Coronavirus: Sunderland's Age UK team remains 'dedicated' to continuing services to help those most vulnerable to illness
A charity which works to support Sunderland’s elderly has pledged to continue its work during the coronavirus outbreak saying “now is not the time to back off.”
Age UK, which runs more than a dozen groups and services across Wearside, has said it is “dedicated to providing ongoing support to older people across the city during this challenging time” especially to those without family.
It fears the social impact is as much a risk as the clinical challenge posed by the virus, and will be working to make sure people do not become lonely during times of isolation, also calling on communities to do their bit to look after the elderly.
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The NHS has said those aged 70 and over are in a high-risk category and should practice social distancing to try and stop its spread.
Tracy Collins, director of Age UK Sunderland, said: “Now is not the time to back off our older population, who need more love and support than ever.
“Do provide reassurance and now is a good time to make a plan together as a family.
“And for everyone else now is also a great time to look out for older neighbours, especially if they seem to be on their own and help provide support in the weeks and months to come.”
She added: “Age UK Sunderland supports many older people on a daily basis and we are determined to continue to be there offering support to older people throughout the period to come, ensuring services are delivered safely and effectively.
“Our dedicated staff and volunteers will continue to support and we are urging everyone to stay in touch with older relatives and friends over the phone and see if the older people you know need any help to do their shopping and encourage them to stay active in the house.
“In line with Government guidelines, it is advisable to keep a bit more distance, preferably at least a metre apart, sadly no kissing and hugging, and those hand hygiene practices are very important to protect older people from
More information about the charity can be found via www.ageuk.org.uk/sunderland/.