Update from Helen, CGN coordinator, 27-03-20

Chorlton Good Neighbours, Wilbraham St Ninians Church , Egerton Rd south, M21 0XJ

Tel 881-2925                                                    

email : helen@chorltongoodneighbours.org                                                        24.03.20

Dear Good Neighbour

I thought you might appreciate a little note as CGN wants to keep in touch with you and offer our support in these challenging times, especially as most of you will be staying indoors for the forthcoming weeks, as outlined by the Government on Monday evening.

The majority of you know that all our activities have been suspended until further notice. The forthcoming April meal at Hough end police club has been cancelled, and the trip to the National Arboretum in May has been postponed; hopefully we can re organise to have that coach trip later in the year, maybe August / September time, if that looks possible.

The office will remain open for the time being and you can still contact us on the usual number 881-2925 or email me at the above address.

Home visits/ befriending: last week we took the decision to stop all face to face / home visits, where a volunteer or staff member goes inside an older person’s house for a chat etc.

We are however able to support you with:

  • Shopping help, collecting prescriptions, if you get stuck or your family / carers become unwell. If you think you may call us for this type of support it might be worth thinking about having enough cash in the house, as currently volunteers are not allowed to take cards /pin numbers. But please speak with me if this becomes a problem as we can always find a solution and we will ensure you don’t go short.
  • Telephone support; one of our volunteers can ring you once per week for a chat or every few days just to check you are ok and whether you need anything. Some of our volunteers are already beginning to do this, and we really want to support you through this time, so please ask me about this.
  • Calling to your door to check you are ok; a volunteer / staff member is able to knock and check you are ok. As long as they don’t come into your home and keep a distance back they can have a chat with you at the door.

Anyway please don’t hesitate to call me if any of the above feels right for you ….we have had many , many offers of help from our volunteers , all of whom are police checked , and they just want to do their bit for all our older residents.

Some other important information:

  1. I have enclosed a sheet of simple exercises which you might consider doing on a daily basis (see below) – it is so important that we all stay as physically and mentally well as possible, and as you know some form of daily exercise helps with all of that. If you have a garden, or outdoor space, and can manage to get outside for a while each day, I am sure it will help, especially if you can get some vitamin D from the sunshine.

  2. Coronavirus testing kits– please be very vigilant if anyone calls or rings you offering a testing kit which you pay for. This is a scam. Just decline it and put the phone down or close the door.
  3. Do you have an email address? : If you do have one and think CGN doesn’t have it please could you send me an email as going forward it is obviously easier to send out regular communications digitally?
  4. I have also received a message from Withington Hospital Audiology dept which you may find useful :

The Audiology Department in Withington Community Hospital are now operating an urgent hearing aid repairs service through booked sessions in the Audiology Department.**There will be NO DROP-IN hearing aid repairs service until further notice.**  Patients should call 0161 217 3074 to arrange an appointment. This service is for patients who have aids, or an aid, supplied through Withington Community Hospital.

Patients who have hearing aids, or an aid, supplied by the Audiology Department in Withington Community Hospital can also call on 0161 217 3074 to request batteries through the post.

However a large box of hearing aid batteries will be kept at Chorlton Good Neighbours so call them and they can get them to you.

Our Positive Living Group trainer Debra McCallion has suggested four top tips below for supporting your mental wellbeing over the coming weeks

  • Tune into the chatter of your mind
    We are constantly having a conversation in our heads, with ourselves, which often are negative and anxious. We have around 70,000 thoughts each day. It is simple to tune into the chatter, recognise how un-helpful it is and consciously choose to change the chatter to something healthier and more resilient for us.
  • Be in the moment
    A high number of all our thoughts are not about the here and now; they are reflections on the past or anxieties/worries about the future. This is understandable but not currently the best for our well-being. At regular points in the day ask ‘what am I thinking about right now’? Pull those thoughts into the moment, I am warm, I am well, I am well fed, I feel the sun on my face etc. and you start to break the pattern of anxiety thoughts.
  • Gratitude
    Sounds simple but in fact is transformational. Each day find 5 things to be grateful for. Look for them, experience them, and then write them down at the end of the day. They are often small and very simple e.g. the sun is shining, I can hear bird song, I enjoyed my first cup of tea, I enjoyed the phone call from a volunteer/family etc. In time we shift our mind to maximise and notice more the small positives and minimise the negatives.
  • Chunk Down the Day
    Think about time in relation to this day then this hour. Break down the day into thinking about how will the day look when broken down. One hour breakfast and radio, one hour home jobs and tasks, one hour re-connecting with those that I want to support by the phone. We may allocate one hour for creativity, drawing, a jigsaw, a puzzle or quiz. The afternoon film,  gardening or bird watching etc. If you chunk down the day into smaller parts it all feels manageable and achievable and tomorrow you can chunk it down differently again but don’t think about tomorrow until it gets here.

I really do encourage you to call me if anything is bothering you at all and we can try and reassure you or find a solution. Take care now…Kindest regards

Helen Hibberd, Co ordinator