Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

Coronavirus: What can you do if your loved ones live alone?

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The coronavirus has swept through the world since the beginning of the year. Many of the affected countries have imposed lockdown and self-isolation measures. The UK is one of them. For over a week now Britons have been instructed to stay inside and practise social distancing unless they are key workers.

But there are many vulnerable and elderly people who are stuck inside during the coronavirus lockdown. If you have a parent or grandparent self-isolating at home, you may be wondering what you can do to help them. Guardian Carers is here to help you.

How can you ensure your loved ones are safe at home?

The best way to protect your loved ones who may be vulnerable, elderly or have underlying health conditions, during the coronavirus lockdown, is to keep your distance. You and your parents or grandparents need to practice self-isolation and respect social distancing rules.

As difficult as it may be not to go visit your parents or grandparents, talk to them or hug them, during this time of lockdown, unfortunately, you and your family must adhere to these lockdown measures, so that the situation will improve faster. It’s down to all of us to make these efforts, wherever possible, in order to come out of the coronavirus lockdown and go back to our usual lives.

If you are worried about your loved ones’ wellbeing and safety, you can still keep in contact with them daily, despite the coronavirus lockdown. Check on your parents or grandparents daily via phone call or video call. There are so many ways to reach them by video, whether they have a smartphone or a computer. You can video call them via Skype, Facebook Video or WhatsApp Video, just to name a few options.

If you want to make sure that they have food and supplies to last them a week, you can drop by with a care package, but do not go inside the home. Try to pick up some essentials for them such as fresh fruit and vegetables, canned foods such as beans or dry food such as pasta or rice. Leave your package on the doorstep for them to pick up.

You can of course say ‘Hello’ and have a chat, while you’re dropping by your loved ones’ home, but remember to keep your distance. It has been recommended that you maintain a distance of 2 metres. It’s essential that social interactions are kept to a minimum during the coronavirus lockdown.

Should you move your loved one in during the coronavirus lockdown?

Many people are now wondering whether they should either move in with their loved ones or move their loved ones into their home, during the coronavirus lockdown. If you have been considering this yourself, you need to first consider your position as well as the position of your loved one you are considering moving.

Are you a key worker? Do you have to go outside every day to go to work? If so, you may or may not pose a greater risk of contracting the coronavirus. You need to also bear in mind the fact that you may have the coronavirus, but may not show any symptoms whatsoever - this means being asymptomatic.

Moreover, you should also bear in mind that if you do contract the coronavirus, symptoms only start to show 14 days later. Even after you recover, it has been found that you may still pose a risk to the ones around you.

Even if you are working from home during the coronavirus lockdown, you should follow government and NHS advice to stay inside, self-isolate and practice social distancing. Limit your time spent outside as much as possible. Only go out for essential shopping and for exercise.

If you are worried about your loved ones’ health, particularly if they are a vulnerable person, battling an illness or condition, you may want to consider temporary carers, for as long as the coronavirus lockdown is in place.

Companies who provide carers at home, such as Guardian Carers, have stepped up their safety and security measures due to the coronavirus outbreak. A good option that many people have resorted to since the coronavirus lockdown has been installed is live-in carers.

Guardian Carers have briefed all carers on coronavirus safety and security measures. Besides the usual vetting procedures such as checking experience and qualifications extensively, checking references verbally and making sure the carers have enhanced DBS/Police checks, carers are now also signing a declaration.

This declaration aims to ensure that no carer who goes into clients’ homes has suffered from coronavirus symptoms or has been around persons who were showing symptoms. What’s more, they need to inform us if they have come back from countries affected by the coronavirus in the last 14 days or been around persons who have recently returned from affected countries as well.

What safety precautions should you take during the coronavirus lockdown?

The most important things you should do for yourself and your loved ones, be it your parents, grandparents or other vulnerable or elderly relatives, during the coronavirus lockdown is ensuring you are following government and NHS instructions to stay inside, self-isolate and practice social distancing.

During the coronavirus lockdown, you should keep in check with your loved ones who are on their own at home. Make sure you call them daily to ensure they are safe and healthy. If your loved ones have a carer living in their home or coming to visit them each day, make sure you also keep in daily contact with them too. Ask them about their health, how they are practising social distancing and what safety measures they are applying. And of course, reassure your loved ones and their carers doing this trying time.

In order to beat the coronavirus and come out of lockdown, it’s down to all of us to do our share and to follow the recommendations made by the government and the NHS. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms visit In case of emergency you can dial the 111 number directly.

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