A New Normal: Health and well-being

Silver Active participants keep fit throughout lockdown

Silver Active participants Credit: Jo Chukualim

By Paige Ballmi

The outbreak of Covid-19 has had a high impact on healthcare services, with new systems and practices requiring immediate implementation to ensure accessibility. Many people are still struggling because of the various challenges.

During the lockdown period, Silver Active – a sports and social activity project for adults over 55 in Haringey, has adapted to delivering their activities online, over the phone and directly to residential homes.

Silver Active participant, Felicia Thomas found that being in the government’s vulnerable category and living alone was extremely tough. “Every time I woke up it was the same thing, day in and day out. It was tough not being able to see my children and grandchildren.”

To distract herself from these challenges, Felicia decided to keep herself busy, taking part in the Silver Active activities, which were all done via Zoom. Felicia found this interesting: “I spent less time travelling to and from places, which enabled me to be able to do more at home.”

Felicia was able to look after her physical wellbeing during this time by having dance and chair based stretch sessions every week, to keep her fit. Prevented from going to church, her spiritual health was also kept nourished as church had moved online too: “I was able to pray more and feel closer to God.”

Although not having access to digital means was a challenge for some, Felicia encouraged those with landlines to phone in to the Zoom calls: “I didn’t want anyone to be excluded.”

“It was nice just to hear another voice,” she said of her time spent making so many new friends during lockdown.

To keep her positive mental attitude, Felicia decided to learn something new with the help of YouTube, following new recipes and doing a lot of cooking: “Did you know you can make a cake
in a teacup?”

Before lockdown began, Shirley Pearlman was very active: “I attended dance sessions at St Mary’s church on Lansdowne Road on Mondays and did lots of volunteering in the kitchens and schools across the rest of the week − but that all ended.”

Despite not having online skills, Silver Active helped Shirley to join a small group of people on Monday mornings for tea and a chat over the telephone.

Shirley says: “It’s been a nice pleasant experience, to at least have something to do.”

When asked about the challenges of being in lockdown, Shirley says she was “fed up” since her normal day to day activities have been put on hold.

“I’m keeping strong and positive, and I’m looking forward to next year.”

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