A new Survey has revealed almost one in six over-65s worry more about loneliness than COVID-19.
More than 500 over-65s took part in the Survey, which was conducted earlier this month by SECOM CareTech, a telecare provider for elderly and disabled people. It found over half of elderly adults were worried about spending Christmas without their families, and almost one in six worried more about loneliness than COVID-19.
One of the more startling insights was the fact that some participants suggested they would break lockdown restrictions rather than go through Christmas alone, supporting comments made earlier in the year by Baroness Greengross, who said older people were likely to prioritise seeing their family over staying alive.
COVID-19 has had a big impact on mental health. 28% of the elderly people surveyed felt their mental health had been affected by the pandemic, and more than a quarter of those people blamed loneliness or not being able to see their family. Over a third (39%) of people surveyed also said they had had trouble sleeping.
The survey findings suggest more work needs to be done to support older people this winter, and underlines the importance of combatting loneliness and social isolation in the elderly.
SECOM CareTech have made a special Christmas pledge to its service users to combat loneliness. If you want to let others know about how lockdown is affecting the elderly, you can share this infographic on your website or social media.
Infographic credit: https://secom-caretech.co.uk/
Neil Fitzwalter, the care technology manager at Secom said, ‘By recognising the impact of loneliness, we are by no means undermining the importance of social distancing or shielding – they are crucial for keeping vulnerable people safe. However, elderly loneliness shouldn’t be seen as an acceptable side-effect of the pandemic. More needs to be done to help those in long-term lockdown. That’s why we will be calling each of our CareTech customers on Christmas Day to wish them a Merry Christmas and make sure they are ok.'
For further insights into the SECOM CareTech survey, and to read first hand from some of the people who took part in the survey, visit the CareTech website.
What has the Government promised to do regarding loneliness in the UK? The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published its first Loneliness Annual Report in January 2020. It looks at tackling loneliness in the UK and provides an update on the progress made since the publication of the cross-government Loneliness Strategy in October 2018.