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Disabled people more likely to feel lonely

Disabled people are more likely to feel like a burden on others, lonely, and that coronavirus is making their mental health worse, official figures have revealed.

According to Office for National Statistics (ONS), 46% of disabled people who indicated that Covid-19 had affected their well being, said it was making their mental health worse, while 24% said they were feeling like a burden on others and 49% said they were feeling lonely.

Disabled people also had a poorer well-being rating, on average, than non-disabled people across all four well-being measures (life satisfaction, feeling that things done in life are worthwhile, happiness and anxiety).

ONS also found that disabled people tended to be less optimistic about life returning to normal, with just 20% of disabled people believing that life will return to normal in less than six months.

Commenting on the figures, Edel Harris, chief executive of the learning disability charity Mencap, said: ‘Many people with a learning disability, who often face prejudice and stigma, experienced extreme levels of social isolation and exclusion long before Covid.

‘Mencap research has shown that one in three young people with a learning disability spent less than an hour outside their homes on a typical Saturday – lockdown has only made this worse.

‘And shockingly, seven in 10 people with a learning disability had their social care support stopped or cut during the pandemic with serious consequences.

‘Without support, many people might not be able to leave their homes even as we transition out of lockdown. During the crisis, many people’s support needs have increased and they have lost vital life skills.

‘The crucial thing for many people with a learning disability to live fulfilled, independent and healthy lives is access to social care support.

‘The government must urgently restore care services that were reduced or closed during the pandemic, as well as bring forward its social care reform plans and a long-term sustainable funding solution.

‘This will enable many people with a learning disability to get the support they need as we make the transition out lockdown, as well as in the future.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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