Effects of the coronavirus on senior citizens’ everyday lives

This website contains questions and answers on the effects that the coronavirus has on the everyday lives of senior citizens and services for the elderly in Espoo.

You can find health-related questions and answers on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Further information about the coronavirus in Espoo is available at espoo.fi/coronavirus.

If you have questions about services for senior citizens, you can always call Nestori – Guidance and Service Counselling for Senior Citizens (tel. 09 816 33 333, Mon–Fri, 8:00–16:00).

Frequently asked questions:

I am over 70. Can I leave my home at all?

I am older than 70. Can I go out for a walk?

I came home from abroad some days ago. Can I go to the grocery shop? 

I belong to a risk group and do not dare to go to the grocery shop. How can I get a bag of groceries delivered to me? 

I am old and my income is low. Where can I get food assistance in this situation?

How can I get medications to my home? 

What can I do to exercise at home? 

I suspect I have contracted the coronavirus. What should I do?

I have a non-urgent dental care appointment that was booked for me earlier. What will happen to my appointment? 

My loved one receives home care. How are you making sure that the home care personnel will not pass the coronavirus to them? 

My loved one is in the hospital or lives in a service home or a nursing home. Can I still visit them? 

I am very worried and anxious about the coronavirus. Where can I get help?

I am over 70. Can I leave my home at all?

The Finnish Government strongly recommends that everyone over 70 should avoid crowds and public spaces. The purpose of this recommendation is to protect the elderly from the coronavirus. However, you can run your essential daily errands, such as getting groceries and going to the pharmacy, if you take the necessary precautions. It is also a good idea to spend time outdoors as long as you keep a distance of at least a metre to other people. 

I am older than 70. Can I go out for a walk?

Yes you can, and getting some exercise is good for you. However, please remember to keep a distance of at least a metre to other people.

Running errands and using services

I came home from abroad some days ago. Can I go to the grocery shop? 

No, you cannot. After returning home from abroad you must stay at home for 14 days. This reduces the risk of contractions. 

I belong to a risk group and do not dare to go to the grocery shop. How can I get a bag of groceries delivered to me? 

Several grocery shops offer a home delivery service. It is a good idea to use them.

The following online grocery shops offer home delivery:

K-Ruoka online shop

(K Group’s grocery shops: K-Citymarket, K-Supermarket and K-Market)

Foodie.fi – online service for all S Group grocery shops (Prisma, S-market, Sale and Alepa)

Alepa Kauppakassi

Prisma Kauppakassi

Kauppahalli24

Or perhaps someone who does not belong to a risk group could get some groceries for you and leave them behind your door. Luckily, this exceptional situation has motivated people to actively offer their help to the older people living in their neighbourhood. You can find someone to help you for example through the NappiNaapuri service. We will also add information about other sources of help to our website.  

If you cannot avoid going to the grocery shop yourself, please try to go there when only few other people are there, such as early in the morning or in the early afternoon. Always remember to wash your hands after visiting a shop.  

Some grocery shops have separate opening hours for people in risk groups. Contact your grocery shop to see if this is the case.

If you are unable to arrange your groceries on your own, please contact Nestori – Guidance and Service Counselling for Senior Citizens, tel. 09 816 33 333 (Mon–Fri 8:00–16:00) or email: nestori@espoo.fi. We will assess your need for services and ask volunteers to bring you groceries, if necessary.

We have put together an example of a week’s groceries for people aged 70 or older (pdf, 131 Kt) (in Finnish).

I am old and my income is low. Where can I get food assistance in this situation?

Call Espoo’s food assistance helpline, tel. 09 816 22 040 (Mon–Fri 8:00–11:00), if you need information about food assistance. Please do not hesitate to call this number if you need food.

Espoon Ankkuri’s surplus food distribution based on telephone reservations. Address: Matinkartanontie 16 B, 02230 Espoo.

ViaDia’s food assistance for people who have a low income or belong to risk groups. On Tuesdays between 13:30 and 15:30. Address: Muurarinkuja 1, 02650 Espoo.

The Hyvä Arki organisation hands out bags of food to people with low income on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9:00 and 13:00 at Siltakuja 3 B (next to Samaria).

