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, visit the Older, Not Alone website.
— ENDS —
Marketing & Communications Manager
COTA Victoria & Seniors Rights Victoria
Telephone: +61 3 9655 2159
About COTA Victoria
COTA Victoria is the leading not-for-profit organisation representing the interests and rights of people aged over 50 in Victoria. For over 70 years, we have led government, corporate and community thinking about the positive aspects of ageing in the state.
Today, our focus is on promoting opportunities for and protecting the legal rights of people 50+. We value ageing and embrace its opportunities for personal growth, contribution, and self-expression. This belief drives benefits to the nation and its states alongside communities, families, and individuals.
About Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV)
Seniors Rights Victoria is a program of COTA Victoria and the key state-wide service dedicated to advancing the rights of older people and the early intervention into, or prevention of, elder abuse in our community.
SRV has a team of experienced advocates, lawyers, and social workers who provide free information, advice, referral, legal advice, legal casework, and support to older people who are either at risk of or are experiencing elder abuse. SRV supports and empowers older people through the provision of legal advice directly to the older person.
About the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV)
The MAV is a membership association and the legislated peak body for local government in Victoria and the communities it represents.
The MAV offers diverse business services to our council members including specialist policy and advocacy, governance and legislative advice, sector development, insurance and procurement services.