Older people struggling with their mental health during COVID-19 did not seek support due to technology barriers and health fears, a study has found.
The team of researchers at Edith Cowan University (ECU) surveyed nearly 200 people aged over 70 to assess their mental health needs and whether they were receiving sufficient support.
They found that social networks and community groups played an important role in older adults’ wellbeing during the pandemic.
“In general, we found older adults were resilient to the challenges COVID-19 presented. They relied on family, friends, and community groups and stayed connected through digital technologies to maintain their mental and social wellbeing during lockdown," lead researcher Dr Claire Adams said.
“However, some older people were unable or reluctant to use technology to connect, leaving them vulnerable to social isolation.”
She emphasised the valuable role of the local community to offer mental health support services.
“Understanding what can be done now to improve service delivery for older adults is important to protect their wellbeing during the pandemic and potential future outbreaks," Claire said.
Join Aged Care Insite in a conversation with Dr Claire Adams about the crucial role of social networks for older people during the pandemic and seeking out mental health support.Do you have an idea for a story?
Email [email protected]