Age UK has warned that millions of older people are facing a potential public health emergency as they struggle alone, physically and mentally deteriorate and cannot properly grieve during the pandemic. Apparently, Covid-19 has hit the fast-forward button on ageing with a substantial group of people left frightened, depressed and very much alone. As cases rise the charity said it hopes that the Government will resist “ageist siren calls” to shut older people away.
Such information is quite shocking but is what the members of Together Clubs run by the Wainman Trust have been experiencing. Many have lost confidence and worry about going out or using public transport. The mental health of many has suffered and those with dementia have deteriorated much faster than would otherwise be expected. Mobility and balance have also deteriorated with the enforced isolation and lack of exercise.
Staff and volunteers of the Trust have been very busy over the last 8 months supporting our members and some of their neighbours, as best they can, by shopping, delivering treats, telephoning regularly, sending a fortnightly newsletter, doing garden visits and engaging local school children and adults in a letter-writing scheme. All have been very well received by club members and some have called it a lifeline. As winter approaches with dark mornings and even darker nights already upon us the situation is already very serious.
Since August, Government guidelines have allowed clubs like ours to open because we meet regularly to support vulnerable people. There are strict safety procedures in place but our members would rather meet with those restrictions than not meet at all.
It is my fervent hope that should Nottingham’s status move to ‘Very High’ we will still be able to operate and provide comfort and support over the winter months.
If you or anyone you know, aged over 60, and living in the Arnold or Clifton areas of the City is struggling and would like support, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our very best to help.
Article Written by – Olwen Davis