Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features

NHS Coronavirus information. Information from Mumsnet hasn't checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have health concerns, please seek medical attention.

Related: Lockdown Learning, discuss home schooling during lockdown.


Isolation living alone in rural area

50 replies

Becca19962014 · 09/03/2020 22:51

Not isolated right now but, have almost all of the at risk conditions.

But just seen new advice could come in for people to self isolate with mild symptoms of cold/respiratory illness (which I have and am already struggling with due to other conditions). Been contacted by specialist who I've not seen in years as too ill to get to checkups anymore though still on his list (stupidly checked email before going to bed!) and been told for me with my conditions and the meds im on the risk is very high and to limit going out and get deliveries etc. He's based in London.

BUT I live rurally with no friends or family to help at all. There's no deliveries here for food (am diabetic which isn't well controlled and must have food otherwise bad hypos and just a small cupboard for storage) or medication (which I must get daily and speak to pharmacist so cannot send people out to get things, they won't allow me more than one day of medication so if I can't get it I can't have it).

The only hospital in my county doesn't have testing facilities, so to be tested means travelling across the country anyway and all the pharmacies already have signs saying if you have cold symptoms to go home. I do but was allowed to get meds today as my symptoms are clearly a nasty cold but am really worried that'll change tommorow

Seriously what am I supposed to bloody well do? The advice on nhsdirect about isolation assumes everyone has people to get them food/meds, or can get them delivered but those services don't exist here or you live in shared accommodation you can choose when to use the toilet/get food (I can do neither of those things with my illnesses).

When I went to an appointment this morning the social worker I saw literally laughed at me when I said for me this would be very serious. Clearly yet another person who thinks its "just" a nasty cold which I've been hearing a lot. This was after I'd walked past a massive sign saying no one was to enter if they had any kind of respiratory symptoms at all or had been to various countries.

Ffs. I can't be the only person living somewhere without deliveries and no one to get food/other essentials.

My internet connection is really really bad due to a storm so I may not be able to reply again tonight but will try to do so tomorrow (assuming internet better). Started typing this almost an hour ago!!

OP posts:

Becca19962014 · 09/03/2020 23:40

scrowy taxis is how I get around, I'm medically not allowed to drive and there's only two firms here.

I only have a cupboard so no room to store extra food. I have small extras in anyway but not two weeks.

It's what my specialist has suggested.

I will speak to GP and mention social worker attitude, I know they'll have words about that. As it's an on going issue that they prioritise what's in notes from mental health and are ignoring physical conditions which are what make this life threatening for me.

OP posts:

AutumnCrow · 09/03/2020 23:48

Think of your GP as your 'anchor' keeping you tethered securely in the ebb and flow, while this uncertainty lasts. Good luck Flowers


tinselvestsparklepants · 09/03/2020 23:56

That sounds rotten. I live very rurally too do I understand! Have you got a 'next door' group? It's an Internet forum group for villages (so your local one would be called Next Door Villagename) and as far as I can tell mine seems to have a lot of helpful people on it. Ours is very busy with the flooding, for example. Maybe you could help link up others like you and some local volunteers in case you have to isolate? wRVS might also be able to help? (Women’s royal voluntary service)


ineedaholidaynow · 10/03/2020 06:54

Is the pharmacist open everyday if you have to get your meds daily?


Seventyone72seventy3 · 10/03/2020 07:02

I only have a cupboard so no room to store extra food.

Sorry to pick up on this but am trying to be helpful. Surely you have somewhere you could put food? Even just a box?


EmmaGrundyForPM · 10/03/2020 07:19

Do you have a flat/house? If so there is always somewhere to store additional food - bottom of wardrobe, under the. bed, under the sofa, or even just piled up in the corner. I appreciate it might not be possible to afford extra food. But if you can afford it, there will be somewhere to put it.


TheABC · 10/03/2020 07:31

Ok, first port of call is the GP. They will be able to advise on your meds. Take the consultants letter with you.

Next, think about your exposure when out and about. Wear gloves and a scarf: it won't protect you from airbourne exposure, but it will stop you from touching your face. It's also easier to wash the gloves, especially if you run out of suitable hand gel (I believe they need to be a certain alcohol percentage).

I am sorry to hear if your predicament, OP. I hope the rural nature of your home means you are less likely to be exposed.


peoplepleaser1 · 10/03/2020 07:35

Op this sounds so tough.
With regard to meds I'm really not sure what to suggest- I am sorry.

With regard to supplies, would you consider not restricting storage to your usual food cupboard? Just for now you could store elsewhere too. No need to buy ridiculous amounts but extra staples to tide you over could be stored somewhere different.


Fannia · 10/03/2020 07:43

If you have taxis in your area you may be able to set something up where they could deliver your meds and emergency supplies. If you currently use a taxi daily they must know you so you could ring up and ask if they would do that for you.


Anyoed · 10/03/2020 07:45

Obviously you are in a horrible situation. I think I no the meds u r on had my ex was on same I think. They r very strict but we had a problem a couple of years ago where there was a incident with a gun man in are the town next to us we live in very small village
Any way no one could get through. What through he pharmacist did was going in once safe and allow those people who needed aspa to go in sperate would this be possible I understand not great as I still.need to leave but definitely better than not getting. So sorry u r in this situation


RB68 · 10/03/2020 07:49

I think you have to think of another storage solution for food - you say one cupboard but how about a plastic box with lid that can be placed anywhere - table, bench, living room or bedroom - keep none perishables in it. This is what we have had to do as we only have limited kitchen space. You need to stay open to ideas and not close them down - work out how to make it work


Becca19962014 · 10/03/2020 10:42

I've a flat, but there are shared facilities. I've a cupboard for food. Long story why only that (sorry, I know I know) but I do have some uht milk in there and pots of ready to make porridge, so could add to those. I've packs of pizza mix which I use to make bread if I can't get out; some other stuff that keeps and I can manage to eat.

