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According To A Study Older Adults In Low Income Neighborhoods Are Twice As Likely To Feel Lonely During Lockdown

According to a new study, elderly adults in poorer areas were twice as likely to feel lonely during the first lockdown as their wealthier neighbors.
During the initial wave of coronavirus last year, researchers from University College London (UCL) and the University of Manchester discovered that a third of older individuals in England’s poorest 20% reported feeling alone.
Only 16% of the elderly in the richest quintile stated they had become lonely, which was more than double the number in the poorest quintile.
The research looked at data from 4,709 men and women over the age of 50 who were enrolled in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing before the pandemic and during the first two lockdowns in 2020.
It looked at more objective indicators of loneliness, such as actual amounts of contact with friends and family, as well as self-reported degrees of social isolation.
About a fifth (19%) of individuals reported high levels of social isolation before the pandemic began.
Over the last year, this number has risen significantly during both the first and second lockdowns.
When it comes to objective social isolation, which is determined by how often a person sees their friends and relatives, 9% of the individuals were classified as severely isolated.
However, the number of people who were truly cut off from their social circle also reduced throughout the epidemic, albeit being fewer than half of those who felt lonely.
During the epidemic, women and those in poor health were more likely to feel lonely and alone, according to the study.
The expansion of video calling and other remote encounters, according to the researchers, did not completely alleviate these feelings of isolation.
“All age groups had more subjective social isolation during 2020 compared to previous years,” said lead scientist Dr Georgia Chatzi of the University of Manchester. “However, individuals aged 50-59 were the most affected.”
“Adults older than 70 had greater increases in objective social isolation in the second half of 2020, and those aged 50-59 and older than 80 felt the most lonely throughout the pandemic,” said Professor Andrew Steptoe of UCL’s Department of Behavioural Science and Health.
“Yet, because of lesser access to and usage of digital technology, as well as the greater possibility of wanting to socially isolate in addition to social distancing, older persons may have found it particularly difficult to maintain social relationships.”

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