A report into the impact of Covid-19 on older people underlines our calls for the government to recognise the psychological effect of the pandemic.
According to a recent study by Age UK, a third of people aged 60 and over are feeling more anxious (34%) and less motivated to do the things they enjoy (36 percent) since the start of the pandemic.
Age UK asked more than 1,300 older people across the UK, how their health and mental wellbeing had changed in the last six months.
The results revealed:
- 27% of older men and 40% of older women said they felt more anxious.
- 45% of older people with health conditions said they felt more anxious and 45% of older people advised to shield said they felt this way.
- 37% of people from lower social grades reported feeling more anxious, compared to 30% of those from higher social grades.
Our Covid-19 campaign has been calling for UK governments to recognise the psychological effect of the pandemic.
It’s also called for governments to increase access to talking therapies to address problems for people in later life during the pandemic.
Jeremy Bacon, our Third Sector Lead, said: “Our Covid-19 campaign has been highlighting the vital importance of recognising and responding to the psychological impact of the pandemic alongside its physical risk.
“It’s important that public, private and third sector organisations collaborate to provide community initiatives that reach those most hidden and isolated, offering autonomy and choice in responding to the psychological impact of the pandemic.”
Members of our Older People Expert Reference Group have shared insights into their work with people in later life during Covid-19.
Sian Wareing -Jones, a counsellor and family support coordinator with Jersey Alzheimer’s Association, said: “With age being identified as a risk factor, there’s been a great deal of fear and anxiety among older people and this has been reinforced by the language used in directives from government, the restrictions of ‘shielding’ and messages to all of us about protecting the vulnerable’.
“On top of the very real risk to physical health, the pandemic has reinforced the myth of ‘older people’ as a homogenous group, when in reality, we know every older person has experienced the past months in very different and unique ways. We must be careful not to fall into a trap of making assumptions about people based on their age.”
Cathy Green, works with older adults in Association with Clare CiC, a community group who support older people based in Belfast.
She said: “This is not the time for any of us to become complacent. It is time to reflect on what we have learned so far, focus on individual need and listen to the lived experiences of our older people during this pandemic, so as we can continue to offer choice and give the best support that we can in the days ahead.”
Find out more about our Covid-19 campaign.
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