Alex Cunningham MP is backing Independent Age’s call for an urgent overhaul in how the government deliver coronavirus guidance after a new poll shows just 30% of older adults able to correctly identify advice for over 70s – leaving thousands self-isolating unnecessarily.
The poll carried out by Opinium on behalf of Independent Age found that 43% of over 65s incorrectly believed that over-70s with no underlying health conditions had been instructed to shield themselves. The correct guidance for this group is to practice social distancing. Less than a third of those asked were able to identify this.
The result of this misunderstanding is that thousands of older people across the UK, including in Stockton North, have shielded themselves and lived in isolation for months unnecessarily.
As lockdown is eased, Alex Cunningham supports calls from Independent Age for the government to introduce targeted messaging to health over-70s to clarify the guidance and offer real life examples.
“Older people in my constituency of Stockton North have put in remarkable effort to keep themselves and their communities safe. This polling from Independent Age suggests that some people may have been more strict than was necessary. The government’s guidance has, quite simply, not been clear enough”
“Those over-70s with no underlying health conditions who thought they were require to shield have had their independence removed – not realising they could have continued to take outdoor exercise or shop for themselves.”
“I’m happy to join Independent Age’s calls on clarification of the guidance. The government must rethink the way they are getting the messaging out and commit to make the advice to over 70’s clear.”