Half (47%) of people who haven’t yet retired and experienced lockdown loneliness are now reconsidering their later life plans, according to research from Audley Villages.
When the first lockdown was introduced in March, millions of people’s lifestyles changed overnight, with social events, family visits and the like put on hold.
During this time, over a third (35%) of people in the UK say they experienced greater feelings of loneliness, with this particularly prominent amongst those aged 18-34 (46%).
Audley says this has left a lasting impact, with 46% of people claiming to be worried they will experience loneliness in the future and many people changing their plans for later life to actively avoid isolation.
A quarter (26%) of those who have experienced loneliness and have not retired plan to stay busy with activities and social groups when they get older, 17% want to join a strong community, 15% will move closer to family and 12% closer to friends to have a strong support network close by.
Meanwhile, two fifths (43%) say they will do anything they can to avoid loneliness in the future, and nearly a quarter of people (23%) agree that loneliness has impact their physical wellbeing.
Paul Morgan, managing director of operations at Audley Villages, comments: “The pandemic has sadly given people a new appreciation of what it can feel like to be lonely. The key to minimising feelings of isolation is to create a strong support network.”
“Friends, family and people that will check in, either virtually or in person, share hobbies or interests or join you for a walk can make a real difference both mentally and physically.”
“We need to be creating housing options that support a sense of community as this is needed now more than ever. It has the potential to change the lives of people across the UK,” he concludes.