Older people urged to act to protect their emotional wellbeing during lockdown

Over 70s have been urged to take “simple steps” to safeguard their emotional wellbeing during lockdown.

Age UK said that the sudden changes to the livelihoods of older people have left many people feeling low, worried, or having trouble sleeping.

It has suggested some simple steps for people to take, including: eating healthily, being active; taking part in a joyful activity each day – such as puzzles, writing or cooking.

Older people should also reach out if they feel lonely and try to stay connected with loved ones.

They should also stick to a routine and “keep current”, the charity said as it urged people to set aside time each day to catch up on reliable information about the crisis.

The charity pointed to data from the Office for National Statistics, published last week, on the impact Covid-19 is having on people’s lives.

A survey of 390 people over the age of 70 found that over half were “somewhat worried” about the effect Covid-19 was having on their lives, with 19% “very worried”.

Two in five (44%) said their wellbeing was being affected.

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director, said: “Lockdown brought sudden changes to all of our lives and that has naturally affected our feelings and mood leaving many of us experiencing feeling low, worried or having problems sleeping.

“Understandably, social distancing can be boring or frustrating for many older people even though it is an essential measure for keeping us safe.

“We all miss being outside with other people and seeing our friends and family.

“Many are missing life events, seeing and hugging grandchildren, meeting new additions to families, going to weddings and gatherings.

“Even very basic things like getting online to order essential food and products can present a challenge.

“All of these things can have an impact our mental health which is why we should all take some simple steps to safeguard our own and other’s emotional wellbeing.”

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