A study of over 65s by retirement communities operator, Inspired Villages, has revealed the UK regions most negatively impacted by the pandemic.
The research, which surveyed 2,000 retirees in the UK, revealed that two thirds of respondents have been negatively impacted by the crisis, with 67% of missing their friends and family and more than half (52%) reporting that they felt too confined to their home.
Four in 10 (41%) missed travelling to new places during the lockdown and 29% felt isolated and lonely.
Welsh retirees appear to be the most negatively impacted by the pandemic (37%), according to the research followed by the West Midlands (35%) and East Midlands (34%).
The need for community in times of crisis is clear, with 15% of men aged 65 and over admitting they don’t have any good friends or a support network in their local area. Regional analysis showed that more than one in 10 (14%) Londoners surveyed also proclaimed that they don’t have any like-minded people around them for support.
When it comes to mental health support without stigma, the over 65s could benefit from access to additional support, with 13% of Liverpudlians in the poll experiencing low mental health over the past year yet choosing not to talk about it with others, including professionals.
The data names Norwich as the “happiest city” for retirees in the UK within the poll, followed by Cardiff, Edinburgh, Brighton and Leeds.
Despite placing ninth for overall happiness, over half of Plymouth residents enjoy the best sense of community (58%) followed by Cardiff (51%), versus only 22% of respondents in Sheffield.
Top 10 happiest cities for retirees in the UK:
|% of retired respondents who feel happy in their current town or city|
Jamie Bunce, CEO at Inspired Villages commented: “As a nation we have all been hugely impacted by the pandemic over the past eighteen months, but our new research clearly shows that the mental health of over 65s has been put in jeopardy and needs to be addressed as lockdown lifts.
“At a time in life that can be isolating for some, it’s so important that retirees ensure they are living in a home and location that meets all their needs and gives them the support and social interaction to keep them happy and healthy. Retirement Communities provide the means to combat feelings of isolation, providing those in later life with access to a vibrant environment to live the best years of their lives.
“Retirement communities offer a safe and manageable private home, putting the health and happiness of residents at the forefront, allowing them to become more independent and active, and ultimately, enabling them to live longer.”