Thursday, May 14, 2020

Elderly going hungry

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of older people malnourished or at risk of malnutrition since the coronavirus crisis began, according to Age UK and the Malnutrition Task Force.

Age UK has reported a rise in numbers without food or the support to plan, to cook and eat by themselves.

Dianne Jeffrey, the chair of the Malnutrition Task Force, said: “We are extremely worried that the number of those suffering malnutrition is rising. Many of these people will eventually be admitted to hospital.”

“We know there are older people living on their own in the community who are running out of food and struggling to replenish their supplies because they are too frightened to go out, confused by the guidance or because their usual support networks have collapsed as a result of a pandemic,” said Caroline Abrahams, the charity director of Age UK. “These people are not on anyone’s list,” she added. “Typically they are not online. However, the pandemic has pulled the rug out from under them, so that their usual strategies for getting by are no longer working.”
Abrahams said she had a conversation recently with an elderly man called Nigel. “He has no food in his house but he is scared to leave it because of coronavirus,” she said. “Nigel isn’t online. He was recently discharged from hospital but no longer gets any support at home. Nigel was told that food parcels would be delivered but has only received one some time ago. He is now out of food and has no family or friends who can help him.”

79-year-old Betty, relies on her friend to top up her gas meter. “She doesn’t have funds to do it herself and is unable to go out. She has emphysema but is just using a blanket to keep warm,” said Abrahams. “She hasn’t got any food, only some bread and bacon that a neighbour gave her. She is worried and lonely, with no support. She is unable to contact her GP because she does not have much phone credit or enough money to top it up,” she said.

No comments: