Now Reading
‘Elderly prefer death to spending Christmas without family’ ageing expert warns

‘Elderly prefer death to spending Christmas without family’ ageing expert warns

Pratibha walia
‘Elderly prefer death to spending Christmas without family’ ageing expert warns

‘Elderly prefer death to spending Christmas without family’: Ageing expert warns Government must loosen Covid restrictions to spare pensioners unbearable loneliness

  •  Baroness Greengross warned that loneliness will otherwise cripple the elderly
  • The 85-year-old is the former director-general of the charity Age Concern
  • She urged government ministers to soften restrictions during the festive season 

Elderly people would sacrifice their safety to spend Christmas with their families as it is more important to many than staying alive, an expert has claimed. 

If coronavirus restrictions mean they are unable to do so, many elderly people will be crippled by loneliness.    

The stark warning comes from 85-year-old Baroness Greengross, who is one of the UK’s top experts on ageing. 

The former director-general of the charity Age Concern urged ministers to soften restrictions in the run up to the festive season.  

Baroness Greengross is one of the UK’s top experts on ageing

‘What do we do about elderly people who long to see their family at Christmas and it looks as if they’ll not be able to? That’s absolutely awful,’ she told The Times.

‘I think I would make an announcement just before Christmas that relaxed some of the rules, because most older people with families would prioritise seeing them, I think, over staying alive.’

Ms Greengross said that she fears restrictions to stem the spread of the coronavirus have come at the cost ofmany people’s quality of life. 

Everyone considered vulnerable to coronavirus symptoms was encouraged to ‘shield’ themselves earlier this year when the virus took hold of the nation. 

This included anyone aged over 70, who were vulnerable to the disease because of their advanced age. 

Elderly people would rather die than not spend Christmas with their families, Baroness Greengross warned

Elderly people would rather die than not spend Christmas with their families, Baroness Greengross warned

The 85-year-old warned that families should spend Christmas together (stock image) to prevent pensioners falling prey to crippling loneliness

 The 85-year-old warned that families should spend Christmas together (stock image) to prevent pensioners falling prey to crippling loneliness

Who is ‘vulnerable’ and who should have been ‘shielding’? 

Britain was told to follow social distancing guidelines as the country entered lockdown months ago. 

But those at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from coronavirus were instructed to ‘shield’, minimising contact with others as much as possible.  

Those who are ‘clinically vulnerable’ includes everyone over 70. This group was not told to ‘shield’ but was still advised to take precautions. 

But the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’, including those with severe health conditions, were contacted by the NHS and advised to ‘shield’.   

For the past six months many have been cut off from their familes and unable to see their loved ones as much as they would have liked. 

To not see them for Christmas will be an additional blow, Ms Greengross said. 

See Also
Hospitals are still forcing mothers to go through labour without a partner, claims MP

With tougher coronavirus restrictions being introduced as the nation grapples with a surge in cases of the virus, she hopes government ministers will recognise this while setting out their plans for December. 

Greengross has been a staunch defender of the rights of the elderly sat since joining the House of Lords cross benches in 2000.   

According to the Campaign To End Loneliness, there are nine million lonely people in the UK and four million of them are older people.

More than a million older people also say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member. 

Esther Rantzen, who founded The Silver Line, a free confidential helpline that provides the elderly with information, friendship and advice, previously said: ‘Once our elderly are self-isolating, we will need to protect them not only from the virus but from the emotional damage caused by loneliness.

‘Isolating ourselves from possible infection also means physically distancing ourselves from others. Of course, that can be painful.  

‘Loneliness can make us feel that merely prolonging life is futile, as our lives are not worth living. None of our elderly should feel that way.’


Source link

What's Your Reaction?
Excited
0
Happy
0
In Love
0
Not Sure
0
Silly
0
View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.