Coronavirus advice for retired members

There hasn’t been an experience like the current coronavirus outbreak in most of our lifetimes and not since the Second World War have there been such restrictions on public movements.

So it’s not surprising that we’re all feeling a bit scared but it is really important we look after ourselves during these unprecedented times.

Things retired members can do to keep safe at this difficult time:

Be prepared

  • Keep useful contact numbers in an obvious place: GP, family, friends etc.
  • It’s important to keep in touch with your GP if you have any concerns about your health, contact your GP by phone. With many routine health appointments being cancelled, you may feel it’s not appropriate to contact your GP. This is not the case. GPs are still there to support your physical and mental health.
  • Think about who can help you over this period. This may be friends and family but also local and national organisations.
  • Remember that it will take longer for your pharmacist to deliver supplies and the same for grocery deliveries, so try and plan ahead.

Stay in touch

  • Phone, landline, mobile, smartphone, computer, internet are all potential sources of support and ways to get information about what’s available.
  • Think about writing a note to neighbours asking if they can help or if they can recommend someone or a service who can. If you have a neighbour’s phone number do give them a ring, you might not need anything now, but you may in the future.
  • A lot of neighbourhoods are setting up local support groups, ask people if they know about this and how you can join.

Find out what you are entitled to

You may be entitled to an emergency food parcel.

The government is advising some people who are “extremely vulnerable” to the effect of Covid-19 to “shield” and not leave the house at all for 12 weeks.

If you are in the “shielded” category, you should have received a letter from the NHS which gives you more information about how the Government can support you to stay at home during this time. Please contact your GP if you feel you should have got this letter and nothing has arrived. You can also call 0800 028 8327 or sign up online.

Little things to help if you are spending a great deal or all of your time by yourself

  • A routine is helpful for giving your day a sense of order and make you feel in control.
  • Listen to music that you like and lets you remember different parts of your life.
  • Watch more films on TV or listen to the radio.
  • You may want to limit your intake of daily news about the virus as too much coverage can be scary and make people stressed.
  • Tidying something or doing outstanding chores can feel like a major achievement.
  • Keep movement in your day through some light exercise if you can.
  • Stay in touch with other people. This might be planning times over a week when you will call family and friends.

Be careful to stay safe

This crisis brings the best and worst out in people.

People may not always be who they claim in person or online.

Always check for identification.

If something feels wrong, don’t engage with it. Don’t let someone into your home who has no identification. Don’t reply to an email that’s asking you for personal information about you or your finances. Don’t give out your bank details to anyone in person or online.

Useful contacts

UNISON There For You (UNISON’s welfare charity)

Age UK – Advice Line is open from 8am – 7pm. 0800 678 1174, email:

Independent Age – Helpline is available on 0800 319 6789