Practical tips for social distancing

Posted on March 24, 2020

Stay at home

Everyone should now be following the ‘stay at home’ guidance. Again to re-emphasis this is particularly important for those in at risk groups or coming into close contact with these individuals. The guidance is designed to minimise social contact and emphasis you should only leave the home for one of four reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

Instructions for social distancing when leaving the home

  • Even when doing the prescribed activities above, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home.
  • You should ensure that you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
  • You should only travel on public transport if you have to, to travel to work.
  • Use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services
  • You should not be conducting any social activities outside of the home.

Practical tips

We have put together some additional practical tips on how you can make adaptations to your care routines to support the current guidance. Please discuss these directly with your carer.

1. Shopping for basic necessities:

Supermarkets remain open, however trips should be minimised. Whether the carer normally completes shopping for the household or if this is done separately, you may want to consider online shopping or other delivery options.

Most major supermarkets have online delivery options, please see links below. You should first check that the selected supermarket delivers to your area and you will then normally need to create an account, before selecting the items you want. Demand on these services has been high, so delivery slots and choice of items may be low.

If you have live-in carers who normally complete separate personal shopping you may want to consider combining online orders to save time/money and resources as well as minimising the need for the carer to leave the home.

Many supermarkets are setting aside dedicated shopping hours for the elderly and their carers. You can get more information about this on their websites.

2. Staying active:

Physical activity and exercise remain important for many people’s physical and mental health. If exercise can be completed inside or in a garden that would be encouraged. If this is not possible, one form of outside exercise is permitted per day, but when doing so a distance of 2m should be maintained with other people.

3. Social engagement and support:

You may want to consider investing in a tablet or smart phone to enable video calling with a loved one to maintain contact. There are lots of community groups arising to support people, including local facebook groups. Signing up to Nextdoor is a good way of staying up to date on what is going on in your local community

For more advice recommended by NHS, see:

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