The Council has re-launched its Your Neighbours Need You campaign to provide advice and encouragement that will help residents look after one another during the Coronavirus health emergency.
Our message through this campaign is clear – ‘let’s all help each other through this health emergency’. Here is some key information and advice:
The elderly and vulnerable
Here’s some advice for elderly and vulnerable people:
- Keep in touch – it is important to call your family and friends regularly, and ask them to run errands for you if you can’t leave the house. Remember, if you are self-isolating there can be no face-to-face contact with them – they can leave items such as groceries on your doorstep. Double-check that you have the phone numbers of the people you will rely on when self-isolating.
- Be secure – strangers may volunteer to go to the shop for you. That’s OK, but think about security. You should only give someone money for your shopping AFTER they’ve returned with your items. The Council has published information about scams which have been brought to our attention.
- Stay active - being up and about is important, even within the confines of your home if you are self-isolating.
Remember, important advice is being issued by Age Cymru, which is available across a number of platforms including Twitter (@AgeCymru), online (www.agecymru.org) and via phone 08000 223444. Don’t forget, anyone can request assistance from the Council if they are self-isolating. More details here.
Helping those self-isolating
Your neighbour, whether elderly/vulnerable or not, may need to self-isolate.
The advice is for individuals to firstly seek support from friends, family or neighbours. Residents who don’t have people who can support them are being advised to contact the Council on 01443 425003, or via an e-form here.
Here is some advice for helping to support a friend, family or neighbour:
- Staying in touch – call those self-isolating to ensure they are well, coping, and even just to provide a bit of company.
- Running errands – those self-isolating may need help with shopping or picking up prescriptions.
- Having no face-to-face contact – helpers can speak on the phone, or put a note through the door – this will avoid close contact and therefore reduce the spread of the virus. Double-check that you have the phone numbers of the people you think may need your help. Here’s some good practical advice about self-isolating by Public Health Wales.
Remember, items like groceries can be left on doorsteps, and you could check from afar that your neighbour has received them. Don’t forget good practices like washing hands before touching items. Anyone can request assistance from the Council if they are self-isolating, here.
Keeping up with the news
Important news and advice about the Coronavirus may be fast-changing. Here are some good ways to stay informed:
- The Council – our dedicated webpages are providing up-to-date local information and advice about the Coronavirus, from the latest public health advice to new service changes. Follow us on social media too - @RCTCouncil on Twitter and ‘Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’ on Facebook.
- News Organisations – keep in touch with established national and local news outlets, for trusted news. At this time there is a lot of social media content about the Coronavirus – please be aware that some of this may not be correct, so it’s best to stick to established news outlets for the facts.
- Public Health Wales – as the national public health agency in Wales, Public Health Wales will be issuing up-to-date advice, guidance and statements. Follow them on Twitter @PublicHealthW or online at www.phw.nhs.wales.
Remember, constantly following the news in uncertain times may feel relentless. It’s important to look after your mental health. A good step might be to seek updates at set times each day. Charity ‘Mind’ (Twitter: @MindCharity) has published advice for ‘Coronavirus and your well-being’ on its website.
This, along with other basic hygiene issues, are very simple ways to protect yourself and others by reducing the spread of Coronavirus:
- Do it regularly – you should currently be washing your hands more often than you normally would, especially if you are using communal areas or before eating/preparing food.
- Do it properly – use soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or for the time it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice. It’s also important to ensure ALL of your hands and wrists are washed (see advice below).
- Avoid touching your face – this is another easy step to avoid the spread of the virus from your hands into your body.
Remember! The NHS has issued advice about the technique you should use to wash your hands – ensuring between your fingers, the backs of the fingers, your palms and your wrists are all clean after each wash.
Our appeals to you
The Council has made appeals to former care workers, and for new volunteers, to help us during this emergency:
- To former social care workers to return to work – the Council Leader has made this appeal as this would be an invaluable help and boost to our resources, as we provide social care support to the NHS. This is an unprecedented situation likely to put huge demand on care services. Those interested in returning to work should call 01443 444559 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To volunteers for our Community Resilience Team – the Council is developing a network of voluntary support for vulnerable people in our communities. To find our more and to sign up, you can call 01443 425003 or visit our dedicated webpage at www.rctcbc.gov.uk/volunteer.
If you are a Community Group that wants to support the Coronavirus response, the Council and Interlink want to hear from you - please get in touch! Call 01443 846200 or e-mail email@example.com.
Advice for Food Shopping
Food shopping is one of the few permitted reasons you can leave your house due to social distancing guidelines. You should adhere to these guidelines by only food shopping for essential supplies.
Here’s some guidance from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, and a summary of some good advice from that report:
- Before shopping – Don’t go shopping if you are in the shielded group, or are feeling ill. If you are in the shielded group, you could ask someone else to do your shopping, or shop online. Check if your local store has special shopping times for the elderly or healthcare workers.
- During shopping – Maintain a two-metre distance from others and follow arrangements like shopping ‘zones’ and queuing markers. Ask if your trolley/basket has been sanitised, avoid touching surfaces and use your non-dominant hand to touch items.
- After shopping – Wash your hands when you get home. Sanitise cupboard/fridge surfaces, along with the outside of canned and hard surface pack goods. After stocking, sanitise your fridge/cupboard handles and wash your hands again.
Remember: Limit the number of times you go to the shop, and don’t panic buy or stockpile. There’s enough stock for everyone if everyone only buys what they need. Consider making a list of what you need before going shopping. More good advice here