I do wear hat and scarf anyway (condition related) I can't manage gloves though; and if I yawn I need to pop my jaw back in so need to touch my face sometimes (more and more often now) but I do have hand sanitiser in my bag, very high alcohol for this reason which I use all the time throughout the year anyway.

The meds is a problem, has been for a very long time, another long story(!) it is open every day and is extremely busy as a result; the "hospital" (not what any of you would think of as a hospital I expect) is extremely small and has out of hours working there hence being open every day and rural.

We have two taxis here. Which is the same family, so as long as they aren't effected they may be able to help in some way, of course if they go away/get ill/are busy on an airport drop then there are none, in that situation I relied upon the church which isn't possible anymore, or walked which meant injury and a lot of pain.

Obviously I will discuss with my GP when I see them later this week.

Thankyou for being kind.

OP posts:

cologne4711 · 10/03/2020 11:01

in that situation I relied upon the church which isn't possible anymore

Why is that - even if they can't give you lifts could they collect something for you?

Is there a delivery service from the pharmacy? What do they do for housebound people generally?

If you are on a low income, is a foodbank an option?


Becca19962014 · 10/03/2020 11:31

The church thing is complicated - it was the vicar and his wife who helped me and they've left. They helped because they understood my illnesses. Other people didn't.

Pharmacy do deliveries if you are having end of life care but that's it. Funding ceased for everyone else (if you must see pharmacist you must go, I have once or twice been able to send someone else but its no longer allowed becasue of the type of some of the drugs I'm on) and that service is once or twice a week only now.

Food bank is over thirty miles away and don't deliver; I don't qualify anyway as im on benefits - it's more for people who are waiting for universal credit/have zero income and are referred by social worker.

About to go see pharmacist and will ask about what they suggest.

OP posts:

EmmaGrundyForPM · 10/03/2020 12:22

if you are in a shared house arrangement can you ask your housemates if they can help out?


bellinisurge · 10/03/2020 12:29

What @EmmaGrundyForPM said. If you are in a shared facility, is it possible to discuss with a friendly neighbour.


Becca19962014 · 10/03/2020 13:27

No. Like I said there are issues due to deterioration in mental health and not being allowed any support. They don't understand why I don't qualify. When they sought support they were told to phone the police instead!

I saw pharmacist. They're going to find out. The pharmacy was packed (rarely is it that busy) so no time to find out today.

OP posts:

bellinisurge · 10/03/2020 13:42

I'm not sure I fully understand why you can't have help from neighbours. However, I don't think it would be fair to you to elaborate because it's clearly an option you've considered but which doesn't work.
You are in touch with a pharmacist about tbe immediate medication issue. That's good.
Is there a support line you can call - I know you said social worker wasn't helpful. Is there an alternative number?


Isla727 · 10/03/2020 14:30

Hi OP, Have you tried Lloyd's Pharmacy and Chemist Direct for medication? Do Tescos and Sainsburys definitely not deliver to your remote area?


Becca19962014 · 10/03/2020 15:36

bell I don't want to go into further details re neighbours, but fully understand it's confusing. The only number for support is mental health team now as all funding has been redirected there.

isla Yes I've checked. It's not possible (meds or food!).

OP posts:

Becca19962014 · 12/03/2020 13:27


Basically the advice for people like me (multiple high risk factors) is to isolate. BUT there's no realistic way I can do that. So what they've suggested is I get meds as early as possible in the day and get food really early or late when not many people out. That's all I really do anyway, though not at those times, that's my contact with people full stop.

They were appalled and disgusted re the social worker laughing and said they'll "have a word" I've seen them having a word before, so though it sounds passive it'll be anything but.

They agreed only having one assesment centre is stupid, especially as it's in a village far from the most populated areas.

They totally understood my situation re this. I was in there for an hour (other issues were discussed too); but they were so understanding.

I just want to say thankyou to all of you for the support too.

OP posts:

Fanthorpe · 12/03/2020 16:55

That, although difficult, sounds quite positive? Do you feel reassured a bit?


crazydiamond222 · 12/03/2020 17:03


Becca19962014 · 12/03/2020 17:56

Basically they just confirmed the facts with me.

I need to go out for food and meds, but that if I keep contact to a minimum this should be achievable given all I do is that anyway.

If I get it I won't survive.

Pharmacies are running low on meds, so I need to give serious thought to changing my pain meds to morphine, however, this is a problem as one of my medical conditions has definitely hit the terminal stage and my skin is very very thin (so patches are a problem) and morphine is a trigger for another of my conditions. So more discussions to be had about that. It was overwhealming but, the main thing was they understood.

If I lived somewhere with deliveries it'd be different.

It was a very hard appointment even without the corona talk, but it was helpful to talk to someone who lives in the area and knows facts so understands my point of view. They also reassured me they won't be drafted to help in more populated areas - they too have risk factors and won't be cancelling my appointments.

OP posts:

Becca19962014 · 16/03/2020 17:46

Im bumping this in case the advice offered to me here, might help others in my situation as well.

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

We're all short on time

Log in or sign up to use the 'See Next' or 'See all' posts by the OP (Original Poster) and cut straight to the action.

Already signed up?

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?