More than half of people fear they won’t be able to see family and friends during the holiday season – and a quarter fear they will spend it on their own, according to research.
About 59% of adults fear that they will not be able to see family and friends at Christmas or other religious festivals. This is evident from research conducted by the Campaign to End Loneliness.
And 54% fear they will not be able to see older relatives because they fear putting them in danger, which increases their risk of loneliness.
More than a quarter (27%) of respondents are concerned about partying alone. This is what the Survation poll of 2,017 adults in the UK found between October 2nd and 7th.
At least 80% of respondents said they were concerned about loneliness in older people who have long-term health, are survivors, or live in nursing homes.
The actions that people felt most urgently needed to combat loneliness in their areas are the introduction of free broadband and improving access to communities for the elderly and disabled.
The charity’s report, Promising Approaches Revisited, calls for an increase in government funding for loneliness and isolation services and bereavement support services.
And she wants UK governments to make sure national strategies are “lonely,” including coronavirus recovery plans.
Executive Director Kate Shurety said: “If the problem is not adequately addressed in every UK community, we fear that a time bomb will be set that will have wider implications for the mental and physical health services.”
She continued, “We are particularly concerned about the impact Covid-19 is having on the extreme sense of isolation felt by many groups, including people in the shielding category, people who feel vulnerable, people who are alone without social Connections are alive, residents of nursing homes or caregivers struggling with minimal support or rest.
“We would ask governments to give due consideration to future Covid-19 restrictions where possible so that people can form a safe expanded household when they are living alone or are carers and have safe personal visits to nursing homes. ”
Previous research has linked loneliness to an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease and stroke, high blood pressure, depression, and poor cognitive function in older adults.
Jeremy Bacon, director of the British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy (BACP) for the elderly, said: “Counselors and psychotherapists working with elderly clients report that the narrative of the pandemic places older people in a homogeneous risk group, screening and Risk status leads to isolation being equated with security and well-being.
“Our understanding of loneliness and how we approach it must take into account the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in the four nations and in each community.
“Limitations on physical contact, the closure of facilities and services in the community that provide support and camaraderie, and the fears of those most vulnerable to the virus inevitably increase the risk of social, emotional, and existential loneliness.”