AS VACCINATIONS roll out across Wales, Age Cymru wants to hear older people’s views of the pandemic
Have views changed regarding what older people want and need to re-engage with their communities post lockdown?
As vaccinations roll out across Wales, Age Cymru and its partner organisations want to hear about the over 50s experiences of the pandemic in Wales.
In August 2020, 1100 people responded to our initial survey and we were able to share the information we gathered with Welsh Government and key influencers to ensure the views and perspectives of older people were being heard.
Now, having experienced another significant period of lockdown and with vaccines being rolled out at pace, we are keen to hear again the experiences of older people and their thoughts on recovery.
The charity wants to hear whether older people were able to access health and social care during the period and, if not, how did that affect their physical and mental well-being?
Crucially, Age Cymru and its partners want to hear what people need in terms of support and information to re-engage with their communities as restrictions start to lift in the coming months. Are people confident enough to go shopping again, use public transport or visit the dentist and if they don’t, what would help?
Age Cymru’s chief executve Victoria Lloyd says: “When we first undertook this survey in the summer of 2020 we learned that the pandemic had compounded the problem of loneliness and isolation amongst older people as many sources of companionship such as lunch clubs, day centres, and places of worship were closed.
“We heard that two thirds of older people said they had difficulty in accessing hospital, GP, dental, and chiropody appointments during the first lock-down.
“We also learned that the pandemic increased pressures on older carers, many of whom were already exhausted but who now had to take on extra responsibilities as support services were withdrawn in many cases.
“We would hope that many of these issues would have improved as services and support has adapted. But if there are still problem areas and gaps in services we need to hear about them. We also need to understand what support people will need to re-engage with their community.
“ I would urge as many older people as possible to get in touch with us with your views so we can work with the Welsh Government and other stakeholders to make sure that older people and their needs, fears and aspirations are included in any recovery plans.”