Wellbeing booklet with support and advice for older people isolating at home

In May 2020 the University’s Healthy Ageing Research Group teamed up with the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub at the Combined Authority to support those who are self-isolating during COVID-19.

HARG logo

Over summer 2020, the Keeping Well at Home booklet was evaluated and a new updated version – Keeping Well this Winter – has now been produced. 

The Keeping Well this Winter resource is specifically targeted at those who are currently self-isolating and/or shielding, or the any people who have limited or no access to online resources.

The updated booklet contains practical information on:

  • home exercises
  • mental wellbeing
  • how to stay connected to others
  • nutrition and hydration
  • access to health services
  • fire and home safety
  • helpful number and contacts

The new version also includes a short film made by older people on talking tips to open up a positive conversation on the doorstep or over the phone, as well as a two-page talking tips guide listing questions from the film with signposting information to support conversations with older people.

It was designed in close collaboration with members of the Greater Manchester Older People’s Network and Talking about My Generation along with other key local and national partners.

You can download and print a copy of the updated Greater Manchester booklet and view the film at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority website.

You can download the Keeping Well at Home evaluation report (PDF document, 1.95MB) which highlights older people’s preferences for printed materials, even when they have access to the internet. As a result of the evaluation, the booklet has now been updated to include further sections. 

You can also download the original national Keeping Well at Home booklet (PDF document, 3MB) to print and share with a loved one. 

If you would like to adapt the Keeping Well at Home/This Winter booklets to create a localised print or digital version, please email the Project Lead, Jane McDermott.

The challenge

members of the public up-to-date on the latest government advice and provide support for those asked to self-isolate. The move from face-to-face interaction towards digital communication disproportionately excludes older people – one of the groups hardest hit by COVID-19 – many of whom do not have access to the internet or have not been trained how to use it.

According to an NHS Digital report, approximately 11.5 million people in the UK lack digital skills and 4.8 million people never go online, with around half (51%) of these aged over 65. While a separate report on digital exclusion found that older people in low-income groups and from marginalised communities are particularly affected.

As a result, there is an increasing need to find non-digital routes to communicate with those currently isolating.

Elderly man reading in armchair

Manchester’s response

We have produced the Keeping Well at Home printed booklet for older people who are digitally excluded. We also evaluated the first version asking older people about the usefulness, content and impact during lockdown. Following evaluation, we have now updated the booklet to include additional content as indicated by our evaluation report.

Keeping Well at Home has been featured as a story by the World Health Organization