A confidential listening service for older people says they were 'banished' and left out of the coronavirus conversation.
SeniorLine is a peer-to-peer service for older people, provided by trained older volunteers.
Anne Dempsey is communications manager of Third Age, the voluntary organisation that founded SeniorLine.
She told The Hard Shoulder things have changed, but older people were not included in the decision-making.
"At the beginning, if you remember, where it was announced in mid/late March when COVID was announced and came as a bomb on all our lives, the next thing was that older people were to go at home and stay at home.
"Older people on SeniorLine, we were flooded out with calls immediately from older people who - while they understood the reason for the message, they really didn't like the manner of the message.
"And they felt quite indignant and hurt that they were suddenly banished without any real conversation of the implications for them, for society, for their families."
"It was a very paternalistic attitude: there was a stereotype in that if you were over 70, or even 60s, you're automatically frail and vulnerable and in need of protection.
"And an awful lot of our callers said 'look, that 's not me - I'm an active man/woman, I'm very involved in my family, I'm a volunteer, I work in my local community'."
"COVID has highlighted so many things in our society, I mean huge things.
"But one of the aspects around older people, it has highlighted the fact that they are an ageing society - and we are preparing for it quite negatively in terms of coughs and the downsides.
"And I think COVID highlighted that because that seems to be the perception - a very ageist perception - of older people".
"So we feel we need a different conversation about positivity about growing older, how to encourage older people to stay engaged in the community to their benefit, to their families benefit, to all our benefits.
"That's something that we are going to be talking about in the coming months".
"Our traditional caller is an older person maybe on their own, they call us very very regularly, we're very, very important to their lives.
"This cohort of callers was joined by a complete new group of people who never have defined themselves by their age - and suddenly they were so defined.
"They were told to, again, stay at home and they were paradoxically less able to be at home at the beginning because they weren't used to it.
"So they came on to us very taken aback, very worried.
"There was a huge spike in calls - over 200% increase in calls - and this is on the basis of we had over 10,000 calls last year."
"We began to issue twice daily updates for our volunteers...we began to give our volunteers all kinds of information to help them support all their callers, to respond to a great variety of questions."
The group also conducted an analysis of callers around April/May.
Ms Dempsey explained: "We discovered what helps people get through is having family and friends, an inner-resilience and a garden.
"They came through as major assets for older people when they were confined to the house".
SeniorLine can be contacted every day from 10.00am to 10.00pm on freephone 1800-80-45-91