Don't Forget the Elderly During Covid-19 Crisis
Slough Senior Citizens Group is calling on people to check up on their senior neighbours, friends and loved ones during the COVID-19 crisis - whilst staying safe and observing the Government’s lockdown rules.
The group recognises that this is an anxious time for the elderly in the town, who are at high-risk of contracting the virus.
To add to this, the sentiment is worsened by the isolation many seniors will be feeling during the lockdown, which is of course necessary given the national health emergency.
Founder of Slough Seniors, Vijay Gupta, said the simple gesture of a phone call to an elderly neighbour, friend or loved one could help lift their spirits and check that they are okay mentally and physically.
He is urging residents to phone the seniors they know during the crisis because, in the main, they can’t visit them due to the current lockdown rules.
Vijay said: “It is of utmost importance that we all stay safe during this unprecedented time.
“But that does not mean that we should stop communicating with the most vulnerable in our community, many who already live alone and have lost loved ones in recent years. Some elderly people will have access to the internet, but many won’t.
“So the smallest gesture like a written message under the door or a phone call can keep us connected and ensure our senior citizens aren’t suffering in silence.”
He added: “Of course, a phone call is not appropriate for everyone, especially the hard of hearing. But in most cases they will have alternate means of communication.
“So let’s lift each other’s spirits and do our best to make people smile.”
Slough Seniors is a member of Slough Council for Voluntary Service (Slough CVS), which is coordinating volunteer efforts to reach the vulnerable during the lockdown. This is in partnership with Slough Borough Council and is known as One Slough Community Response.
Slough CVS has provided advice over how to be a good neighbour during the crisis, whilst still following lockdown rules and keeping safe.
Those who are isolated at home and need practical support from volunteers can also request it here. This could include things such as having medicines picked up and delivered. You can also volunteer to help from the same webpage.
Meanwhile, the Government has issued multilingual guidance on how to isolate correctly during the crisis, including in Polish, Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali and Arabic. This comes as many of Slough’s elderly population have English as their second language.
Ramesh Kukar, CEO of Slough CVS, said: “So many people have been offering their support.
“The One Slough team will be linking the vulnerable to services that can help them, so the important thing is for everyone to take care and don't take risks when trying to help others.”
Meanwhile, Slough Seniors’ exercise classes, which usually run three times a week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, have all been cancelled until further notice. This is of course in line with Government lockdown rules.