The charitable organisation Manna-Apu does not organise actual hand-out events at the moment but still provides bags of food for persons in risk groups and the elderly. You can give the name and contact information of the person who needs food assistance to Manna-Apu (tel. 0400 401 114, Mon–Fri 10:00–12:00). Manna-Apu will contact them to let them know when they can pick up a food bag. Manna-Apu is located in Tuomarila (address Tuomarilantie 19). 

How can I get medications to my home? 

Pharmacies can deliver medications to your home. Contact your pharmacy to ask about home deliveries. Your pharmacy may already offer the possibility to order medications by phone. All clients should primarily contact their usual pharmacy near their home; this prevents the demand on pharmacies from getting too high.

For example the Jorvin apteekki, Viherin apteekki and Soukan apteekki pharmacies deliver medications free of charge to people in risk groups in their local areas.

If necessary, another person can visit the pharmacy on your behalf and pick up your medications. The person who visits the pharmacy will need your Kela card and a list of medications they should bring. You can also use the Suomi.fi service to authorise another person to visit the pharmacy on your behalf. 

Elixir apteekki in Leppävaara (Hevosenkenkä 3)

• Deliveries in the Leppävaara area to people in risk groups. Please place orders by phone, preferably between 7:00 and 9:00 from Monday to Friday (tel. 010 322 8980). Medications are delivered from Monday to Friday in the order that the orders have been placed. A service fee of EUR 5 will be added to your invoice.

Espoon keskustan apteekki

• Home delivery 6  €. Call tel. 09 5422 1200.

• Pay for products by debit/credit card when they are delivered. Cash payment is possible but it must be agreed on in advance.

Espoonlahden apteekki

• Starting from Monday, 30 March 2020, the pharmacy offers home deliveries of medications. Inquiries: espoonlahden.apteekki@apteekit.net. Call tel. 09 8194 4520.

• The delivery service operates within a 10-kilometre radius and costs EUR 10 per delivery.

• Kivenlahden apteekki will also reserve the hours between 9:00 and 11:00 for customers who belong to risk groups.

Jorvin apteekki

• Free home delivery for risk groups in Espoo and Kauniainen, within the limits of the resources available.

• Call tel. 050 541 2378 or 050 541 2376. Make sure you have your personal identity code and a list of the medications you need at hand.

• We deliver medications on the third day after they were ordered (products that were ordered on Monday will be delivered on Wednesday and so on).

• Pay by debit/credit card when the products are delivered. Make sure you have your ID or Kela card available for inspection.

Kalajärven sivuapteekki (subsidiary pharmacy)

• Pähkinärinteen apteekki (main pharmacy) offers home delivery to risk groups in Kalajärvi area. Call 09 849 4180.

Kauklahden sivuapteekki (subsidiary pharmacy)

• See the services of Soukan apteekki (main pharmacy)

Matinkylän apteekki

• Customer service by phone: tel. 09 8676 6490.  A service point for risk groups, Mon–Fri 12:00–16:00. Entrance from the street.

Olarin apteekki

• Customer service by phone for the elderly: tel. 09 884 0055

• You can ask someone else to pick up your products. A taxi driver can also pick up your medication at your expense.

• The person picking up the products should preferably pay by cash. Invoicing is also available.

Soukan apteekki

• Free home delivery for risk groups in Espoo. Call the pharmacy for information about delivery days: tel. 09 8016133

Tapiolan apteekki

• Normal deliveries within a 15-kilometre radius of the pharmacy no later than on the next weekday following the order (EUR 5.95).

• Express deliveries within a 15-kilometre radius on the same day within four hours if you place your order by 16:00 (EUR 9.95).

• Online pharmacy (www.tapiolanapteekki.fi) or place your order by phone, tel. 09 4520 130.

Viherin apteekki

• Free home delivery to elderly people living nearby. The pharmacy delivers medications to Karakallio and several private customers every Thursday.

• At the moment, home deliveries are also available to those who have turned 70 or belong to risk groups. If you can have a family member or a friend go to the pharmacy on your behalf, please prefer this option. Please place your order few days before the delivery date so that the pharmacy can schedule the deliveries.

• The pharmacy recommends that new delivery requests are sent through the pharmacy website or by email, as this way they will have the client’s exact address and telephone number. A pharmacist can call the customer and talk through the medications that will be delivered. It is not recommended to call the pharmacy, as the pharmacy is still serving more customers than usual.

