Telling It Like It Is: How COVID-19 Impacted Older People
Aug 05, 2021
“The pandemic showed that living at home was safer”
From feelings of isolation and cancellation to the desire to stay at home surrounded by friends and family, the opinions of Ireland’s older people are articulated clearly in this first report published by the Alliance of Age Sector NGOs.
Telling It Like It Is is an unfiltered account of how the pandemic impacted older people. It was created jointly by seven significant age sector NGOs as part of their shared focus on progressing policy, services, and resources for older people.
A selection of key insights from the report include:
- Dislike for “cocooning”: Throughout the last 18 months, many older people felt as though they were forced to bear the brunt of the restrictions without consultation. Their needs were ignored, and they suffered a loss of confidence and capacity, loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and depression as Government restrictions removed their autonomy to social distance.
- Ageism: It was also felt that ageism played a part in many decisions in regard to the wellbeing of older people. In particular, connections to community were severed as older people were restricted from participating in voluntary work. This made many feel like their contribution to society was unrecognised and undervalued.
- Home care is preferred: “Most older people want to stay in their own homes and communities until the end of their lives.” As part of the report, Senior Citizens Parliament CEO and Alliance Member Sue Shaw spoke to the often-ignored wish of so many people in later life. She detailed how staying at home with connection, friendship, dignity, choice, and support was not something that dwindled with age, it is a shared need of citizens of any life stage.
In releasing Telling It Like It Is, the Alliance is calling on the Government to:
- Take ageism seriously and implement meaningful action to counteract it
- Institute a coherent system of supports so that older people can stay in their own homes to the end of their life, as that is what most want to do
- Appoint a champion with a cross-departmental brief to prioritise older people’s issues
Read the full report, Telling It Like It Is, here.