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Reclaiming your independence on the roadmap to recovery

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Other than a short period of eased restrictions last summer, the UK has been dealing with lockdowns and shielding for over a year. With the roadmap to recovery currently on track, however, it may be time to start thinking about how our loved ones can regain a sense of independence in the coming months.

For the last year, so many of us have had to make tremendously difficult sacrifices. Typically normal activities like visiting and spending time with loved ones may seem a little bit alien to us after months and months of distancing, shielding and restrictions.

It has been a particularly trying time for our older relatives and those in high-risk medical groups. Loneliness has become a common problem and many will have felt powerless and perhaps even trapped in their own homes. But as those restrictions are gradually lifted, those people will be able to carefully take steps towards returning to some normality.

Take it slow

We’ve been warned throughout this pandemic that the easing of restrictions won’t be a “light-switch moment” when everything is suddenly back to normal. Instead, returning to our old habits will be a slow and delicate process. Despite more and more people being vaccinated and receiving protection against coronavirus, the threat of the virus won’t have completely disappeared.

The risk of transmission is expected to reduce significantly as time goes on. However, even with a small risk, it may still be possible to contract coronavirus at some point in the future. For those who are older or have existing health concerns, you may still be vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus.

Continuing to follow hygiene and distancing recommendations will help you to steer clear of any future transmission. While you go out for a walk or meet up with others outdoors, try to limit close contact with people and take pocket-sized hand sanitiser gels wherever you go. You may even want to consider wearing a mask or face guard, especially if you go to an indoor public space like a shop or café when they re-open.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Relying on assistance from others can seem counter-intuitive to regaining a sense of independence. However, for those who struggle to keep up with everyday tasks, a helping hand every now and then can be a lifeline. You may want to ask a friend or family member to mow the lawn or clean some hard-to-reach places in your home.

In addition to this, you can ask for help if you’re feeling particularly cautious about going out in public straight away. This can be a big help for you if you’re concerned about going to a busy supermarket for your weekly shopping or picking up a prescription from a pharmacy.

It’s not just friends and family members who can provide assistance to get you feeling more comfortable and confident with post-pandemic life. There is also the option of turning to a home care professional, who can provide you with personal care in the comfort of your own home. This allows you to maintain your independence at home instead of having to consider alternative living arrangements.

Enjoy the little things

Being deprived of so many small and simple pleasures over the last year has been tough for everybody. We’ve often taken for granted things like hugs with others, meeting up for a coffee or a day out to the cinema or a museum. While it will still take some time to build up to these activities again, we can still enjoy the smaller developments along the way.

The Government’s roadmap out of lockdown is currently on track to reach milestone dates with no major problems. This means that members of two households are now able to meet outdoors, or up to a maximum of six people. This includes private gardens, so you can invite loved ones over to have a cup of tea in the garden… as long as the weather stays nice, that is!

This month, some non-essential retail and outdoor attractions will be able to open, so you may want to take advantage of a short hairdressing appointment or perhaps a day at the zoo. As we progress over the coming months, further restrictions will be eased gradually. When they do, make sure you enjoy the various experiences – however great or small – as this will help you to feel a sense of normality and stability in your daily life once again.

If you’re in need of assistance around the home to help you maintain your sense of independence at home, SureCare provides support for a range of regulated and unregulated services across the country.

Find your nearest SureCare branch to get in touch with your nearest SureCare team and discuss how we can help you.