Pandemic leaves ‘deep physical and emotional scars’ on much of elderly population, charity warns Bedford News

The stillness, loneliness and inability to grieve as usual due to the Covid pandemic is leaving ‘deep physical and emotional scars’ on much of the UK’s elderly population, said a charity (Photo: Shutterstock)

The stillness, loneliness and inability to grieve as usual due to the Covid pandemic is leaving ‘deep physical and emotional scars’ on much of the UK’s elderly population, said a charity.

About a quarter of seniors couldn’t walk this far or were experiencing more physical pain earlier this year compared to the start of the Covid pandemic, new research shows.

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People have reported being less stable on their feet, struggling to manage stairs and feeling less independent since the start of the pandemic, according to a survey conducted for Age UK.

Some 1,487 people aged 60 and over in the UK were surveyed by Kantar Polling between January 28 and February 11, 2021, which coincided with the third nationwide Covid lockdown.

Extrapolated to the UK population, the findings suggest millions of older people have seen their health decline as a result of multiple lockdowns, social distancing measures, loss of routines and support, and limited access to services.

Difficulty walking, cognitive decline and loss of self-confidence

Research found that about 27% of adults aged 60 and over said they couldn’t walk that far, while 25% said they were in more pain than before.

Evidence of accelerated cognitive decline was also found, with more than a fifth (22%) of respondents stating that they had trouble remembering things.

Age UK has also found that some people living with a mental health problem saw their symptoms worsen, while others felt depressed or anxious for the first time.

More than a third (36%) of respondents said they had felt more anxious since the start of the pandemic, and 43% said they were less motivated to do the things they love.

At the same time, almost a fifth (18%) of those surveyed said they felt less comfortable leaving home alone.

This is in comparison with 26% of older people from ethnic minorities, who were also less confident about going out and about, accessing health services or receiving support at home.

The charity now fears that the side effects will prove to be long-lasting and, in some cases, irreversible, which could put pressure on the NHS and social services over the next few years.

“I haven’t left the house for months”

People also gave more details about their struggles during the pandemic via an online survey, which received 14,840 responses.

One respondent said: “I haven’t left the house for months. I can’t even climb the stairs now (previously no problem). ”

Another participant said, “On some really depressed days don’t bother to wash and dress, what’s the point.” we wear a mask, ”said another.

Age UK Charity Director Caroline Abrahams said it may take some time for older people to regain self-confidence, urging people to “continue supporting older people in your life.”

She said: “Our research revealed that at the start of the year, stillness, deconditioning, loneliness and the inability to grieve as usual left deep physical and emotional scars over a significant proportion. of our elderly population.

“It is too early to know for sure how many seniors can ‘bounce back’ from the pandemic, but at the very least, it will be difficult and they will need all the help they can get.

“The implications are clear: the government must give our physical and mental health and social care services enough additional resources to meet the increased needs of older people linked to the pandemic. “

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This notice was published: 2021-07-31 08:35:51

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