Wellington (Monday, 14 March 2022) – Almost two-thirds of Wellington’s senior population are currently staying home as much as possible, according to a new survey by Age Concern Wellington Region (ACWR).
Age Concern wanted to discover more about what was happening for seniors as large numbers of the population begin to be impacted by Omicron. This survey represents a snapshot of the wellbeing of seniors in early March 2022. Despite media and Government communications that Omicron is less severe than Delta, more than half of seniors in the survey said they are still very worried about becoming infected with Covid-19.
Globally, seniors have been the hardest hit by Covid-19. Like many other nations, multiple lockdowns and Covid-19 spreading rapidly in the community has meant many seniors in New Zealand have had to frequently hide themselves away from their communities as Covid-19 passes through. ACWR’s survey results have shown that this is still the case. If seniors leave the house, it is most likely to be for groceries or to tend to health needs.
With 400 respondents, the survey represents approximately 1% of the entire senior population of the Wellington Region.
“Beginning to lose some of my confidence, unsure about going places,” commented one of the survey respondents. “[I] just wish all this was over…, just miss all the socialising,” said another.
One of the surprising trends that emerged from this survey is that older seniors aged 80+ are slightly less anxious than those aged 65 – 79. There is a noticeable collective trend among older seniors of being less concerned about getting sick, less worried about going out and less likely to stay at home as much as possible.
Respondent comments highlighted that isolation for some is compounding the difficulties caused by the pandemic. One respondent sums this up particularly well: “For people like myself, living alone, with my family living overseas, there have been a few times when I would have appreciated a helping hand but of course my friends are of a similar age and need to look after themselves. Sometimes I’d just love a little pat on the back for coping so well with my home, garden and self.”