COVID-19 has impacted the world let alone the areas where we live in.
Along with businesses being affected and children removed from schools, the people that are feeling the pressure of being alone and isolated the most are ‘senior citizens’ across Teesside.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, stipulated that visiting those who were in the risk bracket of over 65’s and those who were vulnerable due to ill health was not to be permitted.
But what these rules failed to recognise was how being lonely and secluded was an issue the could impact on someone’s health just as much as catching Covid itself.
Vincent Corcoram, a proud Welshman who now lives in Billingham, has been living on his own after losing his wife 11 years ago.
Th e88 -year-old has always coped with the solitude of his own company, passing time being an avid gardener, his love of music and his loyalty to the church always kept him busy.
But dealing with the isolation caused by the pandemic lockdown was different.
Vincent said: “If I could change one thing about my life at the minute, it would be to see the back of this horrible virus.”
“When the news told us about the risks of COVID-19, I was worried, because you just don’t know, I just have to be cautious.”
Looking out of the window during lockdown, day in and day out, the days seemed to pass and become monotonous, every day rolling into one, this started having an affect on Vincent’s mental state.
Vincent said: “The days just started to roll into one, but if you allow it, depression starts to take over. I knew I had to do something to try and snap out of it.”
Luckily Vincent is very self sufficient, being able to do all his own errands and was very capable of tending to his own needs.
Vincent also had a nearby family he could call on for help.
But other members of the older generation on Teesside have not had that support.
Feeling the most strain during COVID have been the elderly living in residential and nursing homes across Teesside .
The residents are finding it difficult to comprehend the lack of communication and connection without their loved ones due to the pandemic lockdown rules.
Martin Chambers, a carer in a local Stockton residential home, said the mood of many residents had declined over the course of the pandemic, even resulting in fading health.
He said no matter what is done to comfort the residents it seems the lack of contact with the outside world, including their relations, is just too much to bear.
Martin said: “We try and keep the residents entertained as much as possible and tend to every possible need, but they just seem to need the comfort of their loved ones and, for those that can, be able to pop out to the shop or even have a little walk in the gardens.”
Age Uk, is a charitable organisation, that funds the needs of the elderly regarding all of their needs.
Tina O’Rourke, Assistant Manager at an Age Uk store on Teesside, said the use of the Charity’s telephone hotline had increased during the pandemic as people ask for help and advice.
She said: “Loneliness within the elderly is clearly evident and it needs to be a priority to the government.”
“These vulnerable people need the necessity of their family and friends.
“We know there are risks but these risks can be monitored and the elderly will still be able to live a good quality of life, for their own well-being.”
If you or a loved one is suffering during the pandemic then contact Age Uk for help.
Age UK Advice Line: 0800 678 1602
Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year.