COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about major changes to the lives of people in the United Kingdom (UK). In March 2020, the UK government enforced a nationwide lockdown and introduced social distancing measures to prevent the spread of the virus. People aged over 70 years were classed as Clinically Vulnerable and considered at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. They were directed to take particular care to minimise contact with others and remain at home whenever possible.These measures were imposed to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. However, there may be unintended consequences for people who are vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation and who may have challenges accessing health services and essential provisions.

A short telephone survey (lasting approximately 20 minutes) was designed to investigate the impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures on the lives of older people to gain a ‘snapshot’ of how this population were managing.

People (≥ 75 years) living in Bradford who were participants, or former participants, in the Community Ageing 75+ Research (CARE75+) Study were invited to take part between the 14th May to 1st June, 2020.

Survey topics were agreed by the Bradford Institute for Health Research COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Group (C-SAG) and following consultation with a bespoke patient and public group, the Frailty Oversight Group (FOG). Topics concerned matters expected to be impacted by the lockdown and included the following:

• Self-isolation/social distancing
• Health anxiety
• General health
• Physical activity
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Loneliness
• Access to health, pharmacy, social/council and voluntary services
• Food shopping
• Challenges, concerns and positive aspects to life during the pandemic.
Full list of questions (survey)

One hundred and eight four people were eligible for the survey and 142 participants agreed and completed the survey. We are currently writing up the results from the survey.

For further information please contact Dr Lesley Brown Project Manager, CARE75+ study.