Keele Professor contributes to Age UK coronavirus guidance

Keele Professor who specialises in mental health and wellbeing in older adults has shared her expertise to a national charity to help older people cope with the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Professor of General Practice Carolyn Chew-Graham has contributed to Age UK’s official website by offering advice and tips for older people about staying well and how to cope with isolation resulting from the pandemic. 

The Covid-19 lockdown has had a particularly profound impact on older people, many of whom have shielded themselves to protect against the virus, and as a result have missed out on vital social contact with their friends and family which can have a tremendous effect on their mental health. 

In order to help older people manage better throughout this time, Professor Chew-Graham has partnered with the charity to offer some vital advice on the best ways of coping with the lockdown, and how older people might be able to start venturing outside again safely. 

Her expert advice includes tips on how older people can stay in touch with friends and family, how to look after their mental wellbeing, and how to contact their GP if they are struggling with their mental health. 

She has also published a blog for the charity with advice for older people on easing themselves out of lockdown, as social restrictions begin to ease and more places start to open to the public again. 

Professor Chew-Graham said: “It has been a really difficult time for many people during the Covid-19 restrictions; and methods of access to general practice have changed – which has been challenging for some older adults. The key message is that practices are open and we would encourage people to make contact if they are having problems with low mood, stress or worry as the situation related to Covid-19 is changing. 

Charlotte Lynch, Policy Manager at Age UK, added: “While the easing of lockdown will be a welcome relief for some, we know that many older people will be anxious about getting out again and nervous about what the rest of the year might bring. During this challenging time, it is more important than ever that older people are supported to look after their mental health and wellbeing.” 

Professor Chew-Graham's advice, along with more helpful tips and information, can be found on the Age UK website, along with her blog which is also available on the charity’s website.