Lockdown takes its toll on people's loneliness and isolation in Sheffield

How do you balance the risk of coronavirus with the impact of isolation and loneliness on people's mental health?

Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 10:39 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 1:55 pm

Councillors are worried elderly and vulnerable people, particularly those with dementia, have struggled to cope with the separation from loved ones and their community over the past three months.

Although lockdown is easing, for many people it will be a while longer before they are able to fully socialise.

Coun Jayne Dunn, who supports dementia groups at Parson Cross Forum, shared a sad story at a scrutiny meeting.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Jayne Dunn

The Labour member for Southey ward said: “What are we doing about the absolutely distraught feelings when people are not able to see their loved ones?

“A particular gentleman had me in tears. He has had Covid-19 and not seen his wife in a care home since February. She hears his voice on the phone, thinks he's coming, she puts on her coat and they can't calm her down because the only way to do this is him stroking her cheek. What are we doing to protect people's mental health?"

Read More

Read More
Council prepares for potential licensing changes to hundreds of Sheffield busine...

Sara Storey, from the council, said they already knew isolation and loneliness affected people, even before Covid-19.

“It's really important to think carefully about balancing the risk from the virus to the risk of people's mental, health and emotional wellbeing and them being very isolated.

“We need to think creatively and it will be different for everybody as people will have different IT skills and different family networks, so we can't put in blanket support and talking to everyone will take some time.

“We might need to think rapidly about providing equipment, supporting people to learn new skills and a lot depends on how things go with the lifting of restrictions.

“We are looking at reinstating some services, such as short breaks, day care and respite, although not in their previous form, because we are conscious that people are really struggling at the lack of contact and family carers have not had a break for some time."

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to The Star website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Visit https://www.thestar.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.