The loneliness of the long-term locked down older person.

According to Dr Lucy Webb of Manchester Metropolitan the pandemic and the measures taken to counter it have created “a perfect storm for mental distress for older people by enforcing isolation and heightening perceptions of risk of death and illness.” Unfortunately, despite being at risk of being negatively affected by both of these, older people are at best being disregarded or, as people such as the The Allen Foundation have recognized, they are, ‚’as a charitable cause, unpopular both in society and‚’ with funders. It would be disingenuous to claim that agencies are not setting out their stall to help people caught in Lucy Webb‚’s storm. The problem we have identified is that they are seeking solutions in places which do not provide them. Agencies which have not furloughed their staff and effectively closed down are offering two types of solution: telephone-based (befriending lines, help lines, support lines) and web-based (training, information, support on demand). Unfortunately, nearly 42% of those aged over 50 years have hearing loss, increasing to about 71% of people aged 70+ so telephones are not universally helpful. And, according to the Office for National Statistics in 2019, while a higher proportion of older people have, at some time, used the internet, fewer than half of over 75s (47%) had ventured online in the preceding three months and were deemed to be ‚’lapsed internet users‚’. With no face to face ‚’tech support‚’ in the shape of family and friends this number is likely to have risen. As we enter the first national lockdown of 2021, we can expect ‚’all the above‚’ to get exponentially worse.




%d bloggers like this: