The Coronavirus pandemic is such a stressful time for people who care for their elderly parents and relatives in Essex. It can be hard to know how best to find support for older people, especially if you are unable to physically visit them yourself. Here, Age Space will guide you through what you can do to keep your elderly relatives safe in Essex.
We can offer comprehensive advice, as well as our free Coronavirus guide covering everything you need to know about Coronavirus. You can also look at Age Space’s Coronavirus FAQs to find the answers to some of the most common questions about protecting elderly parents at this time.
In Essex, the County Council and local councils are working hard to ensure that they are protecting everybody that needs support. The Essex Welfare Service is the main, centralised port-of-call for older people who need urgent support that cannot be provided by anyone else.
There is also a lot of activity on local Facebook groups where volunteers and businesses are offering their support and services. We would strongly recommending searching for Coronavirus support groups in your elderly relatives’ local areas to keep informed on any support that is being provided.
- Where to Find Coronavirus Support in Essex
- Isolation Health and Wellbeing in Essex
- Getting Connected Online
Where to Find Coronavirus Support in Essex
There is plenty of support available for older people in Essex with tasks such as collecting shopping, prescriptions and other essentials.
The Essex Welfare Service
Commissioned by Essex County Council, The Essex Welfare Service has been set up specifically to support vulnerable people who need support during the Coronavirus outbreak. It is a single, go-to point of contact for anyone in Essex who is in urgent need of help. The service is primarily for people who do not have friends, families or neighbours who can otherwise support them at this time.
On the Essex Welfare Service website people can either Request Support for Themselves or Refer Somebody for Support. This latter option may be helpful to you if you are seeking support for a relative in Essex that you do not live near, and who is unable to request it themselves. The Essex Welfare Service can provide support with a range of needs, including getting medicine or food supplies.
Telephone: 0300 303 9988
Visit Essex Welfare Service Website
Essex Coronavirus Action Group
Essex Coronavirus Action is a group that has been formed by Essex County Council, The Essex Public Health Team, and local Facebook groups in Essex. It is a source of correct, up-to-date information about the situation in Essex, and can guide people to the support that is available. There is also the Essex Coronavirus Action Support group, where members of the public in Essex can connect with and offer help to one another.
Local Council Coronavirus Support in Essex
Each local council is also doing everything it can to support its vulnerable and elderly residents. The local councils, amongst themselves, have formed the Essex Community Shield.
Below you can find out more about the community support available from each local council, beyond that provided by the Essex Welfare Service. You can also find links to the local council websites where you can see if there are any changes to the provision care services relevant to your relative.
Basildon Borough Council
Basildon Borough Council have a page of FAQs on their website regarding who to contact regarding different types of support that they are offering. You can also contact them directly on email@example.com or 01268 533333.
Braintree District Council
Braintree District Council is being supported by Community360, a local charity who are offering support to people. The type of help available includes befriending services and pharmacies to contact.
Brentwood Borough Council
Brentwood has a series of community hubs in operation that are able to help your relative with tasks such as collecting shopping, a friendly phonecall or delivering medical supplies. Each hub has its own contact details which you can find from this Community Support Information Document put together by Brentwood Borough Council.
Castle Point Borough Council
Castle Point is being supported by the Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services (CAVS). CAVS’ Ways-to-Wellness team are able to provide support with small tasks for vulnerable residents. You can contact the CAVS team on 01268 214000 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chelmsford City Council
Chelmsford City Council recommend that you contact the Essex Welfare Service if your relative living in Chelmsford needs support with food and medical supplies, and has nobody else to assist them.
Colchester Borough Council
Colchester Borough Council have put together a guide to local Community Support for residents that is available locally, allowing you to make direct contact with people that may be able to help your relatives.
Epping Forest District Council
Epping Forest District Council and Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF) are working together on a coordinated system to provide additional support to residents that need it. You can apply for help for your relative by calling their Coronavirus support helpline on 01992 564088 or emailing them at email@example.com
Residents of Harlow are being supported by the Harlow Community Hub. This Hub is made up of a group of volunteers offering phone support, reassurance and advice to the most vulnerable in Harlow. You can get in contact with them on 01279 927005 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Maldon District Council
Maldon District Council are helping to organise local support including food parcels, safe-and-well visits, and prescription collections. You can request this support for Maldon residents by filling in this form, or by calling 01621 851997.
Rochford District Council
Rochford is served by the Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services (CAVS), who can provide local community support. You can contact CAVS’ Ways to Wellness team on 01268 214000 or email them at email@example.com.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council have set up a helpline for residents that need support, particularly those without friends and family nearby to help them. You can call them on 01702 212497. They also have a page devoted to Support Available for Family Carers in Southend.
Tendring District Council
Tendring District Council is operating its own helpline for local residents that are not eligible for support from the Essex Wellbeing Service. You can contact the Coronavirus helpline by calling 01255 686700. There is also a useful list on the Tendring District Council Website of volunteer groups operating in the local area.
Thurrock Borough Council
Thurrock Coronavirus Community Action has been established by Thurrock Council and the volunteering and community groups that operate in the area. They can provide support to older people who require food, medicine or social contact. You can request support for your relative on the phone at 01375 511 002, or by using the Online Form.
Uttlesford District Council
If you need some local support with things such as picking up shopping or collecting prescriptions then you can contact the Uttlesford Community Response Team on 03333 408218 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support from Facebook Groups
There is a lot of activity on local Facebook groups where volunteers and businesses are offering their support and services to local residents. As well as finding support you can also keep up to date with any local schemes this way. If your relative does not have Facebook themselves then you can contact people from your own accounts.
If you cannot find a group below that is in your relative’s area then we would still recommending searching for their ‘local area + Coronavirus support groups’ on Facebook search to see if there is a group.
- Covid-19 Mutual Aid Basildon
- Coronavirus Help! Basildon, Laindon, Pitsea, Wickford, Billericay
- Brentwood COVID-19 Mutual Aid
- Canvey Corona Virus Support
- Chelmsford COVID-19 Support Group
- Covid-19 Mutual Aid Harlow
- Loughton, Epping, Ongar & Surroundings Covid-19 Support Group
- Maldon COVID-19 Community Group
- Saffron Walden & villages Covid-19 Mutual Aid
- Southend Covid-19 Mutual Aid
Isolation Health and Wellbeing in Essex
Looking after physical and mental health is very important for older people during this period of increased isolation.
One of the best things to do for physical health is to exercise. This can be achieved on a short and safe walk, in a garden, or even from one’s own living room. There is lots of good online advice on how older people can stay mobile and healthy at home, including Age Space’s guide to the best Home Exercises for the Elderly.
There is also support available if the pandemic is making your relative feel anxious or is negatively impacting on their mental health. There is lots of helpful information and advice on the Mind website, as well as details of who your relative could get in contact with if they need more support.
Active Essex also have some helpful resources on gentle exercises that older people can do from home to keep mobile. These include seated workouts, gentle yoga and routines that have a low impact on the back.
Staying connected with friends and families is vitally important during this period of physical isolation – it is a way of finding out if people’s needs are being met, as well as keeping spirits high and minimising loneliness.
Some older people do not know how to use some of the mobile and computer apps that would be able to make it much easier for them to communicate with their relatives. Age Space has put together a number of fantastic guides on Using Technology in Older Age that can help to overcome this. Using these guides your relatives will be able to feel confident with technology and make the most of the opportunities it provides. You may want to look at our guides on Using Skype or Using Whatsapp.
More Coronavirus Support
Below you can find more of Age Space’s Coronavirus support guides that you may find helpful.