The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people of all ages in a multitude of ways. This includes elderly individuals living alone, who, due to age and health-related factors have been required to stay indoors for the most part of over a year. Taking this cautionary step may have mitigated the risk of elderly people contracting the virus, but it has taken a heavy toll on physical, mental and social wellbeing levels.
Feelings of isolation and boredom – particularly among those living alone without any face-to-face contact – have become commonplace.
Whilst elderly people have accredited passing time throughout the pandemic to keeping in touch with loved ones, gardening, reading and exercise, feelings of isolation and boredom – particularly among those living alone without any face-to-face contact – have become commonplace.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, many older people made the most of opportunities to socialise through clubs, communal activities and volunteering (Age UK). However, the closure of these services to minimise virus transmission has contributed to 1 in 3 elderly people feeling less motivated, with activities around the home and garden no longer generating as much enjoyment.
Furthermore, the need for social distancing has led to an exponential rise in virtual means of communication, from Zoom to FaceTime. Whilst ONS survey respondents have identified keeping in touch with friends and family remotely as a coping mechanism, this has not been possible for elderly people lacking the finances and/or technological know-how.
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