However you are feeling, and however you are choosing to spend your Christmas, we want you to know that APF are here to support you.
As we get further into the festive season, you may be thinking about how you’re going to spend Christmas this year. Whether you choose to go and visit family and friends on Christmas Day, or you are continuing to shield, we have specialist tips from leading ILD clinicians across the UK to support your decision.
Even if you choose not to celebrate in person with loved ones you could consider booking in a date next year for family get together or plan virtual Christmas activities.
At the moment, government guidelines are that “in England, face coverings must now be worn in shops and shopping centres, in transport hubs and on public transport.” Coronavirus is still present, and it is important to think about your safety and well-being when deciding how you would like to spend Christmas, find out more about the different rules across the UK
For me and my husband it will be another Christmas of shielding especially because of the new variant. As sad as it is we want to remain safe. It will be a quiet one but we will definitely connect with family and friends via Zoom, facetime etc. Wishing everyone in the PF family a gentle Christmas
Here are our top tips if you plan to shield over Christmas:
1. Ultimately the best way to reduce your risk of catching Covid-19 is to continue to ‘shield’ as lots of clinically extremely vulnerable people have been
2. If you are planning to shield, why not plan something every day that connects you safely with friends and family; this gives you and your family something to look forward to – this could be zoom calls, phone calls, texts, or letters
3. If you are going to meet up, plan a walk or meet outside
Here are our top tips to feel safe if you are going to meet friends or family inside:
1. Keep rooms well ventilated and rotate the use of rooms if you can after each hour E.g. move out of the room you have eaten in and then use again later
2. Regular hand washing and wiping of surfaces
3. Don’t kiss or hug
4. Wear masks (FFPs face masks are of the highest standard)
5. Make a seating plan – sit at the head of the table, or at a good distance from people from other households
6. Don’t share snacks or food – plate up your portion first
If this may be your last Christmas, you might choose to spend the day with your family (we have included some helpful information from Marie Curie in the 'Other Resources' section).
You are not alone
Although you may choose to continue shielding this Christmas, you are not alone. Our support phone line will be running over the festive period at these times:
- 24th December from 12.00pm - support line is closed for appointment bookings until 4th January 2022
- 3rd Jan- support line completely closed- no staff member available to answer calls and take bookings and there will be no scheduled appointments
- Support line will reopen from 4th January for appointments.
However, there will be a staff member answering the support line calls each day from 27th December -31st December where a person calling the support line can book an appointment from 4th January onwards. There will be a staff member available to answer calls, but the staff member will be primarily on the support line to just book appointments from 4th Jan onwards.
You may also find the following phone services helpful, (please double check opening times before calling, we have made every effort to ensure these services are open on Christmas Day) :
You may also want to visit our Facebook page where you can read articles, connect with people in the APF community and join conversations.
Marie Curie have sensitive and helpful content on:
• Making decisions about Christmas during coronavirus
• Visiting someone who may die soon
Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis wish you a safe, and peaceful Christmas.