Age UK has launched an “emergency coronavirus appeal” aiming to raise £10 million to help it meet the rapidly increasing demand for its services.
The charity said it is extremely concerned about the millions of older people who are on their own, who do not have family and friends nearby and are already dealing with unmet care needs, chronic ill health, disability and loneliness.
Age UK said figures show 1.9 million pensioners in the UK live in poverty and 53% of over-75s do not use the internet.
Older people in the UK are facing a crisis. We need your help to raise £10 million for our #Coronavirus Emergency Appeal.
£15 could help answer 3 calls to our Advice Line at this overwhelming time helping us to provide vital info & support.
— Age UK (@age_uk) March 20, 2020
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “We have already had such an encouraging response to our Coronavirus Emergency Appeal, raising over £1 million already from businesses and individual donations.
“But we have a long way to go before we reach our £10 million target.”
As well as appealing for funds, Age UK is urging everyone to check in with older neighbours, friends and family members.
Its suggestions include:
– Keep in touch. Phone older relatives and friends to ask what they need – set up a rota with family and friends to make sure someone is regularly checking on them.
– If you are feeling well, offer to collect shopping for an older neighbour when you pick up your essentials. When you offer to go to the shops and when you drop off any shopping, knock on the door and step two metres back first. Leave any bags on the doorstep making sure they safely receive them. Make sure that you do not go into their house.
– For practical information and advice, people can call Age UK Advice on 0800 169 65 65. For a “cheerful chat”, the Silver Line is available on 0800 470 80 90.