Top of our wish list: candles that are maybe too pretty to burn

Megan Burns

The state of the fashion trend: Do they still exist or matter?

Marie Kelly

This gorgeous redbrick home in Rathmines is on the market for €825,000

Lauren Heskin

Boudoir photoshoots: ‘I wanted to create a place for women who don’t currently love their...

Jennifer McShane

Join this virtual event, where global leaders ask ‘what’s next’ for businesses, live events and...

Shayna Sappington

Marie Kelly always hated her brows. Until she had them tattooed.

Marie Kelly

What’s on this weekend: March 5-7

Lauren Heskin

Covid life: How to parent when you have no answers for them

Amanda Cassidy

Kevin Dundon’s courgette and feta pasta salad

IMAGE

Image / Style / Beauty

Has the pandemic changed how we deal with ageing?


by Erin Lindsay
28th Sep 2020

Elderly people at tremendous risk of Covid-19-related complications and are even more isolated due to social-distancing restrictions. Has the pandemic changed how we deal with ageing forever?


Today marks the beginning of Positive Ageing Week here in Ireland. Championed by charity Age Action, the week is a chance for all of us to reflect on how elderly people have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and how we may move forward to ensure that they feel their needs are being met and their voices heard.

October 1 is the 30th global United Nations Day of the Older Person, and it is an anniversary like no other. This year’s theme is ‘Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing?’, looking closely at the unique risks and effects confronted by older people as a result of Covid-19, and whether their contributions and positions in society are being properly protected.

There is no doubt that this year’s pandemic has had a profound and long-lasting effect on our ageing population. While we are currently waiting to see how Ireland will fare with our current, so-called ‘second wave’, when we cast our minds back to spring of this year, the view is bleak. From February to May, over-65’s accounted for almost 92% of Covid-related deaths in Ireland. As of this week, the median age of those who have died due to Covid-19 is 83. Over 65’s, especially those with underlying health issues, are at a massive risk of contracting the virus, and of experiencing further complications.

The immediate, physical implications of Covid-19 are on everyone’s mind, but what can go under the radar is the effects on mental wellbeing. We’ve all talked ad nauseum about the loneliness, anxiety and general depression that many of us have experienced during lockdown, maybe for the first time – but what about an entire generation that has been dealing with these feelings for years already?

Loneliness among older people is an epidemic in itself. According to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) in 2019, more than 37% of people aged 50 and over felt lonely often or some of the time, and that this figure rose to 45% after the age of 74. Getting older comes with a myriad of challenges and obstacles to social interaction – physical disabilities or conditions, not having a daily workplace to attend and the death of spouses, friends and family members all contribute to feelings of loneliness in old age.

During the pandemic, older people have been even more restricted in these areas, unable to have visitors, or even head out for a walk or a coffee to get out of the house. As we rush to return to pubs, restaurants and holiday destinations, we run the risk of leaving older people behind – their health and wellbeing is still at risk, and we need to reflect on what parts of normal are worth rushing back to.

This week, Age Action’s Positive Ageing Week events schedule is a ray of light and a view forward into how we can ensure positive ageing as long as we’re living with Covid. Throughout the week, virtual and outdoor events, including Zoom quizzes, exercise classes and nutrition workshops, are taking place across the country, focusing on combatting loneliness and isolation.

Now more than ever, we’re waking up to what’s really important – more time with loved ones, and less in the rat race. Consider expanding this mindset to the older people in your life – in your departure from the mad rush of work-home-sleep, remember to focus some time to those who the pandemic has hit the hardest.


Read more: ‘I was completely annihilated’: The toxic truth about ‘supportive’ online mummy groups

Read more: ‘That’s a watery sun’ — and other things you’ll only understand if you were born in the country

Read more: South William Street footage sparks conversation over Covid restrictions in the city

Also Read

SHOPPING
5 divine Valentine’s Day fragrances for him and her

This Valentine’s Day, we’re embracing the hype. Think bigger than...

By IMAGE

ways to dress
FASHION
9 ways to dress cooler after Covid-19 – without spending any money

Ahh, non-loungewear clothing: remember it?  In my seemingly permanent state...

By Freya Drohan

SUSTAINABLE STYLE
Here’s our ULTIMATE guide to sustainable period products (that really work)

Once upon a time it was a choice between tampons and pads, while mooncups were for hippies. Now, there’s a smorgasbord of eco-conscious period products. But are they any good?

By Lucy White

Irish jewellery
SHOPPING
12 Irish jewellery pieces to snap up for under €100

By Victoria G. L. Brunton

hair
FASHION, BEAUTY, SHOPPING
Trending hair accessories for when you really need to visit the hairdresser

When you can't get to the hairdresser, it's time for some hair dressing.

By Holly O'Neill

London Fashion Week
FASHION, BEAUTY
The London Fashion Week beauty trends you’ll actually want to wear

Lived-in, luxe hair, chic chignons, swooping liner and intricate nail art; these are the AW21 London Fashion Week beauty trends you'll actually want to wear.

By Holly O'Neill

The North Face
FASHION, OFF THE CUFF
How The North Face went from the source of teenage envy to the summit of fashion

The North Face jackets have sold out everywhere, but when...

By Edaein OConnell

SHOPPING
IMAGE Editors on their January shopping wishlists

What can you not get out of your head right now? IMAGE editors are obsessing over 90s oversize sweaters, cashmere socks, winter coats, cosy bras and seasonal veg boxes; basically, all the lockdown essentials. Here's what's on our shopping wishlists in January.

By Holly O'Neill