Older people have been keen to share their experiences and views on the COVID-19 pandemic, responding enthusiastically to COTA Victoria’s survey Coronavirus – checking in on the older person’s experience.
We’ve received more than 500 responses in just three weeks. So that as many older people as possible can have their say, we’ve decided to extend the survey until at least the end of the month.
We’re using your anonymous responses to:
- describe what older Victorians are saying they need to support them over the coming months as the pandemic continues to challenge us
- help the Victorian Government and local government plan for future emergencies by sharing what could have been done better to support older people in the response to COVID-19
- share what older people are experiencing and strive for this to be heard.
Over the past few months, the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically affected the lives of older people. With Melbourne once again in lockdown, we know there’s still a long way to go.
So what are older people saying so far?
‘With the second wave currently upon us, it looks like we are in for a long haul! Whilst the first wave provided time to slow down, catch up (on that long list of unfinished home projects) and reflect/meditate, it remains to be seen how well we cope with this a second time around…’
‘I am my husband’s carer and if I became ill, who would look after him? He was booked in for residential respite in April and August to give me a break. I have cancelled that as we are both concerned about him being in aged care.’
‘At my age I have experienced living through a world war and all the restrictions that involved, polio epidemic, diseases such as whooping cough, measles, chickenpox and etc., none of the modern conveniences we have today to make life easier, including medical care and variety of food. This epidemic is just another crisis we have to learn to cope with.’
‘I just worry that if I go out I might catch it or worse, give it to my family.’
Older people have identified as the top five challenges:
- Not getting to weekly activities (such as church, social and sporting activities)
- Not catching up with family
- Social isolation
- Missing events such as birthdays, weddings and funerals
- Not being able to get out and be active.
Older Victorians are most looking forward to catching up with family and friends, returning to a normal way of life, going to a café or restaurant, returning to weekly activities and going on a holiday.
Most respondents want the Victorian Government to inform them about the pandemic on a daily basis.
If you haven’t had the chance to share your thoughts with us, please take our online survey now – it should only take you a few minutes.
If you have trouble accessing the online survey but would still like to provide feedback, please contact our Policy Officer, Lauren Henley, by phone on 9655 2140, or by email at email@example.com
We’re living through extraordinary times. If you need support during the pandemic, the following organisations offer mental health, counselling and information services.
Phone 13 11 14, 24 hours
Lifeline provides 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
- Older Australian’s COVID-19 Support Line
Phone 1800 171 866, Monday – Friday 8.30 am – 6.00 pm
Offers support to older people who are feeling lonely or distressed, troubled, or confused, or need to talk to someone about their concerns caring for an older person during COVID-19.
- Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service
Phone 1800 512 348, 24 hours
Operated by Beyond Blue, this service offers phone counselling from trained mental health professionals. It can also assist with referrals to other services such as services that offer financial support.
- Red Cross COVID Connect
Register onlineor phone Red Cross on 1800 733 276
A nationwide telephone outreach service for people who are feeling lonely or isolated during COVID-19. It connects trained Red Cross volunteers with people who want a friendly chat, with options for daily or weekly calls.
Phone 1800 242 636 Monday to Friday, 8.30 am – 4.30 pm
Carers Australia provides short-term counselling psychological support services for carers and their families.