LETTER: Charity helping to support loneliest people in society
After more than two months of staying at home, many people in the West Midlands took full advantage of the nice weather recently, and are now able to meet up outdoors in small groups.
A huge number of people, however, especially those who are older and vulnerable, will have to continue to stay at home owing to health or mobility reasons, or because they’re worried about mixing with the general population again. That’s why Independent Age, the older people’s charity, is calling on readers not to forget those who need to continue self-isolating.
We urge them to stay in touch with friends, family and neighbours who need to remain at home, as well as those who live alone or have no family or friends, and those who feel lonely.
Independent Age’s recent polling found that 89 per cent of people aged 65 and over say their social contact has reduced significantly since the lockdown started. Even before the pandemic, more than one million older people said they were always or often lonely. Now that many of us have had a taste of how this feels, we must do all we can to help everyone stay connected.
As a charity, we have created a range of ideas and materials to help support older people and their families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including information about staying connected and staying safe and well in the lockdown. Independent Age’s advice relating to coronavirus can be viewed at independentage.org/covid-19
Independent Age is also supporting #letstalkloneliness, an initiative to encourage people to talk about loneliness and help tackle it.
Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Independent Age