Thank you so much for your feedback about the COVID-19 crisis and telling us your main concerns in our brief COVID-19 survey.
We’ve had a big response. As a result, our research team has been working hard to tally up your feedback so we can tell you and the government what’s on your mind as quickly as possible.
If you haven’t already, make sure you sign up to the free Connect eNewsletter to ensure you don’t miss out on the latest health and advocacy news, as well as links to important research surveys.
Being able to get what you want and when you want it is still the biggest issue among our members.
Just under 30 per cent of you said it was your biggest concern.
Here are some of your comments:
“The anxiety about going out to do essential shopping and staying safe whilst doing so.”
“Waiting for a delivery and then finding that key items are out of stock is a bit of an issue.”
“Provision of dedicated shopping hours for seniors is not very useful if the shelves are bare of essentials like toilet rolls, hand soap and sanitiser.”
“Their [supermarkets] "Priority Delivery" plans do not work well on site - also have "Not available" beside many of the key needed items. And they say free delivery for us, but then checkout adds $15 to what may be even only a $20-30 order. So what on earth are we supposed to do?”
“Ensuring that regular prescription and necessary over the counter medicines can continue to be provided without the need for visits to doctors or pharmacies.”
Centrelink wait times have also been a concern for many Australians.
Accessing Age Pension services can be complicated and time consuming at the best of times, let alone during the current situation.
Our partners at Retirement Essentials can help you get faster and easier access to all your Age Pension entitlements through their simple online process.
The second biggest issue according to you our members was the erosion of your retirement funds and income, with 17 per cent of you saying it is your main concern.
Here are some of the responses:
“We have lost two years of our retirement living expenses in less than two weeks.”
“If childcare is free why aren't self-funded retirees given free electricity, free rates and so on? It's about time politicians realised that SFRs are not millionaires just average Aussies who saved for their retirement and now need help.”
“Everyone else is getting offered handouts, what about us who have worked and paid taxes our entire lives?”
“Retirees need help. Investment of money, tax exemptions, health etc. We are the forgotten Aussie battlers, doing our best without help from government."
We have also noticed an increase in enquiries about our National Seniors Term Deposit.
We recommend seeking professional financial advice before purchasing any product or taking any action with your retirement savings.
You also told us during this time of physical distancing and isolation that there is an increasing need for social support and emotional connection, especially for people living alone. As well, the issue of being connected in the first place.
Here are some of your suggestions:
“Life would be much easier for older people if technology, specifically Skype and Zoom, were easier to understand and cope with.”
“My caring role is keeping an eye on persons older than I, mostly in their nineties. Telephone is not suitable for the deaf, and many have no internet skills.”
“A specific helpline to call for information about how to overcome issues that may arise & how we can get around these while still keeping to the strict home isolating & distancing guidelines.”
“What about older Australians that have nobody? We need a service where they can talk to someone by phone. The same person each time, almost a telephone visiting service.”
“Ensuring seniors with no internet connection and/or family support are looked after. How do seniors without internet get up to date information other than by TV or radio?”
“Some older Australians would appreciate some help in accessing important information - not all seniors are computer-literate and do not understand technology.”
Our Chief Advocate, Ian Henschke recently spoke with 9 News Queensland about connecting with loved ones at Easter time using technology and how we can help older Australians improve their digital skills.
The instructed lockdown for people aged 70 and over was also a key concern.
Many of you highlighted the risks of undertaking essential tasks in person, as well as being restricted from seeing loved ones.
This comment was typical among the responses:
“I just wish I could visit my husband again. I always visited twice daily, then it was cut to once daily. My son also visited daily on his way home from work. Now due to coronavirus we are locked out.”