Older and 'staying at home' during lockdown: informal care receipt during the COVID-19 pandemic amongst people aged 70 and over in the UK
On 23 March 2020 the UK went into lockdown in an unprecedented step to attempt to limitthe spread of coronavirus. Government advice at that time was that all older people aged 70and over should stay at home and avoid any contact with non-household members. This studyuses new data from the Understanding Society COVID 19 survey collected in April 2020,linked to Understanding Society Wave 9 data collected in 2018/19, in order to examine theextent of support received by individuals aged 70 and over
... in the first four weeks oflockdown from family, neighbours or friends not living in the same household, and how thatsupport had changed prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The researchdistinguishes between different types of households as, given with guidance not to leavehome and not to let others into the household, those older people living alone or living onlywith a partner also aged 70 and above are more likely to be particularly vulnerable. Theresults highlight both positive news alongside causes for concern. The receipt of assistancewith Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), especially shopping, has increasedparticularly among those living alone or with an older partner, reflecting the rise ofvolunteering and community action during this period. However, not all older people reporteda rise, and the majority reported 'no change', in the support received. Moreover, amongstthose older people reporting that they required support with at least one Activity of DailyLiving (ADL) task prior to the pandemic, around one-quarter reported receiving no care fromoutside the household and one-in-ten of those with two or more ADL care needs reportedreceiving less help than previously. Although formal home care visits have continued duringthe pandemic to those who have been assessed by the local government to be in need, it isimportant to acknowledge that some older people risk not having the support they need.