I am sending out regular updates, and this week I wanted to focus on the older people in our community. Many of the following links may also be useful to everyone!
If you are over 65, and you have symptoms of Coronavirus, you can now book a test at the local test site just outside Poole. Further information on accessing the service is available here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
and you can apply for a test here: https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/test-type
Age UK have lots of useful resources on their website: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/coronavirus/
It’s important during this time to keep connected with friends and family – albeit remotely. If you’ve never used video calling before, it can be a great way to chat to your family, and see them at the same time. You can get step by step help with setting this up here https://www.learnmyway.com/courses/video-calling
BT have produced some great link to online training for a variety of things you might want to do online https://www.bt.com/skillsfortomorrow/daily-life/accessing-public-services.html
If you’d prefer to be talked through the process, you can call the Dorset digital champions. They are volunteers who usually help people in the library to use the computers. Anyone can call the Dorset Digital Hotline with an IT question on 01305 221000 weekdays (excluding Bank Holidays) from 10am to 12noon.
Shopping & getting food
If you are shielding, and you have received a letter from the NHS, you must follow the advice to keep safe. You should have received a food parcel, but I know that many people are struggling to get food deliveries. The supermarkets have increased their delivery capacity, but they have a massive increase in demand. Most supermarkets have dedicated times for older people – do check their websites for details. There are also various other options.
Many local pubs and smaller shops are doing deliveries, or contactless collections – you can phone up with an order & pay, and then drive to collect a box of food. The website Dorset Mums have collated a useful list of companies doing food deliveries here https://www.dorsetmums.co.uk/companies-delivering-food-and-provisions.html
Dorset Council have lots of useful information on getting help with shopping deliveries here https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/emergencies-severe-weather/emergencies/coronavirus/community-response/i-need-help-or-i-know-someone-who-needs-help-coronavirus-information.aspx
BCP Council have an online form you can fill in here https://togetherwecan.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/services/carepackageapplication/
Dorset libraries provide a variety of digital services - you can download e-books, borrow audiobooks, download magazines & comics, join virtual book groups & get advice and help on a range of topics. Find out more here https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/libraries-history-culture/libraries/libraries.aspx
Online Resources - plays, musicals & things to do!
The Open University has lots of free courses online at a range of levels: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/
If you’re into music, and want a challenge, the Ordnance Survey have a music mapping quiz: https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/guides/ordnance-survey-mappy-music-quiz/
As you can’t visit any museums, galleries or zoos, why not take a virtual tour? GoodHousekeeping have a great list: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/travel/a31784720/best-virtual-tours/
Or maybe a garden visit? https://ngs.org.uk/virtual-garden-visits/
The National Theatre are putting some of their productions online – it’s a new production each week and you can find more details here https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/
Andrew Lloyd Webber is making his musicals available to watch at weekends - you can find details here https://www.andrewlloydwebber.com/the-shows-must-go-on/
There’s a brilliant list of ideas for a wide range of home activities here https://chiswickcalendar.co.uk/lockdown-things-to-do/adult-activities/
It can be difficult keeping active whilst staying at home. Please do go out for local exercise, and keep to social distancing rules. There are lots of ideas for keeping active here https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/news/how-we-can-all-keep-active-home-during-coronavirus-crisis
And Sport England have a dedicated section for older adults on their #StayInWorkOut page: https://www.sportengland.org/stayinworkout#get_active_at_home
(scroll down the page)
Which? Have lots of useful resources including this guide https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/04/how-older-people-can-stay-active-during-lockdown/
Help with feeling lonely
If you are feeling lonely please do speak to someone. Silverline are a dedicated charity, and you can call them 24 hours a day on 0800 4 70 80 90. For more details you can also visit their website https://www.thesilverline.org.uk
For something a bit different, you could call Daily Hope. This is a new phone line from the Church of England offering hymns reflections and prayers. You can call 24 hours a day 0800 8048044
Independent Age offer a regular call service – you can call them on 08003196789 fro more details or visit their website here https://www.independentage.org/get-support
The brilliant charity, Mind, have very usefully created a source of information and tips about looking after your wellbeing
during these uncertain times, which you can find, here: www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/
Very sadly, there are people who are using the current crisis to try and con people.
Dorset police have a dedicated section of their website about scams here https://www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/scams-fraud-cyber/
Which? Have lots of helpful advice on scams here https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/04/coronavirus-scams-how-to-spot-them-and-stop-them/
If you get a phone call and you think it may be fraudulent, BT have advice here https://www.bt.com/help/home/scams/
BCP Council have useful links on their website https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/News/News-Features/COVID19/Scams-to-avoid-Coronavirus-COVID-19.aspx
If you are aware of anyone who may have been a victim of a scam, this can reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. People should also report this to their bank and speak to them for advice.
For any scam advice, you can call the Citizen’s Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133
For the latest information about the support available in the Dorset Council area please check the following link: www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/emergencies-severe-weather/emergencies/coronavirus/coronavirus-covid-19.aspx
If you need help and don’t have any support call Dorset Council on 01305 221000, 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week or email email@example.com
For the latest information from BCP Council including how you can receive vital support and how to volunteer please check the following link:
For the most up-to-date Government advice about Coronavirus you can check the website here https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
I wish everyone in Mid Dorset & North Poole well. I reiterate my thanks to our amazing NHS, support staff, carers and all keyworkers who are working to keep the country running.