Media Release | 30 March 2020
It is the Little Things That Count
….. the sound of a friendly understanding voice on the end of the phone should never be underestimated
The Council on the Ageing (COTA) Victoria today said it will be the personal little things that family, friends and neighbours do for older Australians to help them cope as Australia combats the spread of COVID-19.
Given the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency, COTA Victoria is urging family, friends and neighbours to make regular reassuring phone calls to check on family members’ health, check if they need anything and boost their spirits.
With the Government encouraging older people in particular to maintain physical distance, COTA Victoria CEO, Tina Hogarth-Clarke is encouraging all Victorians to reach out to the older people in their lives to make sure they are OK.
Ms Hogarth-Clarke said the telephone, either fixed or mobile, is the easiest and most accessible means for regular contact with older Australians who are familiar with the phone and its ease of use.
“The sound of a friendly understanding voice on the end of the phone should never be underestimated in such times of stress which all Australians are experiencing.”
Whilst many older people have developed skills in online contact and access to face to face opportunities via mobile phones, tablets and computers, research by the eSafety Commission has also revealed that 57% per cent of Australians aged 70 or older have no digital literacy.
“The COVID-19 emergency reveals how important it is for older Australians to be able to bridge the digital divide to access the information for their health and safety such as the new life-saving COVID-19 App announced yesterday by the Prime Minister.
“The use of social media with face to face calls and photos if possible is a major community connection for older Australians, their family and friends.”
Some little things that will count
- Make a regular call for a chat.
- Drop around some magazines on the doorstep.
- For older gardeners, some herbs to grow can be magic.
- Drawings from children as a gift are always a welcome present.
“It is the little things will count,” Ms Hogarth-Clarke added.
Media Enquiries: Ron Smith, Media Communications, COTA Victoria, mobile: 0417 329 201
The COTA Information helpline — 1300 13 50 90
9.30 am–4 pm Monday to Friday, will continue to operate. It will provide information for people who cannot access information online.
Seniors Rights Victoria
Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV), a program of COTA Victoria that provides information, support, advice and education to help prevent elder abuse, will continue to operate, although without face-to-face consultations. SRV can be contacted on 1300 368 821.