Dave discovers Older Tasmania’s see a silver lining to pandemic despite the significant challenges

Chief executive of the Global Centre for Modern Ageing, Julianne Parkinson tells Dave despite the restrictions and changes brought about by COVID-19, more than half of older Australians (51 percent) believe some positive changes have emerged from the outbreak, new research shows.

 

A national survey of more than 1,350 people has found nearly one in five Australians (19 percent) aged over 60 believe that social cohesion and wellbeing are likely positive outcomes from COVID-19 in Australia.

 

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The research conducted by the Global Centre for Modern Ageing highlighted that while many older people faced significant challenges – including limited contact with their grandchildren – they also felt that there had been improved community spirit, and that people were increasingly keeping in touch with others and being more neighbourly.

 

“Interestingly, introspection was commonly cited as a positive,” said the chief executive of the Global Centre for Modern Ageing, Julianne Parkinson. “Older Australians reported there is an increased appreciation for what we have and that more people have been evaluating what is important.”

 

In further positive news, 80 per cent of older Australians surveyed were able to provide examples of support they had received from others.

 

When it came to interacting with businesses, nearly one in five older Australians (19 percent) called for improved delivery of products and online services.

 

Older people’s use of technology has further grown during this period – 21% of older Australians have used a new technology for the first time during the pandemic, and 29% of older Australians have increased their social media use to stay connected.

The research aimed to better understand how people are coping and adapting during this unique time in history. It revealed that older Australians expressed less concerned with the potential impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak than adults aged under 60 (46% vs 52%).

 

Researchers at the non-profit Global Centre for Modern Ageing conducted the online survey from March 27 – April 14. The survey report can be downloaded at gcma.net.au.

 

The survey is part of a bigger multi-phase study with the final report to be released later this year.

 

Ms Parkinson said the study’s findings would help to inform businesses, industries and governments of products, services and policies that have the potential to improve people’s quality of life now and into the future.

The Global Centre for Modern Ageing is based in Adelaide and is committed to improving the lives of older people.