Member News

Coping with isolation during COVID-19

Home Instead Isolation COVID 19A recent report from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) found that 45% of people over the age of 75 reported feeling lonely some of the time and 38% of people with dementia said that they have lost friends after their diagnosis.

While COVID-19 has had a detrimental effect on almost all of society, those over 70 years of age have been heavily impacted. While many of us were and are still taking sensible precautions by social distancing, for older people, cocooning was a more extreme measure put in place for those as they were in a high risk category of severe illness from the virus.

COVID-19 has disrupted many support services for older people such as day care centres and respite facilities, increasing feelings of loneliness and isolation. There is also a risk of secondary impacts on people’s health due to them not seeking help due to fear of the virus. Age is also a factor as research suggests older people are more impacted both physically and mentally by loneliness than younger people.

Steven Tubbritt, Home Instead Senior Care Waterford says now that society is slowly opening up it is important to reconnect and engage with older people. “We know that people with more social ties have better general health, are less depressed, live longer and are less likely to develop dementia.”

“The past three months have been particularly hard on older generations and their feelings of loneliness and isolation were further exacerbated by the fear of COVID-19. Family members may have not been able to see their elderly parents or neighbours as often and may have stayed away to stave off the spread of the virus.”

“Now that we are less restricted, it is crucially important to be there for an older family member. Simply engaging in stimulating social activities can slow cognitive decline and the progression of dementia.”

The figures surrounding loneliness and isolation are quite stark with evidence highlighting that older people experiencing high levels of loneliness are almost twice as likely to die within six years, compared to those who are not lonely. Loneliness has been associated with a broad range of adverse psychological conditions including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, social deviance, lower social skills, a more critical view of self, and perfectionism. 

Steven added, there are things all of us can do to help alleviate loneliness. “Exercise is a great tonic, so if you can get out for a socially distant walk regularly with Mam or Dad or encourage them to get out for at least twenty minutes a day. Exercise is vital for brain health, as when we exercise, we process short term memory.”

“If you have returned to work and cannot be present as often, engage with them through technology. If they have not already embraced technology, help and encourage them to. Studies indicate that learning new skills helps to maintain brain health.”

“To help alleviate feeling of loneliness and isolation, there is nothing better than offering your time and company. However, if you cannot spend time with an older family member, ensure a carer, neighbour or another family member can.”

Home Instead Senior Care provides services to seniors in their own homes and is approved by the HSE. Its CAREGivers help clients maintain their independence by assisting them with activities of daily living such as personal care, meal preparation, laundry, shopping, and light housekeeping.

Home Instead Senior Care has taken a wide range of measures aimed at protecting its clients, staff, and CAREGivers, in the face of COVID-19.

If you have any concerns about a senior relative during these challenging and unprecedented times you can call Home Instead Senior Care on 051 333966 or visit


What We Do For Our Members





business services
















What Our Members Say

"Waterford is a very attractive location for Foreign Direct Investment as it is a dynamic city which is very much open for business – the city has a proven track record of attracting investment from start-ups and expanding business, who are hugely supported by Waterford Chamber. The city, county and region offers a young, well educated workforce and is easily accessible for international visitors. Waterford’s quality of life for employees is exceptional as it blends elements of rich cultural heritage with a new and vibrant lifestyle – with new additions such as the Greenway further showcasing the county to not only locals, but visitors from all over Ireland and overseas. The Chamber has been a vital link in welcoming our companies into the local Business Community – helping them not only network, but also gain a sense of community and belonging."

Brendan McDonald, Regional Manager, South East Region, IDA



We Can Help!

Call us to find out how Waterford Chamber can help you with your business and training needs today.





 contact us button