• You can pay for the medications in cash or receive an invoice. You will need to prove your identity when the medications are handed over to you unless the pharmacy staff already know you.

If you are unable to arrange your pharmacy visits on your own, please contact Nestori – Guidance and Service Counselling for Senior Citizens, tel. 09 816 33 333 (Mon–Fri 8:00–16:00) or email: nestori@espoo.fi.

What can I do to exercise at home? 

Taking care of one’s physical condition is not only fun but also important. Many sports and exercise facilities have been closed for now. The website of Espoo’s Sports and Exercise Services includes tips and links to home exercise videos. Spending time outdoors is also a good way to stay in shape. 

Health Services

I suspect I have contracted the coronavirus. What should I do?

If you only have mild symptoms, you should stay at home – do not go to a health centre. If your symptoms get worse, you experience shortness of breath or your overall condition worsens, call your health centre or Espoo’s coronavirus helpline (tel. 09 816 34600 Mon–Fri 7:00–18:00). If you suspect you may have contracted the coronavirus, you can assess your symptoms through the Omaolo service which is available in Finnish and Swedish. Also read the city’s up-to-date instructions at espoo.fi/coronavirus.

I am over 70 years of age. I have been independently visiting the laboratory for tests related to the treatment of my illness. Now people over 70 are instructed to avoid public spaces. Can I have the tests taken at home? 

Even now, samples are collected at the laboratory. This is considered an essential errand that you are allowed to run.

You can visit any HUSLAB laboratory if you have a referral and you have booked an appointment. All HUSLAB laboratories in Espoo are open, with the exception of the one in Espoonlahti. In addition, the laboratory at Samaria Health Centre only serves patients with respiratory tract symptoms sent by the health centre.

If your support networks cannot help you get to the laboratory, please contact your health centre to enquire about arranging testing at your home.

I have a non-urgent dental care appointment that was booked for me earlier. What will happen to my appointment? 

All non-urgent appointments booked for clients over the age of 70 and those in risk groups have been cancelled. You do not need to cancel your appointment yourself. We will send you an invitation to one of our dental clinics later.  

Urgent dental care for clients who are over 70 years of age or belong to other risk groups and have no respiratory symptoms has been centralised to Ruusulinna Dental Clinic (Huvilinnantie 4). We have done this to protect our clients from unnecessary contact with other people. Appointment booking for emergency dental care, tel. 09 816 35900 (Mon–Fri 7:00–16:00).  

HUS provides dental care for all persons with respiratory tract symptoms starting from 19 March. If you need urgent care on weekdays between 8:00 and 15:30, you will be treated at the Surgical Hospital (Kasarmikatu 11–13). Please call first, tel. 040 482 6690 (telephone hours 8:00–14:00). 

At other times, urgent care is available at Töölö Hospital (Töölönkatu 40) to clients who need immediate emergency care. Please call first, tel. 09 471 87383. 

Home care and nursing homes

My loved one receives home care. How are you making sure that the home care personnel will not pass the coronavirus to them? 

Espoo Home Care is taking measures to minimise the risk of infections. This is a normal part of home carers’ work. In addition, the Home Care staff have received separate instructions on how to protect themselves and the clients from coronavirus infections.  

My loved one is in the hospital or lives in a service home or a nursing home. Can I still visit them? 

All visits to hospitals, service homes and nursing homes are forbidden in this situation. You may be allowed to visit your loved one under special circumstances, for example if they are in hospice care, but you need to agree on this with the staff in advance. Instead of meeting your loved ones in person, why not call them or have a video call? This is highly important in order to protect everyone older than 70 from contracting the coronavirus.  

Helplines for those who worry

I am very worried and anxious about the coronavirus. Where can I get help? 

It is understandable that the new situation may cause anxiety. If you would like to talk about your concerns, please call the

  • Concern hotline (09 816 31300), Mon–Fri 8:00–16:00. 
  • Outside these hours, the crisis hotline of MIELI Mental Health Finland is there to help you, tel. 09 2525 0113.
  • EJY ry’s volunteers are also available if you need someone to talk to. Please call tel. 050 381 0999 or send an email to keikka@ejy.fi.