About Older, Not Alone
COTA Victoria, Seniors Rights Victoria, the Victorian Government, and the Municipal Association of Victoria have partnered for a new, winter-long campaign called Older, Not Alone.
The campaign has been designed to highlight the increased pressures experienced by older Victorians during the colder, darker winter months. More importantly, it will make our most vulnerable cohort aware of the range of resources and support schemes that are already available.
“Victoria, like the rest of Australia, is currently facing a range of economic pressures,” said CEO of COTA Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria, Chris Potaris. “Higher inflation and increased interest rates, amongst a multitude of other issues, lead to increased costs of living. These are expected to continue and grow during the coming months, particularly increasing energy costs.”
At the same time, Victoria will likely see another rise in both influenza and COVID-19 infections in winter. While this is already a danger to the health of older Victorians, increased pressures on the health system will lead to more hospitalisations and workforce shortages.
“The ongoing effects of the pandemic and economic stresses are increasing the forces that contribute to elder abuse, particularly financial elder abuse,” added Mr Potaris. “Around 15 per cent of older people experienced elder abuse in the past year.”
One key aspect that can alleviate these issues is community connection. It has been well established that older people being connected to community support or programs have better outcomes regarding their health, wellbeing, and ability to live independent lives.
Many supports from the community, not-for-profits, local government, and the Victorian Government already exist — such as financial support for energy costs — but older Victorians need to be made aware of them. More importantly, they may need help in accessing said schemes. Older, Not Alone will challenge Victorians to check on their loved ones, friends, and neighbours to make them aware of available support. Moreover, it will offer up ways to engage with that support over the telephone, online, and in-person.
“Being part of this campaign will help highlight local government’s long history of supporting older community members by providing local social opportunities through community centres, libraries, and events. The MAV is thrilled this many organisations can come together for a campaign to support older Victorians,” MAV President Cr David Clark explained.
This public campaign targets older people, their families, carers, and practitioners to make them aware of available opportunities. Older, Not Alone will be a vital tool in the prevention of loss of independence, isolation, and to bolster mental health and wellbeing.
Older, Not Alone kicks off in June and will run throughout the winter months. The Hon. Lizzie Blandthorn, Victorian Minister for Disability, Ageing, and Carers, will officially launch the event on 7 June.
For more information
Marketing & Communications Manager
COTA Victoria & Seniors Rights Victoria
P: +61 3 9655 2159 | F: +61 3 9655 2199