Age UK is calling on the UK to help raise £10million for its coronavirus emergency appeal.
The national charity appealed for donations to fund vital services to support older people during this unprecedented health emergency.
This comes as the government advised the UK’s 8.8 million people over the age of 70, as well as those with underlying health conditions, to stay at home in isolation and avoid contact with family and friends.
Age UK fundraising director Laurie Boult said: “As a country we are all facing a terrible, invisible threat and it is older people who are at the greatest risk.
“We understand and support the need for our older population to stay safe by remaining at home – but this has huge implications for everyone, especially those who are already struggling to cope and who are very much on their own.
“The reality is that in the weeks and months ahead older people are going to need Age UK in huge numbers, and to an extent we have never seen before.”
Ms Boult said Age UK was determined to rise to the challenge but could only do this with additional funds.
“My message to everyone is please help us to help our older people through donating to this appeal – together we can make a big difference and help them pull through,” she added.
Evidence shows that older people, especially those over 70, are most likely to become seriously ill and even die if they contract coronavirus, meaning the isolation measures could be in place for many months.
“It’s important to remember that significant numbers of elderly people are already dealing with multiple difficulties, such as unmet care needs, chronic ill health, disability and loneliness,” Ms Boult said.
“There is a very real risk that this health emergency makes these challenges intolerably worse.”
Age UK also urged people to provide practical help, including keeping in touch with older relatives by phone, donating food parcels, and offering to collect groceries.
“Telephone and community support will be utterly crucial for them in the deeply challenging months to come – it may literally be all that they will have to rely on,” she said.
Age UK advises precautions over deliveries to vulnerable individuals. People delivering shopping should knock on the door, step two metres back and leave any bags on the doorstep, before waiting to ensure they are received safely.
Age UK Advice: 0800 169 65 65
The Silver Line, a 24-hour support service: 0800 470 80 90
- £10 – Age UK food parcel delivery services to an isolated person.
- £15 – answers three calls from vulnerable older people.
- £20 – provides two weekly befriending calls.
Feature image from De Visu on shutterstock.