace is COVID-19 safe and encouraging the use of personal protective equipment, such as masks and hand sanitiser.
- 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.