The COVID pandemic has had a deep impact on older members of the LGBT+ community a new report has found with nearly 40 per cent saying that they feel more lonely than usual.
The report, by the charity, Opening Doors London revealed that the UK’s lockdowns due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, have had a severe impact on older gay, lesbian, bi and transgender people as they are less likely than their heterosexual peers to have the support of children or other family members.
According to the charity, during the first six weeks of lockdown back in March, staff and volunteers of Opening Doors London made over 1,000 phone calls to members and reconfigured essential services to address their needs. Normally the charity organises activity groups and other social interactions, all of which had to come to an abrupt halt when the Government mandated a national lockdown in March.
During their phone calls, Opening Doors found that half of the respondents reported that the lockdown had caused a “negative impact on their psychological wellbeing”.
Nearly a quarter (23%) said that their physical health had worsened, while 27% said they felt they never have someone to talk to.
Sadly, nearly 40 per cent (37%) said that they felt more lonely than usual as lockdown meant that people were able to socialise in the normal ways.
One gay man in his 60s told the charity, “I feel more depressed than usual and I have thoughts of suicide coming into my mind” while another added, “I have found myself becoming tearful for no reason at all”
“Covid-19 and lockdown has disproportionately increased psychological distress and other vulnerabilities among many older LGBT+ people,” said Prof Ben Thomas. “Many have been forgotten or overlooked. It’s time statutory services and local communities stepped up to meet their needs, and provide care and support, connection and interaction.”