It has been a difficult year for everyone, but it finally feels like there is now a glimmer of light at the end of the very long tunnel as the UK government moves forward with their plans to ease lockdown and shielding measures.
In England, the roadmap for getting ‘back to normal’ has seen the reintroduction of outdoor gatherings of up to six people being allowed, and limitations on travelling lifted. As of 1 April 2021, more than 3.79 million people who are clinically extremely vulnerable have been told that they no longer need to shield.
This means that after endless months of staying protected at home, older people and those most at risk from coronavirus now have the freedom to enjoy some of things they’ve missed out on.
However, with that freedom comes a sense of uncertainty. Radfield Home Care understands that if you’ve been shielding, leaving the safety of your home for the first time can feel daunting to say the least.
Jill Long, who’s 82 and lives in London, explains:
“It’s been difficult being cooped up at home for a year. The hardest thing has been not being able to see my family. I’m excited about spending time with them, and giving them a cuddle! And I’m looking forward to being able to go out to the shops or the garden centre. It’s important to me that I can do things for myself and be independent while I still can, but I feel like I’ve lost a lot of confidence in the last year.”
Jill isn’t alone. In a recent survey, many of Radfield Home Care’s clients have shared with us that they’re apprehensive about lockdown easing. Despite being desperate to see loved-ones and get back out and about, the transition from shielding to living more normally takes a lot of adjustment.
Whether you’re worried that such a long period of inactivity has left you unsteady on your feet, or nervous about coming into contact with other people after being used to your own company, taking small steps towards gaining back some freedom will have benefits for your physical and mental health.
A good place to start is by taking advantage of the great outdoors, but staying close to home. For example, you could go for a walk or get together with a small group in a garden. Keeping things simple will help you to adapt.
It’s important that you lean on people for support if you’re nervous. Having someone to accompany you on your first few outings – to go shopping with you or take you to meet a friend – could help boost your confidence.
Radfield Home Care’s care professionals can accompany you or your loved-one on a gentle stroll around the local park, so you can enjoy some fresh air and get used to being out again.
We can help you towards living more independently again, too. Whether it’s taking you to the supermarket to do some grocery shopping, or driving you to meet friends for a coffee so you don’t need the added worry of taking a bus, we can be there at every step of the way.
It’s entirely natural to feel worried or anxious as the Covid lockdown lifts, but making plans to meet others or starting to engage in those activities you really enjoy, need not be overwhelming. The team at Radfield Home Care can support you or your loved one to take each step as it comes at a pace that’s comfortable.
If you would like to find out more about Radfield Home Care and the care support services offered, you can visit radfieldhomecare.co.uk or contact your local office.
Get in touch with your local Radfield Home Care office today and find out more about the support we offer and the difference we can make.