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Age Concern Auckland Urging Elderly To Stay At Home And Reach Out For Support During Lockdown

Age Concern Auckland is concerned that vulnerable older people living alone are putting themselves at risk by venturing out during the Covid-19 lockdown to get groceries, visit the bank or to collect medications.

Age Concern Auckland CEO Kevin Lamb says a key reason for this is independence, as older people highly value the fact that they can take care of themselves and don’t want this independence taken away.

Says Lamb: “There is also some confusion over what can and can’t be done during the lockdown. Some older people who have called Age Concern Auckland have been unsure if a family member living in another part of the city can help them because they are outside their neighbourhood. Older people are usually rule abiders and they don’t want to break the rules.”

To protect one of the groups most vulnerable to Covid-19, the elderly, Age Concern Auckland is urging older people without support to get in touch with their local Age Concern, other community organisations working with the elderly or a family member instead of going out themselves.

Age Concern Auckland has 900 regular volunteers across Auckland, and the majority of these have offered additional support during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The organisation is proactively reaching out to all the older people they work with, checking on their welfare and seeing if they need any additional support, including things like arranging local volunteers to deliver food or pick up prescriptions.

“We’ve also had a great response from the wider community with many Aucklanders stepping up to offer volunteer assistance in their local neighbourhood,” says Lamb. “If you are an older person and you don’t have anyone to support you please contact Age Concern Auckland, we are here to help however we can.”

Age Concern Auckland is also appealing to the wider community to reach out to the older people in their lives to offer them assistance.

Says Lamb: “It is crucial that we all reach out to the over 70s we know. Call them, Skype them, check in on them. Offer them support and practical assistance. Keep doing this, so they get the message it is ok to ask for help and this is much more important than putting their health at risk by going out themselves.”

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

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

  • Keep in touch with older people you know, call them for a chat and ask if they need any help to run get groceries or medication. Reinforce to them the importance of staying at home.

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