Stronger action to support those in their 50s and 60s will be ‘crucial’ to building the UK’s resilience after the coronavirus pandemic, charity says.
A new report from the Centre for Ageing Better found that one in five people in their 50s and 60s had seen their health decline during the lockdown, and over half had had a medical or dental appointment cancelled.
Another recent report from the charity also warned of the risk of a surge in long-term unemployment among the over-50s, with the number of older workers on unemployment benefits doubling as a result of the pandemic.
The Centre for Ageing Better argues that supporting over-50s back to work, building health resilience in the population, investing in community infrastructure and tackling poor housing will help building the UK’s resilience post-pandemic.
‘The response to the coronavirus crisis from our communities has been incredible, and the government has taken some strong steps to support people and the economy. But in the months and years ahead, much more needs to be done to build resilience and protect against future shocks,’ said Anna Dixon, chief executive at the Centre for Ageing Better.
‘In particular, we need to see action to support those in their 50s and 60s, who we know have been hit hard by the pandemic. Many have seen their physical and mental health suffer, and there are real risks to people’s financial security.
‘We need to quickly build on the work that has started in a number of areas. That means targeted support to help over-50s back to work, a much stronger focus on improving people’s health, investment in the community infrastructure that has been so vital in this crisis, and action to tackle the poor quality of too many homes in this country.’