CMAR Deputy Director Professor Paul Greenhaff contributed to ‘A National Covid-19 Resilience Programme: Improving the health and wellbeing of older people during the pandemic’ launched today.
The Physiological Society and the Centre for Ageing Better brought together physiologists, nutritionists, geriatricians, physiotherapists and clinicians to discuss three critical areas where the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on older people required greater consideration.
At the launch of the report, Professor Paul Greenhaff, Expert Panel Co-Chair said:
“With England now in its second lockdown it is likely that people across the country will be less physically active. Physical activity is an important factor in staying healthy and resilient and will help protect against risks from Covid-19.”
“Lockdowns, while important to reduce transmission of Covid-19, can have a detrimental effect on both the physical and mental health of older people. These changes happen rapidly: within 3 days of not using muscles, people can experience significant decreases in muscle mass and quality which might be the difference of an older people being able to get out of a chair by themselves or not.”
“We are calling on public health agencies to urgently address this by launching a National Covid-19 Resilience Programme to support older people through the pandemic. Older people need clear, tailored guidance, about how to keep healthy and resilient, that covers physical activity, nutrition and mental wellbeing.”
“Older people are facing this lockdown as the days are getting shorter and colder and therefore we must all re-double efforts to keep older people healthy.”