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How has coronavirus impacted those in later life?

How has coronavirus impacted those in later life?

COVID-19 has affected every aspect of everyone’s lives and it is important for Later Life Ambitions (LLA) to understand the specific implications for older people. We regularly survey those in later life through our three partner organisations and in April we asked for feedback on how coronavirus has affected your life. Thank you to all who took the time to respond. We are pleased to share the results of this survey with you here.

General

  • We had 3171 responses in total, 30.5% of those who answered were aged 71-80 and nearly 82% were male;
  • A majority of respondents felt either affected (43 %) or severely affected (18.86%) by coronavirus;
  • Nearly 90% of respondents highlighted an inability to see friends and family as the biggest challenge that they’re facing, the second largest challenge was increased difficulty with completing daily tasks such as shopping and the third largest was boredom;

Mental Health

  • Nearly 80% of respondents have used DIY/gardening to fill their time;
  • The internet was the most used resource during lockdown, with 93.5% of respondents using it. TV was the second most used resource, with 89.5% of respondents using it;
  • 69.9% of respondents have been using video calling platforms throughout lockdown;
  • 32% of respondents said that in general they have felt anxious or concerned.

Finances

  • Thankfully, 74.8% of respondents have not suffered with reduced income or increased costs as a result of coronavirus;
  • Of those who have been affected economically, it was often due to higher prices as a result of shopping online or shopping more frequently. Others citied their income being reduced as a result of being self-employed;
  • One respondent said their income from self-employment had “reduced considerably.” Another said “matters are made worse due to my not being eligible for Government assistance.”
  • 32.7% of respondents said they had lost savings and investments, such as a private pension, due to the outbreak.

Social Care

  • More than 40% of respondents rely on friends/family to provide their social care.

Looking ahead

  • TV is the medium most relied on to receive information on the coronavirus crisis – with more than half of respondents (53%) saying it is the medium they use most;
  • Respondents prioritised economic stability (48.5%) as the most important things for the government to focus on, over other issues such as public health (40%) and social care (5%);
  • 42% of respondents found LLA or their associations’ email updates the most useful. There were also positive responses for website updates and social media.

Surveys such as these provide an invaluable source of data for LLA to use in our representations to politicians and have helped shape our discussions on the impact of Covid-19 on older persons. We will continue to survey members on topics of importance to them, you can stay informed by regularly reviewing our website and twitter account.

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