FEARFUL, elderly Canberrans feel as though they’re being left behind as they struggle to get clear and timely COVID-19 updates from the ACT government, according to shadow seniors minister Seniors Nicole Lawder.
After making thousands of welfare checks to elderly Canberrans in recent months, Ms Lawder says there’s a great presence of confusion, uncertainty and loneliness among seniors.
“While the pandemic has presented enormous challenges for everyone, older Canberrans who are more vulnerable to the virus are really feeling the pressure. They’re concerned about their health, they want to follow the rules but are confused about what the rules are, and they are struggling with a deep sense of loneliness,” Ms Lawder says.
“As many are not computer literate, they are limited in their ability to stay up-to-date with the best and latest health advice. They rely on community organisations, some of which are facing their own challenges in getting information from the government specific to seniors.”
Ms Lawder says older Canberrans with legal or caring responsibilities for family members are also unsure of how the rules apply to their situation.
“Many are fearful of accessing testing and are reluctant to visit the doctor for fear of contracting the virus, [too],” she says.
“It’s a difficult time for everyone and we need to make sure that elderly Canberrans don’t feel like they’re being left behind. We need to ensure they feel safe and connected.”