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The impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures on older residents' social connections and everyday wellbeing within housing schemes that provide care and support in England and Wales

Vickery, A; Willis, P; Powell, J; Beach, B; Cameron, A; Johnson, E; Smith, R; (2023) The impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures on older residents' social connections and everyday wellbeing within housing schemes that provide care and support in England and Wales. Journal of Aging Studies , 65 , Article 101126. 10.1016/j.jaging.2023.101126. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures imposed as a result affected the lives of people in all parts of society across the world. In 2020, during the first UK national lockdown, older adults (aged 70 years and over) were told to ‘shield’ within their homes, as they were regarded as being at higher risk of serious COVID-19 infection compared to other age groups. This paper explores older adults' experiences of COVID-19 lockdown measures whilst living in housing with care schemes for older people. The purpose is to examine the impact of the lockdown measures on scheme life including social connections amongst residents and their general everyday wellbeing during this time. We present qualitative findings based on interviews with 72 residents who took part in longitudinal and cross-sectional interviews across 26 housing with care schemes. Data were analysed using a thematic framework approach to examine specifically their experiences of living in housing with care schemes during the 2020 UK lockdown. The paper highlights that COVID-19 restrictions had a detrimental impact on the social connections and interactions of older residents living in housing with care schemes, as well as on their feelings of autonomy and independence. Despite this, residents adapted and coped with self-isolation restrictions and sought out positive ways to maintain social contact with others inside and outside to the scheme. We further highlight the tensions that providers of housing for older adults faced in promoting residents' autonomy and connectedness whilst also trying to provide a safe living environment and protect residents from risk of COVID-19 infection. Our findings apply not only to a pandemic situation but to the broader understanding of how housing with care for older adults must navigate between autonomy and support.

Type: Article
Title: The impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures on older residents' social connections and everyday wellbeing within housing schemes that provide care and support in England and Wales
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaging.2023.101126
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2023.101126
Language: English
Additional information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10167342
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