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Age Concern Auckland Urging Community To Reach Out To Vulnerable Elderly During Home Isolation

With the worsening COVID-19 crisis and over 70s now being asked to stay at home, Age Concern Auckland is concerned about the impact this could have on an already isolated and lonely group.

Age Concern Auckland CEO Kevin Lamb says, “Research demonstrates that 20 percent of people over 65 experience loneliness and isolation and that the impact of this on their wellbeing is severe. The detrimental impact in elderly equates to the impact of heavy smoking, alcoholism and obesity.”

Lamb continues, “Usually feelings of isolation and loneliness are gradual and come as the result of slowly decreasing mobility and a loss of confidence. The COVID-19 crisis means loneliness and isolation will now impact a much wider group of older people and very suddenly.”

Age Concern Auckland is appealing to the community to reach out to the older people in their lives and their neighbourhoods. Lamb says, “It is crucial that we all reach out to the over 70s we know. Call them, Skype them, check in on them daily. Be a friendly and welcoming voice in a time of great uncertainty and anxiety.”

Lamb also stresses that Age Concern Auckland is there to help vulnerable and isolated older people in our community, saying, “Over the past week we have started calling all our clients to check on their welfare and to ask if they need any additional support. We have 900 volunteers across Auckland and we are mobilising as many of these people as possible to provide the additional help needed. We’ve also had a number of organisations and individuals contact us offering help to support the elderly.”

Lamb encourages others interested in supporting the elderly to get in touch, “It is crucial at the moment that we unite to support one of the most vulnerable and at-risk groups in our community - the elderly.”

What you can do to help the elderly during the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Reach out to older people you know, call them for a chat and ask if they need any help to run get groceries or medication. A daily call will lift their spirits while house-bound.
  • Put a note in elderly neighbours’ letterboxes with your contact details, with the offer of help if they need it. That way they can call if they don’t have any family or younger friends nearby.
  • Contact your local Age Concern and register to help the clients they work with who need extra support. They can then link you with an older person in need of help or a friendly call.

Age Concern Auckland has three offices in Auckland:

Central & West Auckland - 820 0184

South Auckland - 279 4331

North Shore – 489 4975

You can also email Age Concern Auckland on ageconcern@ageconak.org.nz

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