With over 10 million people having received their first vaccination dose in the UK – and over 100,000 in Cornwall, it’s understandably tempting to want to return to the way we lived before the pandemic started. However, it remains important that everyone continues to reduce close contact with others, keep the contact they do have outdoors where possible, and open windows, socially distance and wear a mask when this isn’t possible. Age UK has provided lots of Coronavirus guidance and information on Staying safe and well on their website.

Physical movement

We are aware of the importance of staying at home and limiting the number of journeys we make outside of the home. However, there are concerns that the amount of time spent indoors is causing people to be less active – as a result of exercising less and sitting down more. Due to the duration of lockdown this is starting to have an immense deconditioning effect, now affecting millions of people.

For those people who are less resilient, or living alone, several months of reduced access to care, isolation, physical inactivity, lack of mental stimulation and social contact can have unintended consequences. There can be loss in quality of life with loneliness, anxiety, distress and even reduced ability to think.

NHS Kernow provides information on their website from the NHS and Cornwall Council about how older people can help themselves and get the support they need to stay both physically and mentally fit. It also includes links to information around falls prevention.

Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust has produced a leaflet that includes a few simple steps to help people stay active at home, lift their spirits and reduce stress.

Get Active Cornwall has a section on their website dedicated to older people with access to online activity sessions and information.

Mental wellbeing

The Silver Line is a free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. They can be contacted on 0800 4 70 80 90.

Other Cornwall-based befriending services can be found here

Mind Cornwall provides a range of online wellbeing services for people who experience mental health problems as well as telephone and email support, information and advice. Contact them on 01208 892 855 or via email info@cornwallmind.org

Rethink Mental Illness is a charity improving the lives of people severely affected by mental illness through a network of local groups and services, expert information and successful campaigning.

Visit Cornwall Link to find local services, activities and groups to join to improve your quality of life during lockdown and beyond.

Disabilities

DIAL (Disability information & Advice Line) is an AQS audited service, open 9am-5pm Monday – Friday, for people of any age, with long term health conditions or a disability, their families and carers.

DIAL provides information, advice and support including Health & Wellbeing; Independent Living and Equipment: Money and Welfare Benefits; Housing and Home Environment. DIAL can be reached on 01736 759500 or email advice@dialcornwall.org.uk Domestic Abuse

The impact of the pandemic and national lockdowns has seen an increase in cases of domestic violence among older people.

In Cornwall, the domestic abuse and sexual violence service, Safer Futures, can be contacted online at saferfutures.org.uk or by telephone on 0300 777 4777 (9am – 5pm, Mon – Fri).

Cornwall Refuge Trust’s 24hr helpline can be reached on 01872 225629 for support outside of those hours.

Adults experiencing abuse or neglect, or if you’re concerned about an adult possibly experiencing abuse or neglect, can call the adult safeguarding team at Cornwall Council on  0300 1234 131 (out of hours number 01208 251300) or email accessteam.referral@cornwall.gov.uk

The Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) service for Cornwall is provided by First Light who can be called  during normal office hours on 0300 777 4777 or contacted by email at reach.support@firstlight.org.uk  The First Light website is here: www.firstlight.org.uk

Women’s Centre Cornwall is also there to help and can be called on 01208 77099 or contacted by email at admin@womenscentrecornwall.org.uk

Bereavement Helpline

Cornwall Bereavement Network was set up in early 2020 to help people affected by bereavement find support and services in one central resource. They can be contacted on 01208 834 620, 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.

Over 50s Alcohol Helpline

We Are With You and Age UK have launched an alcohol helpline for over 50s, on 0808 801 0750. The helpline operates between 12.00-20.00 Monday to Friday and 10.00-16.00 at weekends.

We will be updating this page and highlighting any resources that may help people overcome any additional challenges as a result of the national lockdowns in our Knowledge Bank.