The impact of Covid-19 on the elderly has caused a huge increase in loneliness since the first lockdown was put into place. With the government asking over-70s to be more cautious and take extra measures to keep safe, it is more important than ever to help combat loneliness in the elderly.
There are 1.4m chronically lonely older people in England, and many more across the rest of the UK, making this a major issue that is now widely recognised in society today. Since Covid-19 these figures have risen dramatically as the usual support systems, such as visits from family and friends, activities and clubs, have all come to a stand still.
“since living alone, frequent visitors is what kept me happy. Now while isolating i sometimes feel FORGOTTEN and alone.”
-IRENE SORRENTI, AGE 75
Irene Sorrenti has lived alone for years although use to spent time round her daughter’s house or had her children and grandchildren visit her daily. Although due to the pandemic she has been isolating since the beginning of April.
Irene said; “I’m scared of letting people into my house just in case I catch the virus so have been isolating myself since the news broke.
“It has been lonely as the only way I can contact my daughters is by phone call and I don’t understand technology very well so it’s been hard.”
Many charities across the UK has been reaching out to elderly people to help combat loneliness during this time. Age UK is the leading charity for older people and have been putting new schemes into place to offer support to the elderly who can’t be with family or friends and who potentially have been alone and suffering the last several months.
"When will it end? Where will it end? How will it end?"
Bridgit shares her worries about being older amid the pandemic, and how this has affected her wellbeing.
— Age UK (@age_uk) December 7, 2020
“During the phone calls the older person usually just needs someone to listen to them and their concerns.”
-Nathan wilson, age uk ‘phone befriender’
Age UK volunteer, Nathan Wilson joined the charity at the beginning of April as he thought Covid-19 would have a negative impact on older people living alone.
“I volunteer at Age UK and my job is to be assigned an elderly person who I have a phone call with once a week.
“I have found that majority of the time all they need is some reassurance and someone to listen to their stories, concerns or even just how their day has been. I think schemes such as this one really benefits the elderly, especially those who live alone, as they have something to look forward to every week.”
For more information on Age UK or if you are an older person looking for advice call the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 678 1602.
They are open 8am to 7pm, every day of the year.
A Christmas bubble might not be for everyone.
Once you’ve read the guidelines, you may want to consider what's best for you, your friends and family this Christmas.
— Age UK (@age_uk) November 27, 2020
With Christmas coming up and rules changing people need to be aware of what the government guidelines are in their area and stay safe. With chartities such as Age uk and support bubbles being allowed during Christmas time, hopefully elderly people will start less isolated during these unprecedented times.