Coronavirus: Esther Rantzen urges elderly to ask for help

Monday, March 23, 2020

Dame Esther Rantzen has urged elderly and vulnerable people to “reach out for help” as it was announced some will be asked to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick yesterday declared that around 1.5 million of those put most at risk by Covid-19 would be asked by the NHS to stay in and avoid face to face contact for 12 weeks.

Those affected include people with severe respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis, certain types of cancer and those who have received an organ donation.

And Dame Esther said elderly people do not need to put on a brave face if their social care has been put under strain.

She told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “Please ask for help - if what you’ve been promised is not arriving, if you’re running out of food, if you’re not getting the care you need - now is not the time for the wartime spirit of stiff upper lip and all that.

“Use the telephone and reach out for help, you really must because you are precious, we do care about you and everybody at the government press conference has been saying this is about saving lives and yours are the lives we want to save.”

The Silver Line founder - a charity helpline for the elderly - also advised those who now face a long period of isolation to give themselves a daily structure and avoid “duvet days”.

She added: “If you've got a balcony, a window, have a look out side because the sun is shining and spring is coming and remember we have lived through tough times, we have survived them in the past, you are precious, if you need help, reach out for it.”

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