Keeping the focus on some big issues

As part of our role as the Seniors Peak organisation in Queensland, we provide the Queensland Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors with a twice-yearly report on issues and trends affecting Queenslanders as we age. As you know, we work across many diverse topic areas, but this mid-year report focused in on four major areas that have been thrown into particularly sharp focus during the COVID pandemic.

First, we talked about the importance of continued attention to age-friendly communities. This is a particular focus given how having our movement restricted has highlighted the livability of our local communities. We will continue our conversations with both State and Local Governments about how we can work together on the age-friendly agenda, collaboratively with communities themselves, as part of the road to COVID recovery.

We looked at increasing concerns about social isolation and loneliness, increased risks and mental health impacts for older people and others. We noted the vast array of initiatives popping up around the state, the country, and the world including in aged care to address these problems during COVID. We also looked at the long-term challenge of social isolation and loneliness and some international and research developments towards solutions.

We paid special attention to intergenerational relationships and ageism. This includes plans for economic recovery, the language that is used in public health messages, ongoing work relating to ethical decision making in health care, and age-based responses to the pandemic from Governments internationally. In the report we noted some publications sharing ideas and evidence for anti-ageism strategies. We also profiled a few of the broad range of mutual support initiatives that have emerged, demonstrating the keen community interest in caring for each other. We are looking at ways we can support this to continue. You can read more about this in our feature article.

Finally, the rapid shift to online services has highlighted the importance of supporting people to get access as well as finding ways to ensure continued services and social connections for those who are not online. We highlighted some work we, and others, are doing to increase digital inclusion while continuing to advocate for those without the resources, capability, access, or confidence to get online.

One of the most important ways we keep the Queensland Government informed about what’s happening is through what we hear from you. Your voice matters! We invite you to visit our Engagement Hub and sign up to join our community reference network.

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