Research has demonstrated social isolation can lead to a number of health and well-being issues including loneliness, depression, and low self-esteem. With an ageing population and people living longer, the levels of social isolation are likely to increase for this age group. Governments have recognised the challenges from demographic change and ageing and, in many instances, regions have developed strategies to reduce older adult isolation.
COVID-19 has presented many social and economic challenges for countries globally. Citizens have had to modify their behaviour in order to help contain the virus and restrict its spread. Elderly citizens had to take more serious measures to protect themselves including socially isolating and shielding. At one stroke, the public health policies introduced to respond to and manage COVID-19 placed an increased number of older citizens at risk of social isolation and with potential impending consequences for their health and well-being. (…)