Half (47%) of people who haven’t yet retired and experienced lockdown loneliness are now reconsidering their later life plans, according to new research from Audley Villages.

Over a third (35%) of people in the UK say they experienced greater feelings of loneliness through the nationwide lockdown, with this particularly prominent amongst those aged 18-34 (46%).

Almost half (46%) of people are worried they will experience loneliness in the future with fears of local and national lockdowns but also retirement weighing on the nation’s minds.

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As result many people are changing their plans for later life to actively avoid loneliness.

A quarter of people who have experienced loneliness and have not retired plan to stay busy with activities and social groups when they get older, 17% want to ensure they are part of a strong community, 15% will move closer to family and 12% closer to friends to have a strong support network close by.

Two fifths (43%) say they will do anything they can to avoid loneliness in the future.

Nearly a quarter of people (23%) agree that loneliness has impacted their physical wellbeing.

Paul Morgan, managing director of operations at Audley Villages, said: “The pandemic has sadly given people a new appreciation of what it can feel like to be lonely.

“The key to minimising feelings of isolation is to create a strong support network.

“Friends, family and people that will check in, either virtually or in person, share hobbies or interests or join you for a walk can make a real difference both mentally and physically.

“We need to be creating housing options that support a sense of community as this is needed now more than ever.

“It has the potential to change the lives of people across the UK.“