A British Red Cross report shows the need for renewed government action to tackle loneliness during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week was loneliness awareness week. It came at a time when conversations around loneliness have been happening worldwide, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
We know from listening to our community over the past 3 months, that some people with Parkinson’s have found the lockdown tough. Many have also felt isolated, which is why we are supporting the calls from the report.
The British Red Cross report, released last week, 'Life after lockdown: Tackling loneliness among those left behind' highlights that although social distancing and lockdown measures will continue to be eased, loneliness will remain. And for many, it may continue to grow.
The report calls on the UK government to take action to address the loneliness crisis by:
- Prioritising support to those most in need.
- Providing ongoing funding to local authorities, NHS bodies and organisations to make sure they’re equipped to tackle loneliness.
- Continue to roll out social prescribing, so link workers can check on those most in need and help them to establish connections to combat their loneliness.
- Work collaboratively across government, health and the charity sector to share what works, develop solutions and tackle the causes of loneliness.
New ground-breaking research from the University of Sheffield found that there has been limited work to understand how loneliness impacts migrant and ethnic minority groups. Their study showed these populations could face increased risks from loneliness.
Some people with Parkinson’s and their families have shared how they’ve been coping over the last few months:
“My mood is very low. My wife works so I spend a lot of time on my own. We live in a small 1 bedroom flat. Time outdoors is limited. I do not have family so my wife is my only contact with the outside world.” Person with Parkinson’s
“I have found it very difficult in lockdown, but not getting out I have been feeling very isolated it’s very hard when my family were not allowed to visit me and no hugs from my grandson I know it’s all been for the good of all but It’s been hard I can’t wait to get back to normal.” Person with Parkinson’s
Laura Cockram, Head of Policy and Campaigns said:
“The last few months have been challenging for everyone. As the virus continues to hang around and our lives return to some form of normality it’s so important we check-in on the people around us. Anyone can feel lonely, but we can all take action to tackle loneliness by reaching out to someone.”
During the pandemic we have been supporting our community by:
- providing information and guidance on coronavirus and Parkinson’s
- reaching out to thousands of people most in need by phone to check-in with them
- producing content on exercise and staying active
- sharing tips on how to manage your mental health
- developing an online tool people can use to get support
- starting a Parkinson's UK Facebook community group
Or you could even share your experience of the pandemic by emailing [email protected].
Share how coronavirus has affected you
It’s important that we hear how this coronavirus pandemic is affecting you. The more voices we hear from, the more clearly we can make your case to governments and decision-makers across the UK.