Local charity Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale has spoken about its commitment to deliver the services it provides for older people living in Cardiff and the Vale in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Jeff Hawkins, the charity’s CEO states: “We will take all reasonable precaution to ensure that illness and infection do not spread in the workplace between employees or from employees to the clients that we work with and to the general public. We have put practical, simple measure in place. As of mid afternoon 12th March 2020 the Government advice remains the same, but this may change and we will follow that advice.”
As is always the case, all Age Connects staff and volunteers have been encouraged to maintain high levels of hygiene to reduce the chance of contamination to a minimum. The charity has ordered and provided soap, sanitising wipes, for use in cars and at reception areas in their buildings and in any community visiting.
Wherever possible, staff and volunteers have been advised to contact clients or care home before attending/visiting and should ask if there are any concerns about infection, or if anyone is showing signs of symptoms. Where appropriate and as a precautionary measure, visits are being rearranged or cancelled depending on the answers received.
Clients that have regular shopping or visiting services from the organisation will be contacted and where appropriate an additional shop to stock up on some essential items might be advisable. This is not to encourage any panic buying, but simply to ensure that some essential items are available if the volunteer or staff member has to cancel a visit.
If an older person you know has been advised to self-isolate or is very worried about going out or decides they’d prefer not to, there are still plenty of things you can do to help.
• Stay in touch over the phone, by post, online or by popping over for a chat (assuming the person is allowed to have contact with others, and you take the necessary precautions).
• See if people need any shopping or help by running some errands.
• Encourage people to stay active around the house and keep moving.
Karen Steele, Marketing and Partnerships Manager at Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale reiterates: “Understandably, the Coronavirus is a concern for everyone and older people living in our communities may feel this concern even more so. We urge people to make a telephone call to their older family members, friends and neighbours to ensure they are okay and then decide the most appropriate course of action to offer support.”
If you or someone you know is worried or needs further information, encourage them to visit the website www.ageconnectscardiff.org.uk, use the NHS online coronavirus service or call 111.