The Older People’s Advocacy Alliance (OPAAL) and the National Coalition of Advocacy Schemes have been undertaking a modest piece of research to identify some of the most disempowering aspects of the Coronavirus restrictions since March 2020 for older people.  Questions that the research will be exploring will include:

  • How many people (informal advocates) found that the blanket recommendation that everyone over 70 should lock themselves away prevented them from playing any positive role in caring for others in their community?
  • How were they able to work around this – non direct contact etc?
  • What were/are the experiences of families and friends who were/are prevented from visiting their loved ones indefinitely? How negative an impact has their absence had on the mental and physical well-being of their loved ones?
  • Was there any effort to provide care homes with the support and equipment that would make visiting safe?
  • What efforts were made by care homes to involve families and friends as much as possible during the lockdown via telephone, video etc?
  • In which ways has the role of care staff both in residential care and at home care changed during the crisis?
  • What was the impact on people of knowing that their loved ones were enduring lonely deaths in hospital and care homes?

The researcher has been interviewing a range of people from across a geographical spread. These include some care home managers; relatives; pastoral workers; befrienders; hair and beauty workers, informal advocates and people living in care or supported living situations.

If you would like to be involved in the research, please contact us at


The Coalition's 18th national Assembly was held via Zoom on 15th December. The main subject for discussion was the role that informal advocacy would play in the period following the Covid 19 crisis. The Coalition is currently working in partnership with the Older People's Advocacy Alliance (OPAAL) on a piece of research around the experiences of older people during this past year.