‘This is not a time to sit in silence

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Age Concern is determined to support older people through the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisation’s New Zealand chief executive, Stephanie Clare, says.

“This is not a time to sit in silence – if you are worried about anything from your medication and food supplies through to your mental well-being, you should call us,” Ms Clare said.

not wanting to be a burden or make a fuss; please fuss.

“We have amazing staff and volunteers who can help direct you to the support or information you need.”

Age Concern was also urging friends, family, and communities to find new ways to keep connected, such as Skype calls, delivering a meal, phone calls and leaving notes of kindness in mailboxes.

Otago Neighbourhood Support regional co-ordinator Joy Davis said people should check in on vulnerable or isolated neighbours, while maintaining a safe distance.

“There’s ways around it if you don’t want to knock on your neighbour’s door.”

People could maintain a safe distance by contacting their neighbours by telephone or by exchanging notes in their letterboxes.

If a neighbour was felling unwell, they might like some groceries or a prescription picked up for them, she said.

People need to stay informed and positive.

“It’s about following advice and staying sensible.”

She urged people to start a neighbourhood support group.

Family Works director Carmen Batchelor said it was important for people to take care of themselves and seek help and support from friends and whanau.

“Helping others can make your community stronger and reduce isolation.”

take regular breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories.

Help at hand

If you are concerned about your mental health, contact:

Need To Talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor

Lifeline 0800 543-354 (0800 Lifeline)

Free text 4357 (HELP)

Healthline 0800 611-116