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20 May 2020, 17:24

Saga poll shows mental health of over 70s faring best in lockdown

A national poll commissioned by Saga has found that the mental health of the over 70’s has been the least impacted by lockdown measures when directly compared to other age groups.

The findings, published to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, might surprise many people who have expressed concern over how the over 70s are faring in the COVID-19 pandemic. While there have been marked increases in anxiety, depression and loneliness among the over 70s, the increases are significantly below those of younger age groups. Of those surveyed:

  • 12% of over 70s have felt lonelier during in lockdown, compared to: 52% of 18-24 year olds; 32% of 25-34 year olds; 28% of 35-44 year olds; 21% of 45-54 year olds
  • 19% of over 70s have felt more anxious during lockdown, compared to: 47% of 18-24 year olds; 39% of 25-34 year olds; 41% of 35-44 year olds; 33% of 45-54 year olds
  • 17% of over 70s have experienced lower mood or felt depressed, compared to: 44% of 18-24 year olds; 39% of 25-34 year olds; 36% of 35-44 year olds; 34% of 45-54 year olds

The over 70’s are challenging the age-old stereotype that older generations are the loneliest age group by demonstrating their resilience to the lockdown measures. The survey indicates that many have taken the need to spend more time at home in their stride and adapted better than other age groups to the new limitations on their movement.

To help keep up spirits during lockdown, Saga launched the #NotGoingOutClub, creating engaging content for Saga members and customers. This included joining forces with a number of celebrities to create podcasts; guests to date have included Joanna Lumley, Alan Titchmarsh, Roger Daltry and John Sergeant.

Nick Stace, Chief Strategy Officer at Saga, said:

“The resilience and stoicism of people over 70 shines through this survey. We at Saga know that those in this age group are fiercely independent and determined to live life to the fullest – and now we can see that they have adapted better to lock down than other age groups.

“Even so, the limitations on social interaction have had a knock-on effect on mental health across all ages, perhaps unsurprisingly given the fact that COVID-19 is undoubtedly the most significant peacetime challenge we have collectively faced in our lifetime.

“Despite being the least affected age group, the fact that one in five people over 70 have experienced increased low mood, loneliness and anxiety as a result of lockdown is clearly concerning. As we enter this important next phase, we will be doing all we can at Saga to make sure we can support our members and wider community to limit the knock-on effect of lockdown on mental health.”

Saga recently launched the #NotGoingOutClub with the aim of keeping over 50’s across the UK entertained and active while social distancing - you can find all the details on our Facebook page. 

If you yourself are struggling in these uncertain times, Silverline - a free confidential telephone helpline offering information, friendship and advice to older people - is available to offer a helping hand. 

ENDS

 

 

Contact information

Oliver Simmonds
osimmonds@headlandconsultancy.com

Notes to editors

Editors notes:

PRESS OFFICE CONTACTS

Headland Consultancy

Danny Wilding, Sophie O’Donoghue

sagapressoffice@headlandconsultancy.com

Populus conducted an online sample of 2,271 UK adults (18+) between 7th and 10th May. Data is weighted to be representative of the population of the United Kingdom. Populus is a founder and member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For further information, see www.britishpollingcouncil.org

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