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Age Ageing ; 50(2): 341-346, 2021 02 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-919303


BACKGROUND: In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the UK government introduced social distancing measures and identified specific populations at high risk from the virus. People ≥70 were deemed 'Clinically Vulnerable'. Distancing measures were introduced to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. However, these may have a negative impact on older people who are vulnerable to social isolation and may have challenges accessing services and provisions. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures on the lives of older people. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional telephone survey. PARTICIPANTS: Community-dwelling older people, 76-97 years. OUTCOMES: Health anxiety; General health (RAND Short-form 36 Survey); Physical activity; Depression (PHQ-8); Anxiety (GAD-2); Loneliness; Access to services; Challenges, concerns and positive experiences. DATA ANALYSIS: Counts (%), means (SDs). Thematic analysis was used to identify themes from open questions. RESULTS: n = 142. 52% did not worry about their health; 76% rated their health as 'good', 'very good' or 'excellent'; <10% met the criteria indicative of depression (PHQ-8), or anxiety (GAD-2); 42% were less active than before lockdown; and 27% were lonely at least some of the time. Over half of participants identified positive aspects. CONCLUSIONS: Most participants reported good health with low levels of health anxiety, anxiety and depression. Many were able to identify positive aspects to lockdown and may be better equipped to deal with lockdown than anticipated. Strategies may be required to ameliorate the negative impact of loneliness for a minority of older people, and help some resume previous activity levels and pursuits.

Adaptation, Psychological , Aging , COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Quarantine , Aged , Aging/physiology , Aging/psychology , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/etiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/etiology , Female , Humans , Loneliness/psychology , Male , Quarantine/methods , Quarantine/psychology , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Sedentary Behavior , Social Isolation/psychology , United Kingdom/epidemiology