Elderly may never recover from the ‘severe’ mental and physical harms of Covid lockdown, Age UK warns
- Millions of the elderly may never recover from the ‘severe’ harms of lockdown
- Age UK surveyed older people and said 16 months of isolation has left ‘scars’
- The charity is urging ministers to give sufficient funding for pensioners’ needs
- Study of 14,840 OAPs and carers reveals 25% were living in more physical pain
Millions of the elderly may never recover from the ‘severe’ mental and physical harms of lockdown, a report warns.
Age UK surveyed nearly 15,000 older people and their carers and said that 16 months of social isolation, immobility and the loss of normal routines have left many with ‘deep scars’.
The charity is now urging ministers to ensure sufficient funding to cater for pensioners’ increased needs in order to help them make the ‘best possible recovery’.
This includes money to clear record NHS waiting lists, for mental health support and for help with dressing, cooking and washing.
Age UK surveyed nearly 15,000 older people and their carers and said 16 months of isolation, immobility and the loss of normal routines have left many with ‘deep scars’ (stock image)
The charity’s study of 14,840 OAPs and carers, conducted in February, reveals 25 per cent (four million) were living in more physical pain, 17 per cent (2.7 million) were less steady on their feet and 12 per cent (1.9 million) felt less independent than before the pandemic.
They also found that 22 per cent (3.2 million) were finding it harder to remember things and 43 per cent (6.9 million) were feeling less motivated to do the things they enjoy.
One respondent told researchers: ‘I am now constantly depressed. I often sit and weep and wonder how I shall be able to carry on.’
Another said: ‘After almost 80 years on the planet, I have started having panic attacks.’
The charity is now urging ministers to ensure sufficient funding to cater for pensioners’ increased needs in order to help them make the ‘best possible recovery’ (stock image)
A carer also said of one elderly woman: ‘Her mood is extremely up and down and most worrying is the huge deterioration in her memory – both short and longer term. This was not really an issue before.’
The survey also revealed many had lost confidence in doing everyday activities outside their homes.
Some 54 per cent of older people (8.7 million) felt less confident attending a hospital appointment and 37 per cent (six million) felt less confident going to a GP surgery.
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director, said: ‘It’s too soon to know for certain how many older people can ‘bounce back’ from the pandemic but at the very least it will be tough, and they are going to need all the help they can get.’