Recent research has uncovered concerning statistics about the impact of lockdown on the UK’s loneliness epidemic in older people and highlighted the need for greater support as restrictions ease this summer as we move through the government roadmap.
As a leading national home care provider, through research conducted in May, Radfield Home Care sought to understand and shine a light on the experiences of older people during the various national lockdowns.
In a survey of over 250 people over the age of 60 throughout the UK, almost half of all respondents (45%) said they had experienced significant feelings of loneliness during the pandemic and as a result, a further 4 in 10 had also experienced low mood, while 2 in 10 had struggled with anxiety and 1 in 10 had battled depression.
Alex Green, Director of Radfield Home Care says:
“We already know there’s a loneliness epidemic in the UK, particularly amongst those in their 70s and 80s who live alone, but Covid and the lockdowns have significantly compounded this social isolation problem.
As a home care provider, we have genuine concerns about who will be looking out for older people as life returns to normal. Many of us have now had the vaccination and are getting back to our workplaces and our busy lives, but older people who’ve had support from family or neighbours may feel even more alone and disconnected as a result.
For these people, loneliness can have profound effects on physical health and mental health, as well as life expectancy. That’s a gap we’re working very hard to bridge, but it’s absolutely essential that the whole of society, including the UK government, plays a part in supporting our older population.”
The research also found that 73% of participants were nervous about the UK’s planned easing of restrictions on 21st June. 53% of respondents said they had concerns about Covid-19 infection rates rising when lockdown lifts, while just over 10% were worried about interacting with others and 8% feared visiting supermarkets, shops, and restaurants.
“I think we need to recognise that a lot of older people have been shielding for such a long time that it’s become the norm and feels safe. It’s understandable that they’d have concerns about getting back out into the community, and it’s important that they take things at a pace that feels comfortable for them.
However, continuing to provide that support will be a lifeline for the older people as restrictions lift, so we encourage people to regularly check in on older family members and neighbours through calls, notes, and doorstep chats, or perhaps even offer to help collect food or prescriptions if possible.
It might not seem much, but even the smallest interactions can play a huge role in helping isolated, vulnerable, and lonely people to feel more connected. “No one should ever feel alone, and we hope that together, we can start to make a real difference for those who need it most.”
If you would like to find out more about Radfield Home Care and the care support services offered, you can visit www.radfieldhomecare.co.uk or contact your local office.
Get in touch with your local Radfield Home Care office today and find out more about the support we offer and the difference we can make.