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Lend a hand . . . Age Concern's Heather Johnston is setting up a system to help elderly people stay connected during isolation. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

Age Concern Otago wants to stay ahead of the curve.

With Covid-19 posing a greater threat to people aged 65 and over, the organisation’s Waitaki branch is putting provisions in place for older people to remain connected through isolation, Age Concern Otago elder abuse response worker Heather Johnston said.

“At all costs, we have to keep our elderly people away from this dreadful, dreadful virus because it’s a killer,” Ms Johnston said.

Age Concern Otago is seeking volunteers to perform tasks such as grocery and medicine pick-ups, and regular phone conversations, she said.

“The messages that we need to get out there [are]: they need to stay home and we are there to support [them].”

Several volunteers had already signed up to provide the service, but more would be needed, Ms Johnston said.

“The ones [who] have rung me have been awesome – really, really useful.”

While many older people were on Age Concern’s radar, now was a good time to register – especially those more vulnerable to isolation, Ms Johnston said.

“We are looking for the people we don’t [already] know about,” she said.

“Those [who] are scared and sitting in their houses there to ring.”

If you are over 65 and would like to register for the service, or would like to volunteer to help 027 231-4880, or 03 434-7008.