How older Australians are dealing with COVID-19

A new study has identified how vulnerable older Australians feel about easing off COVID-19 restrictions and is encouraging all health professionals to refer their patients over 70 years old to engage with independent support workers for additional care and support needs outside of practice.

The Mable study, based on an independent survey of 476 Australians aged 70 and older, found that although older Australians feel excited about isolation restrictions lifting, they still hesitant.

Many aren’t fearful of going out socially or to the shops (both 18%), but they do have concerns over other people not socially distancing (69%) and their health being at risk (54%). Over half (51%) are concerned about infected people visiting their home now COVID-19 lockdowns have lifted.

The survey also identified that more than 80% of respondents will be seeking some kind of aged care support in the next 12 months, including: social support, domestic assistance, therapy support, nursing services, personal care, travel and transport, and more.

Personal care services are most likely to increase over the year with 87% of Australians over 70 looking for support in this area over the next 12 months, compared to just 11% during COVID-19, and 84% will actively be looking for support around the home.

Formerly known as Better Caring, Mable is a profit for purpose business, which directly connects care/support workers and other health professionals with people who need care and support to live independently.

CEO and co-founder, Peter Scutt says: “Individuals can choose who comes into their home, and when, meaning they can build an ongoing relationship with the independent support people they connect with on mable.com.au.

“And because the older person remains in control of who they choose, how the services are delivered and what they pay, it disarms the usual resistance many older people have accepting help.

“Help that can be critical to their physical, mental and emotional health and can enable them to remain living at home, independently for longer.”

The tech-based platform allows older Australians and their families to search for independent support workers who can offer a range of support to supplement the services of their healthcare teams.

“Ageing Australians have often been seeing the same GP or health professionals for years and have a relationship with them which is built on trust.

“Mable works by giving those seeking support an option to extend that support team into their home, by engaging independent workers who offer social support, personal care and even nursing services,” says Mable independent support worker and enrolled nurse Katie Leoni.

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