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How we’re keeping the door open for older people as lockdown lifts

An older man looks out of the glass panes of a closed door longingly

No one should be left behind

Lockdown is lifting, but illness, isolation and fear mean millions of older people risk being forgotten. As life moves forward, together we can help make sure vulnerable older people have the support they still desperately need.

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Our older generation were hit hard by coronavirus and the lockdown. Here's how Age UK is continuing to support them on the long road to recovery.

278,857 friendship calls made

Demand for our telephone friendship service increased by as much as 290% during the pandemic. As lockdown lifts and neighbours go back to their routines and jobs, we know many older people will sadly feel lonely and forgotten. Our telephone friendship service gives older people the pleasure of a regular phone call which many tell us is the highlight of their week. 

"Age UK have been a lifeline"

Ted is 85 years old and has been married to his wife, Jess, for 67 years. After being diagnosed with dementia, Jess had to move into a care home. Ted would visit 5 times a week, but since the pandemic began he's been unable to see Jess. Ted has felt lonely and anxious throughout lockdown - particualrly about his wife's health - but says his weekly chats with Age UK telephone befriender Lisa have helped him keep going. 

112,133 advice line calls answered

Our expert advice line provides information, guidance and reassurance to older people and their families. During the pandemic, we saw a huge increase in calls. We're still receiving regular enquiries from older people in real distress, unsure how to safely access supermarkets and pharmacies, with some at risk of malnutrition from surviving on out of date food. 

"Just talking to someone at Age UK makes a difference"

Marie lives alone, so finds it reassuring to know that the Age UK Advice Line is only a phone call away when she needs information or guidance. She says, “There’s nothing better than a friend, and to me, that’s what Age UK is: a friend. You just know that there's someone there that you can connect to."

The Age UK network brings together more than 130 local organisations providing practical support to older people in their communities. Throughout the pandemic, local Age UKs have been busy delivering essential food parcels and prescriptions, as well as providing comfort and support through befriending services. 

"I really like to see people and have a chat"

Pollene cared for others all her life. But now her health means she can’t leave her bed. She told us, “Being older, it’s almost like we don’t exist anymore. That makes me sad.” Pollene’s local Age UK befriender Clare (pictured before lockdown) has made sure to phone her every week, and hopes to be able to visit her again soon, which will make a huge difference to Pollene's quality of life.

Long-term health conditions, isolation and fear mean some of the UK’s most vulnerable older people are at risk of being forgotten as lockdown lifts. With your support, we can keep the door open for them. 

Your messages of support

I gave to Age UK because I think we owe our older generation great debt.


There are so many older people struggling with loneliness. I’m so grateful for Age UK and the support and resources they provide.


I feel helping the elderly and aged is an expression of our own basic humanity with whatever little we can afford - time, a donation or service.


Incredible fundraisers are showing their support for older people - come get involved!

Sporty challenges are a great way to bring people together (from a distance) and raise money. 155 teams and individuals from company OMG UK took part in a virtual marathon raising an amazing £34,500 for Age UK. Wow! 

There are tonnes of great ways to raise money for Age UK. Take a look at our webpage for ideas. 

Get inspired

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By donating to Age UK today, you can help open a door for the most vulnerable older people, and make sure they aren’t left behind.

With thanks to our major funders

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