Thursday, 21 January 2021

Age UK Oxfordshire

TWO charities, Age UK Oxfordshire and Active Oxfordshire, have come together to bring back the Share Your Warmth campaign at a time when it is needed more than ever.

As we head into winter during an unprecedented pandemic, thousands of older people in Oxfordshire are at great risk of isolation, loneliness and inactivity.

Share Your Warmth, which is now in its second year, aims specifically to help older people to be more active as well as enabling them to get connected and feel supported.

We are asking older people who feel able to spare their winter fuel allowance to donate it to Share Your Warmth and transform the lives of vulnerable older people in our community.

We also welcome donations of any amount, so that we can all come together to fight inactivity, loneliness and isolation this winter.

As a result of being told to shield, remain indoors and not to go out shopping, many older people have become afraid to leave their homes.

The flipside of this is it has resulted in high levels of inactivity for all ages but the effects on older people are far more detrimental.

Deconditioning, the loss of function and muscle mass, joint pain and pain resulting from untreated conditions due to the pandemic has meant that many people are no longer able to do everyday tasks.

Since vaccines are not yet widely available and there is no single treatment, tailored physical activity represents the single most impactful way in which older people can reduce the risk of developing severe covid-19, improve recovery,and limit deconditioning and frailty.

Mental health is also one of our biggest concerns for older people this winter. The stress, uncertainty, isolation and loneliness, coupled with the anxiety about actually catching the virus and possibly dying, is having a huge impact on older people’s mental health.

Share Your Warmth aims to combat these very real and very serious challenges that our older people are facing. We want to support people in a practical and emotional way.

For those most isolated and not connected to the internet, we will send out home exercise packs containing DVDs, exercise booklets and exercise bands to people at home.

We will make friendly phone calls to check in on people and gently motivate them to do a little exercise.

For anyone without access to the internet, we will support them to get online to join one of our exercise classes by Zoom that always finish with a group chat and opportunity to socialise.

If anyone is hesitant or never tried Zoom we will offer them one-to-one support to get them online to join a class.

If you would like to support this campaign, visit https://justgiving.com/
campaign/warmth

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