Specsavers research reveals that more than half of those (51%) with poor vision have been feeling lonely and a third of people have seen their eyesight deteriorate since stay at home measures were imposed.
People who have been shielding have felt lonely for most of lockdown, with more than two fifths (43%) saying that they have felt lonely at least some of the time. This is particularly prominent in the over 65s where more than half (57%) have been shielding, making them more susceptible to feeling alone – especially as almost a quarter (23%) have also been spending lockdown on their own.
Providing RemoteCare services
Specsavers has been staying connected with its most vulnerable sight and audiology customers by offering new services, such as RemoteCare – a free nationwide sight and hearing consultation service offering access to vital advice and care from optometrists and audiologists, via video and telephone link.
Seniors at higher propensity to feeling isolated
Specsavers understands that sight and hearing play an important part in helping us to stay connected to loved ones and the world around us. With age, comes vision or hearing impairment challenges and that means you may have a higher propensity to feeling isolated, revealing those with poor vision (51%) and poor hearing (42%) said that they have been lonely some, or all, of the time since lockdown began.
Supporting vulnerable customers
Specsavers have been supporting their vulnerable customers in the community, including colleagues charging hearing aid devices on doorsteps or cycling miles to hand-deliver new glasses.
Even as lockdown eases, social isolation is likely to continue for many, especially for older or vulnerable people who may have been shielding or feel apprehensive about leaving their homes.
Advice on how to stay connected
Having hearing difficulties or vision loss can make older and vulnerable people feel particularly isolated; phone and video calls can pose additional challenges as they
make it difficult to hear properly or to lip-read. While it’s worrying to see so many people experiencing social isolation, in highlighting the issue Specsavers hope to work towards tackling it.
Now more than ever, it is so important to keep in touch with family and friends, and Specsavers have a wealth of advice on how best to connect with those living with sight or hearing loss.