Effects of the coronavirus on senior citizens’ everyday lives

I am older than 70. Can I go out for a walk?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, 9:00–15:00).

Frequently asked questions:

The Government lifted the coronavirus-related restrictions on persons over 70 years of age. Can I now see my friends and move freely outside my home?

My income is low. Where can I get free face masks?


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?

The Finnish Government lifted the coronavirus-related restrictions on persons over 70 years of age. Can I now see my friends and family and move freely outside my home?

Yes, you can. However, according to the Government, it is advisable to be cautious and use individual discretion when in close contact with other people. It is still advisable for everyone to avoid large crowds, take care of good hand hygiene and maintain a safe distance of at least one metre from other people.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) recommends that you wear a mask on public transport, on your way to a coronavirus test and when you return to Finland from a high-risk country. It is a good idea to also wear a mask in other situations where it is difficult to avoid close contacts.

It is important that you wear a face mask correctly. Check out the instructions on the THL website.

My income is low. Where can I get free face masks?

Free masks are available for Espoo residents who have a low income and are unable to afford masks. Other Espoo residents are to buy their own masks. We will start with an approach that is based on trust and you will not have to show proof of low income in the distribution location.

We will give each person 20 disposable masks and 4 cloth masks at a time. Read more in the announcement.

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

When will the service centers for senior citizens open?

Service centres for senior citizens open their gyms in stages during August: Tapiola service centre on 3 August, Espoon keskus on 10 August and Kauklahti Life and Living Centre on 17 August. You will need to make a reservation to use the gyms.

Senior citizens’ day activities have started in August. We have contacted all day activity clients personally.

The service centres’ other open facilities, such as lunch restaurants and meetings rooms, will remain closed at least until the end of August. We will, at a later point, provide information about the centres’ situation in September.

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

The answer depends on which country you are arriving from. Please see the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland's Q&A about travelling and coronavirus.

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 go to the grocery shop yourself, please try to go there when only few other people are there, such as early in the morning. 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?

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 between 11:30 and 13, as well as on 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. 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 suspect you may have contracted the coronavirus, call your health centre or Espoo’s coronavirus helpline (tel. 09 816 34600 Mon–Fri 7:00–18:00). You can also 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. I belong to a risk group and do not dare visit the laboratory. Can I have the tests taken at home? 

Even now, samples are collected at the laboratory.  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? 

As always, urgent care is available as emergency dental care.  Non-urgent care (such as check-ups) only has a limited availability at the moment. You can book an appointment for non-urgent dental care if you have been invited to the clinic.

During the spring all non-urgent appointments booked for clients over the age of 70 and those in risk groups were cancelled.We are currently sending out invitations to clients whose appointment was cancelled due to the coronavirus situation.

We have made sure that you can safely come to the clinic. Please remember that you can only come to the clinic if you have an appointment and you are in good health. If you become ill after an appointment has been booked for you, please contact our customer service, tel. 09 816 30300.

Please note that due to the coronavirus situation, appointments take longer than normal, and not all dental treatments are possible at the moment.

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? 

The Finnish Government eased many of the coronavirus-related restrictions on June 17. Visits to Espoo Hospital had been banned since March, but the visitor ban has now ended. There are, however, still some restrictions in place regarding hospital visits. If your loved one lives in a nursing home, you can meet them outdoors, in the yard of the unit. Please see Visits to Espoo Hospital and nursing homes.  

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.