You may have already had your copy of this newsletter but for those of you that haven’t…
| March 2020 COVID-19|
This information is to help you stay safe and well while the country battles COVID-19.
It’s been a very long time since New Zealand has had to do anything like this and everyone’s life is being disrupted by it, but it is necessary to stop the spread of the virus and protect people. So please stay at home, follow the health advice – and take care of yourselves. Get on the phone, and keep in touch with family and friends.
And if you need help, please ask – there are numbers at the end of this for your use.
Tracey Martin, Minister for Seniors
Whats happening ?
The Government has declared a state of emergency and New Zealand’s COVID-19 coronavirus Alert Level is at 4 for the next four weeks. This means we must all stay home, and all businesses must close except for essential services like supermarkets and pharmacies. Older people are particularly at risk of suffering from this virus, please be careful.
We know many people over the age 70 are fit and healthy, but everyone needs to do their part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home. All New Zealanders not working in essential services must stay at home and stop all physical interactions with others outside of their household. Staying home is the safest and most sensible thing to do to protect yourself, your loved ones and to make sure our health system can cope and look after people who become sick. Food, medicines and healthcare will always be available and your usual financial support, like NZ Super, will continue as normal.
The Government will also double your Winter Energy Payment from May 1 this year. If you can, get someone to drop your groceries off to you, or order your groceries online and have them delivered to your door.
Below are links to Countdown and New World online shopping web sites: https://shop.countdown.co.nz/ https://www.newworld.co.nz/shop/online-shopping
Stay social and keep busy
It’s important to take care of your health and wellbeing while you’re at home. It is recommended to stick to a routine such as having regular mealtimes, bedtimes and exercising. It is really important you keep talking to people. Reach out by phone or internet to your usual support, like family, whānau and friends to keep in touch and talk about how you feel. Do the usual things things you enjoy at home like reading, writing, watching TV, art or cooking.
You can also go outside for a walk or tend to your garden as long as you adhere to the guidelines – stay at least two metres away from other people.
Everyone will respond differently to this new way we have to live for a while. If you feel you are not coping, it is important to talk to a professional. For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 – free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – to talk with a trained counsellor.
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 like a cough, fever, shortness of breath, sneezing or a runny nose, call your GP (doctor) or the COVID-19 Healthline 0800 358 5453
For other health issues, call your doctor or Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453. If you cannot get through and are severely unwell, for example having trouble breathing, contact emergency services (dial 111).
Keep up to date
You can find out all the most recent information at the special website: https://covid19.govt.nz/ A lot of work is underway to help older people across New Zealand through this difficult time, so keep an eye out for more details coming soon. The COVID-19 website is updated daily. Please share this Newsletter with others, especially those that do not use the internet. If they live nearby, print it out and pop it in their letterbox. You can even read it out to them over the phone.
Key telephone numbers COVID-19 Healthline 0800 358 5453 For general health issues, phone your doctor or Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453. For emergencies dial 111. If you are feeling anxious or just need someone to talk to call or text 1737 Elder Abuse Helpline 0800 32 668 65
If you need to discuss your entitlements phone the MSD Senior Services line 0800 552 002 Make sure all your details are correct through your MyMSD Account at www.my.msd.govt.nz If you are unable to find what you need online, and are not sure who to contact for help, call the free government helpline on 0800 779 997 or on 0800 22 66 57 (8am–1am, 7 days a week).
www.superseniors.msd.govt.nz facebook.com/OfficeforSeniors twitter.com/SuperSeniorsN