Over-60s cope best with life in lockdown-with COVID-19 stress highest amongst adults aged 30 to 59 

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Over-60s are coping best with life in lockdown, with stress relating to catching COVID-19 currently highest amongst adults aged 30 to 59, a study has suggested


Over-60s are coping best with life in lockdown — with stress relating to catching coronavirus currently highest amongst adults aged 30 to 59, a study has suggested.

Exploring adults’ wellbeing and mental health during the coronavirus crisis, the research from University College London was launched three weeks ago.

To date, around 60,000 participants have shared their feelings about the lockdown, UK Government advice, loneliness, wellbeing and mental health. 

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Over-60s are coping best with life in lockdown, with stress relating to catching COVID-19 currently highest amongst adults aged 30 to 59, a study has suggested

Exploring adults’ wellbeing and mental health during the coronavirus crisis, the research from University College London was launched three weeks ago

Exploring adults’ wellbeing and mental health during the coronavirus crisis, the research from University College London was launched three weeks ago

‘Since the lockdown measures were brought in two weeks ago, we have seen a change in what most people are worrying about,’ said lead researcher and epidemiologist Daisy Fancourt of the University College London.

‘Encouragingly, stressors relating to finance and food have decreased over the past fortnight, but the current highest stress factor appears to be worries about either catching COVID-19 or becoming seriously ill from it.’

‘We also see there has been a slight increase in depression over the past two weeks, but fortunately a slight decrease in anxiety levels amongst the general public.’

The researchers found that the UK public was the most concerned about catching the coronavirus before the lockdown was implemented, but such fears have decreased since social distancing and social isolation practices began.

Despite this improvement, however — which suggests that the lockdown is helping people to feel more safe from the virus — worries about catching COVID-19 remain higher than those relating to finance, getting food or unemployment. 

People aged over 60 have been reported the highest levels of life satisfaction in the last three weeks — ranging between 6 and 6.5, in comparison to the 4–4.5 levels reported by those aged between 16 and 24.

For reference, a comparable Office for National Statistics survey undertaken in the March of 2019 reported an average satisfaction level  of 7.5 for the UK population.

'Since the lockdown measures were brought in two weeks ago, we have seen a change in what most people are worrying about,' said lead researcher and epidemiologist Daisy Fancourt of the University College London. 'Encouragingly, stressors relating to finance and food have decreased over the past fortnight, but the current highest stress factor appears to be worries about either catching COVID-19 or becoming seriously ill from it'

‘Since the lockdown measures were brought in two weeks ago, we have seen a change in what most people are worrying about,’ said lead researcher and epidemiologist Daisy Fancourt of the University College London. ‘Encouragingly, stressors relating to finance and food have decreased over the past fortnight, but the current highest stress factor appears to be worries about either catching COVID-19 or becoming seriously ill from it’

‘My hypothesis is that people who are retired may be experiencing fewer day-to-day stressors from this situation,’ Dr Fancourt told the MailOnline.

For example, she explained, older generations may have ‘limited worries about work or income if they are living on pensions, and fewer worries about issues such as home-schooling of children or trying to balance having children at home with working.’

‘Their lives may also be less affected by the lockdown e.g. if they are used to having more time at home or more time for hobbies, or if they are more likely to be settled in long-term accommodation and less likely to be living in over-crowded spaces.

‘But at the moment we haven’t delved too much into this so we can’t say for sure.’

The team have also found that loneliness levels are higher among younger adults, those living along, people with lower income levels and individuals diagnosed with a mental health condition — with levels remaining constant across the lockdown.

People aged over 60 have been reported the highest levels of life satisfaction in the last three weeks — ranging between 6 and 6.5, in comparison to the 4–4.5 levels reported by those aged between 16 and 24. For reference, a comparable Office for National Statistics survey undertaken in the March of 2019 reported an average satisfaction level of 7.5 for the UK

People aged over 60 have been reported the highest levels of life satisfaction in the last three weeks — ranging between 6 and 6.5, in comparison to the 4–4.5 levels reported by those aged between 16 and 24. For reference, a comparable Office for National Statistics survey undertaken in the March of 2019 reported an average satisfaction level of 7.5 for the UK

‘Although this study is not representative of the population, we are pleased that such a large number people are participating in the study and have sent us data,’ said psychologist and epidemiologist Andrew Steptoe of University College London.

‘This gives us a snapshot of how people are feeling and coping during the lockdown and allows us to track changes over time as the situation evolves.’

The researchers are still recruiting for their study. Participants may sign up anonymously at the COVID-19 Social Study website

CDC: WHAT IS SOCIAL DISTANCING?

Also called ‘physical distancing,’ according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) it means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home.

It’s recommended as COVID-19 cases can spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs.

To practice social or physical distancing, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Avoid large and small gatherings in private places and public spaces 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others 
  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people even when you wear a face covering
  • Avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis 
  • Use mail-order for medications
  • Use grocery delivery service 
  • Work from home
  • Use digital/distance learning  

 



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