One third of older people did not leave home during the pandemic, new research finds

One Third Of Older People Did Not Leave Home During The Pandemic, New Research Finds
During the pandemic, those aged over 65 accounted for 77 per cent of Covid-19 deaths across Europe by November 2021, with others experiencing severe illness and hospitalisation. Photo: PA Images
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One third of people aged over 80 did not leave their home during the Covid-19 outbreak, according to research by Eurofound.

A new report released by Eurofound, called 'Covid-19 and older people: Impact on their lives, support and care', details how, in summer 2020, 34 per cent of people in the EU aged 80 and over had not left home since the beginning of the pandemic.


The report details the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the quality of life of older citizens, including the impact on their well-being, finances, employment and social inclusion.

During the pandemic, those aged over 65 accounted for 77 per cent of Covid-19 deaths across Europe, with others experiencing severe illness and hospitalisation.

According to the new research, 88 per cent of people aged 80 and over reported visiting family members less often.

Meanwhile, 23 per cent of people in the same age group said they felt sad and depressed more often in summer 2020 than before the pandemic.


Although the lack of social interaction among older people was felt widely, it varied across European states.

In summer 2020, 44 per cent of people aged 50 and over in Malta, and 34 per cent in Croatia in Cyprus reported having not left home since the pandemic started, whereas this was just 2 per cent in Denmark and 3 per cent in Sweden.


The report also found that older people spent more money on private transport and care needs during the pandemic, which caused problems for low-income groups.

With older people isolating, many had to access e-healthcare, however, half of those who did having reported that it did not fully meet their needs.


The report details how older people continued a strong preference for face-to-face consultation, as many faced barriers in using the technologies needed for online healthcare.

Speaking about the report, Eurofound executive director Ivailo Kalfin said it is vital for shaping policy going forward.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the lives of many older people across Europe, including contributing to loneliness, social isolation, physical inactivity and declining mental well-being," Mr Kalfin said.

"Unfortunately, the very oldest age groups are often under-represented in surveys and source data, this is particularly the case for those in care settings.

"This report is a vital contribution to the body of research on the impacts of Covid-19 and an important resource for policymakers in furthering recovery measures important for older citizens."

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