COMMUNICATIONS DURING THE CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC

We hope you are well and keeping safe. We are indeed in extraordinary times with the impact of Covid-19 changing all our lives. We want to set out here the plans being developed to communicate with older people on this new virus and how Cymru Older People’s Alliance propose to involve you as Voting Members directly in our response to this new challenge.

Whilst national level co-ordination will be important, it is evident that the most significant response will be at a community level. This means that every 50+ Forum in Wales has a vital role to play in communicating well to help local older people and to feedback through COPA to support national efforts.

  • This week our Chair of COPA met – via a teleconference – with Helena Herklots, the Commissioner for Older People in Wales, her staff and the Chairs of other national older people’s organisations – National Pensioners Convention, Welsh Senate of Older People  and Active Wales. This was our first opportunity since the outbreak of this virus in the UK to discuss how we can all work better together to ensure older people have all the information and advice they need and can have access to reliable sources of help if they have concerns about their situation. Here are some of the developments underway that your Forum members will want to know about:
  • COPA and the other national older people’s organisations will be meeting with the Commissioner via telephone on a regular basis in the coming weeks and months. We will be meeting Helena again at the end of next week. Please let us know of any questions you have or local issues you want to feed back to her.
  • The Commissioner has created an Information Hub

Coronavirus Information Hub

to connect older people and their families to the latest useful information, advice and guidance – including hints and tips –  about what we need to do, where we can go for help and how we can stay connected. Please let us know what you think of this and where it might be improved.

  • The Commissioner is creating a closed community face book page to provide access to a means for older people’s organisations including Forums as well as voluntary organisations that support older people to be able to talk together, share ideas and ask questions. COPA have proposed that an invite to join this group is sent to all of our Voting Members. It would be great if you could participate.
  • For those who do not have access to a computer or Tablet/smart phone or are not confident using them, the Commissioner is setting up a telephone contact arrangement so that organisations could speak directly to her staff about any relevant issue of concern. We will send you the number as soon as it is available.
  • Age Cymru have launched a new service for older people in response to Coronavirus. They are offering a check-in-and-chat telephone service for the over 70s in Wales who live alone. Further information on this can be found at

Age Cymru Check in and chat

and the telephone number is 08000 223 444.

They also have a more general Information and Advice service that can be accessed through the same number.

As leaders of your local 50+ Forum, you know your own area best and how you can make an impact to contact older people and help them through this difficult period. The most helpful thing COPA can do is to support you in that role by ensuring you have the latest information, share ideas and solutions and provide access to national level debate about how we can all help older people cope with the changes being demanded of us.

It would be tremendously helpful if you could respond asap to this email and let us have your views on the issues raised in this first in a series of Covid-19 Updates from COPA and also any suggestions you have about what could be done to help 50+ Forums

Chair of COPA – Steve Milsom available on 07966312672

Steve

S G Milsom

Chair

Cymru Older People’s Alliance