Elderly woman
New analysis by the charity Age UK has found that living through the fear, enforced isolation and inactivity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has sharply accelerated the care needs of significant numbers of older people.

The charity’s latest figures show that 1.2 million older people aged 60 and over in the UK who had difficulty walking up and down the stairs before the first lockdown in March 2020 report this activity has become even more difficult for them since then.

Its analysis revealed that 1.45 million of over 60s now have difficulty walking short distances outside when previously this did not pose problems for them at all, and 3.8 million people reported that their ability to do everyday activities has worsened since the first lockdown.

Following the Queen’s Speech this week, the charity called on the Government to commit to concrete action into strengthening and expanding the provision of social care in England, in order to meet this growing need.

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Age UK has found that some older people’s self-confidence has been seriously eroded as they have got out of the habit of going out and about and participating in social activity, while others are experiencing intensified anxiety and depression.

More than a third of over 60s in the UK, the charity found, who had difficulty showering, having a bath or washing before the first lockdown in March 2020 reported this activity has become more difficult since then.

Meanwhile, than two in five of over 60s in the UK, who had difficulty preparing and cooking food before the first lockdown in March 2020 reported this activity became more difficult since then.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: “It’s really sad that the pandemic has taken such a toll on the mobility, confidence and capacity of millions of older people to live independently without extra support.

“Specialists in older people’s health warned that this was likely to happen after months of enforced isolation, inactivity and lack of stimulation and, unfortunately, our new analysis shows they were absolutely right.

“The inevitable consequence of this pandemic related damage is that older people’s demand for social care is set to go up quite markedly, beyond what would otherwise have been expected.”

“What matters now is that the Government recognises this is happening and makes the extra investments and reforms needed to beef up and expand our care services so they can meet this growing need.

“Before the pandemic we already knew that 1.6 million older people had some unmet need for care, but our new research means this awful statistic could rocket even higher this year unless the Government acts fast.

“We must never forget too that behind the cold statistics are real older people who with the right care and support could be living much happier, safer and healthier lives.”

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https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/RS8385__pp.jpg?fit=900%2C675&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/RS8385__pp.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Liane McIvorNewsroomReports & ResearchSector NewsThird SectorUncategorisedAge UK,COVID-19,Mobility,pandemic,social careNew analysis by the charity Age UK has found that living through the fear, enforced isolation and inactivity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has sharply accelerated the care needs of significant numbers of older people. The charity’s latest figures show that 1.2 million older people aged 60 and over in...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals