Pandemic effect on older people


A new report by Age UK has revealed how badly the pandemic has impacted older people - affecting their physical, emotional and mental health.

The research carried out in February 2021 reveals how an increased number of older people now have mobility problems due to the lockdowns, ongoing social distancing measures, and closure of community and leisure facilities.

"Confinement to the house (shielding) has had an impact on my physical health. Lack of exercise, especially earlier in the year, has had an impact on how far I can walk now without joint pain or breathlessness," said one of the respondents from an online survey promoted through Age UK.

The UK charity are concerned about the long-term and possibly permanent effects that older people will be left with following all they have endured during the pandemic.

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK's Charity Director, said: "The rest of us should bear in mind that it may take many older people quite some time to rebuild their confidence and capacity, and we all have a part to play in helping them with this. Our message to the public this summer is, please do keep supporting the older people in your lives."

Age UK has consulted with older people, friends, partners, and families to precisely understand how the pandemic has impacted well-being.

With over 14,000 people taking part in the research, the UK charity has discovered that the pandemic has affected their physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Older people have reported losing confidence in their ability to take part in previously routine activities. 64% of older people agree that they are less confident using public transport. This further affects their physical health as many older people are missing essential medical appointment.

37% of older people feel less confident about going to a GP surgery, and 54% feel anxious about attending hospital appointments. Some of the respondents say that they have become more dependent on others and feel concerned about how their lives will return to normal.

Age UK are calling on the Government to give the NHS and social care extra resources to help older people make the best possible recovery following the pandemic. They are also appealing to the public to keep supporting the older people in their lives.