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Over 65s Coronavirus Struggles

Three in five (60%) people aged over 65 are currently unable to get enough supplies to cover their day-to-day needs, a study from older people’s charity Independent Age has revealed.

Illustrating the impact that COVID-19 is having on the elderly UK population, the research was carried out between 20th- 24th March. The poll found that three in four over-65s had already significantly limited their social contact, and more than two thirds felt anxious or worried about the impact of coronavirus. 

The Independent Age poll of 489 UK adults aged over 65, carried out by Opinium, also revealed that close to one in eight people – 12% - had heard or been on the receiving end of negative language about older people in relation to COVID-19.

Where people struggled to get enough household supplies (60%), buying sufficient food was the most significant issue, with almost two-thirds (64%) unable to buy enough to meet their day-to-day needs. Well over half (58%) struggled to get enough toilet paper, while nearly a third (31%) had difficulty getting the medicine and healthcare supplies they needed. 

Close to one in seven (14%) said they had been affected financially by coronavirus. 

Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Independent Age, said: “There are some things that we can’t control in relation to this coronavirus, but one thing we absolutely can control is how we treat each other. To hear that one in eight older people had heard ageist language relating to this pandemic is appalling, and we must do better. 

“Older people, particularly those aged over 70, are at higher risk from COVID-19, so the levels of anxiety being experienced are certainly very understandable. It’s incumbent upon all of us to do what we can to reach out to our older friends, family and neighbours – a simple phone call can make a remarkable difference in lifting someone’s mood and getting them through the day.

“We’re very concerned to see that nearly two in three people are struggling to get their day-to-day essentials. 

“We commissioned this survey to better understand the pressure points that older people are dealing with right now, in order to inform the support services we provide. This week, we’re contacting every older person who uses our services to check on their welfare, and we’re working on new ways to support them in the coming weeks and months.”

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