Simplifying retirement
The Meeting Place

Shocking result of isolating older Australians

Before COVID-19, 2 per cent of older Australians felt lonely in their own home, now it’s 25 per cent, says research commissioned by DCM Research.

In January 2018, DCM surveyed 1109 people over the age of 65, and found only 2 per cent felt lonely and isolated, and that they would consider moving to a retirement community.

After 30 face-to-face interviews conducted by DCM with people living in their own home, a quarter (25 per cent) said they experienced strong feelings of loneliness and isolation. Another 35 per cent said they were ‘moderately’ lonely and isolated.

For three months, older Australians across the country have been confined to their home.

The physiological health benefits for the general community have been positive.

"But for many older people, isolation has been a shock because, more than any other group, older people have discovered they are truly isolated," reports agedcare101.

"Technology and Zoom video catch up with friends and family sounds great if you have an iPad and good Internet connections. But if this is not you, and you live alone, you have been – well – alone.

"And if your family live in another suburb, town or state, they too have been isolated and not able to stay in touch or support you if you need it. Even the reliable GP has not been available face-to-face.

"This makes sense. What it tells us is that in this new world we can’t assume that everything will be OK, forever. We need to plan ahead to make sure that we set ourselves up for the surprises that life keeps serving."

Have you felt more alone in isolation or have you thrived?

4 comments

One year ago, my wife went into aged care. As we were self funded retirees, we had to pay a hefty amount as a RAD (returnable accommodation deposit). After having done that, there was not enough left for myself to go into the same facility as I would have to sell assets which returned money to pay for the daily accommodation fee. A very vicious circle.

Now with the Covid 19 my visiting hours to the aged care facility are very strictly controlled and after all these months my feeling of loneliness is unbearable. If the grim reaper comes knocking on the door I will gladly join him.

So sorry to hear that Beaky. Thinking of you.

 

Hi Beaky

Sorry to hear that, my husband feels the same.

Have you updated your information regarding the Self Funding?  The Government have lowered the needs to receive part a pension;  if you have part of pension there are many helpful ways you could over come your present situation.

Have you seen a financial planner this month?

Good luck!

 

How is seeing a financial planner at this time going to help him?

What Beaky needs right now is to spend more time wth his wife, to sit and chat. This is something the "experts" did not think about when they forced the elderly into lockdown.

Yes, there should be restrictions, but I feel if more thought was given to this situation, a lot more could have been done.

I feel very sad for the many older people living alone who have to deal wth loneliness.

To Beaky...

Hang in there..you'll be all right :)

 

Yes, that’s the government, choose the cheapest and easiest method of control, lock away the elderly.

 

If I am not elderly and in lock down since the end of January 2020 I do not know who is !!!!!

A large portion of what the gentleman has written has to do with their financial situation if you bother to read it again.

He needs some funds to house himself in the same accommodation!

 

I'm usually very self sufficient, but this period of isolation has been hard.  My family live interstate, and its not always possible to contact them via internet.  Although the video calls we have had have been fun.  I've been challenged about being out and about when I leave home to buy groceries or collect prescriptions, due to my age (76).  I do not have anyone who can do this for me on a reliable basis.  I have missed outings with friends, trips to the cinema, theatre and live music events.  Being alone with my thoughts has not always been easy.  I've tended to watch TV and various series on Metflix.  Not the same as real life. Libraries have been closed so access to reading has been curtailed.   Has made me realise that my decision to move interstate to be closer to my family is probably the best one, so I can have the support I need.  But becuase of Covid 19 restrictions, I don't know when this can happen - trying to organise flights, removals etc is very iffy at the moment.  But I shall not be deterred!!

I could have written your story for myself.  at 75 I made the move back to where I grew up, no family and it turns out that after decades of absence I don't have as many friends as I thought I had, so my situation has not changed greatly, back to fending for myself and like so many others I will just have to find a way to manage to do things that are needed.  I agree that too much time alone to think is the worst and my mood over the past four months has been like a rollercoaster.  Hopefully when things open up again with more social contact my mindset will improve but most will be passing acquaintances not dear friends.  I hope that my self sufficiency will again be stronger.   Good luck with your move Patti when it happens, I hope it works out for you. 

All the best Patti.

I have thrived on it as I live alone and have always spent time alone since my Husband dies 33 years ago -- never bothers me --even though I am unable to do what I once did -- there are always books to read and of course the computer -- and do what I can when I can,  no choice as I was interviewed for home help almost 12 months ago and STILL have had no word except that they are short-staffed --   JOBS & GROWTH --where the hell are they

My Son lives many miles from me and works but visits when he can and rings me twice a day --

You are a very positive lady Plan B.   

I know some of my friends overseas have had issues with isolation but being an only child it doesn't bother me being alone with my own company;   husband is ill and sleeps alot these days usually till midday.

I think being an only child does help  (I am also an only child)  as is my Son  I think it is a positive and allows you quite enjoy your own company

Very true Plan B.

I am also sure you like me like your own company too.

As a child I can remember always being with adults, you sit while they are chatting away to eachother and notice how they communicate don't you think?

 

Yes you learn to enjoy time to yourself -- and I always enjoyed being with nature and away from crowded places -- although if I had to be with crowds it also never bothered me

 

I'm from a large family with many siblings, yet have always enjoyed time alone...In fact feel energised and charge my batteries so to speak by alone time...

Actually  thought my enjoyment of a certain amount of alone time had its origins in being raised in a large family with little privacy, with time alone opportunities in such a setting being few ...

So don't know the answer as to why some enjoy time alone and others don't.

 

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