Age UK Northamptonshire appeals for older people to reach out in 2022 after Covid-19 leaves many isolated

The charity helps with various challenges affecting older people, even if it is just a need for chat and tea

Friday, 7th January 2022, 5:30 pm

Age UK Northamptonshire has appealed for lonely older people to contact them after the Covid-19 pandemic has left many stuck in their homes for fear of becoming ill.

The appeal comes in a period where concerns over loneliness, as well as mental health has multiple groups fearful that people might fall through the cracks whilst we tackle the pandemic.

Pandora Kenyon, services promotion coordinator for Age UK Northamptonshire, said that the pandemic has left many older people feeling isolated, especially those who live alone and have no family to rely upon.

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The charity said that opportunity is there for older people who want to reach out

The charity itself has also had to adjust to the virus, with adjusted capacity for their day centres to maintain social distancing and great care being taken to keep all of their members safe.

Mrs Kenyon said: "I think it's always difficult for older people to get out and meet new people and make friends. If they have health problems or they have been bereaved or they are unable to drive or take public transport, they can find it hard to find that social interaction.

"Studies have come out suggesting that the virus has affected older people disproportionately.

"Where some people can just bounce back and hop in the car to go out, a lot of older people are worried about doing that, either because they might catch Covid-19 or other anxieties."

To combat this, Age UK hosts a range of services to help older people find that much needed connection whilst also keeping them safe. This done in cooperation with bodies like the NHS and Adult Social Care.

First among these services are the day centres dedicated to people who might need extra support. Whether it be because of health problems or other needs.

There older people can find that social interaction of meeting new people, all over a cup of tea.

For everyone's safety, they centres have also reduced the number of people allowed in at any one time, shifting from 30 to 40 at a time down to 20 so as to maintain social distancing.

Other services range from gardeners who stop by for a chat once or twice, all the way to nail trimming services.

While such things might seem trivial for younger people, older people who are unable to bend over benefit massively from the service and the company, according to the charity.

Mrs Kenyon added: "The general research shows that being lonely isn't good for your health, mentally or physically.

"The problem is that we don't know someone is out there unless they contact us. So if a neighbour recommends Age UK to their older neighbour then that's great and we're able to help them find that connection.

"We've found there's a lot of support for us coming out of lockdowns where lots of people have volunteered. I am very optimistic for the future and what we can do for older people going into the future."

Anyone who is interested can call 01604 611200 or visit the Age UK Northamptonshire website.