Elderly left ‘vulnerable’ and ‘scared’ waiting for NHS treatment

Elderly left ‘vulnerable’ and ‘scared’ waiting for NHS treatment
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New research reveals that 1 in 10 Brits over the age of 60 have waited almost half a year for an operation or diagnostic test on the NHS with 1 in 3 saying the wait impacted their mental health. 

A survey commissioned by Nuffield Health, found British adults, aged 60+, felt “vulnerable”, “scared”, “anxious” and “stressed” after waiting for treatment. 1 in 3 said they put their lives on hold as a result. One fifth also reported deterioration in their health while waiting.

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Having had a hip replacement, Olympic medallist and javelin thrower, Steve Backley OBE, knows the importance of dealing with health issues to get life back on track.

“Anyone who has waited for a medical test or procedure will know that during this time, your life is on hold,” says Steve. “Your health is your greatest asset, so it’s no surprise to see 64 per cent of people rating their health as more important than happiness and wealth.”

“I was in pain for years before my hip operation and the pain was preventing me from exercising, running after the kids and doing the things I love. I wasn’t able to fully participate in family life. Life after my hip operation has been full of new challenges and experiences that I would have missed out on. I would encourage anyone waiting for a medical procedure to explore all options to get your life back on track as soon as possible.”

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19 per cent of Brits also said the wait made them less fun to be around and 14 per cent said it left them feeling anxious and short-tempered. 31 per cent also said they “didn’t feel like themselves” while waiting with 20 per cent “unable to focus on the here and now”.

Findings also showed the wider impact of waiting on family and friends. For 1 in 3 people waiting for an operation or diagnostic test, the wait had a negative impact on their families. 1 in 10 also reported having to take time off work, cancel social engagements or postpone holidays.