A few weeks ago, Network member Dr Yvonne Wells, was contacted by Australian Seniors, and asked to comment on a report they had produced called, Australian Seniors: Connectivity in the Age of COVID-19. Australian Seniors had conducted an online survey of over 5,000 people aged 50 years and over, asking how they were feeling and what they had been doing. (To access the report, click here).

The survey results were very encouraging. The vast majority of respondents (90%) said they had adapted surprisingly well to the current health crisis.

A large majority (84%) did not have to invest in new digital technology to stay connected. Over half (52%) had used video conferencing to stay in touch with their families. They also used technology to stay well informed, to provide entertainment, and to keep in contact with friends. Many used technology to keep their relationships with grandchildren going.

Almost half (40%) said that the period of lockdown had motivated them, and provided them with the time, to make efforts to improve their lifestyles — engaging in hobbies, cooking, and putting more effort into connecting with and supporting family and friends.

Close to one-quarter were actively looking for ways to support their mental health. They were doing were exactly what a mental health professional would advise them to do: looking for reliable information; engaging in enjoyable activities; keeping up their exercise routines or establishing new ones; and staying connected with family and friends — both giving and receiving support.

Unsurprisingly, about one-third felt their mental health was negatively impacted.