Helping to tackle inequalities for older people during the pandemic

Manchester Urban Ageing Research Group (MUARG) has been drawing on its research interests and expertise to respond to some of the big COVID-19 questions through a series of blogs, academic papers and new qualitative research.

The group's primary focus is looking at how COVID-19 may deepen existing inequalities for older people who are already experiencing social exclusion and isolation. This work is supported by additionally considering how COVID-19 may further disadvantage the most deprived communities in our cities.

MUARG is carrying out new research to assess these challenges, examining the support provided by neighbourhood-based organisations and community activists, along with the potential issues experienced by older people at risk of social isolation.

The project takes a longitudinal approach and involves telephone interviews with people aged 50 and over, drawn from a range of marginalised groups. More specifically, it includes older people who are at risk of social exclusion: either because of their individual characteristics and/or because of the neighbourhoods in which they live.

This work is particularly pressing given the context in which COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on low-income and BAME communities which have already been affected by cuts to public services, the loss of social infrastructure, and pressures on the voluntary sector.

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