Page 10 - Senior Scene Sydney Winter 2021
P. 10

PAGE 10                                                                                                                 
                COVID-19 Year reveals

       resilience of older people


            ecent research by COTA  “My wife started a Facebook group  also concerned about shopping  to limit their activities more than
            NSW has revealed that many  with  the other  ladies from  her  and getting essential supplies and  others to protect their own health.
      Rolder people were resilient  bowling club, which probably has  feeling isolated.                                  In fact, people in the 50-59 group
       in the face of reduced social activ- an average age of around 74. She       The sudden ceasing of volun- were much more likely to identify
       ity during COVID-19 restrictions,  helped them to learn new technol- teering activities had a significant  negative emotions than older age
       and were inventive in finding new  ogy and buy computers.”                 impact,  with  60%  of  respondents  groups, possibly due to increased
       ways to address their needs.           Older  people  appreciated  the  undertaking  some  form  of  vol- financial, family and work respon-
        The broad-ranging survey of peo- community projects  and infor- unteering prior to the pandemic.  sibilities and the fear of losing
       ple aged over 50 looked at how the  mal arrangements for checking in  Volunteering provides connection,  their job. They may also have been
       restrictions affected older people.  to see they were okay. They also  meaning and purpose for individu- more  affected  by  social  restric-
       It revealed that there has been a  enjoyed the opportunity to slow  als, as well as being critical for the  tions, whereas older groups have
       significant increase in the use of  down, actively enjoy nature, exer- operation of the non-profit sector.       had time to adjust to retirement
       technology to reduce isolation and  cise more and pursue hobbies.           Overall, about 20% of respon- and a smaller social circle.
       loneliness.                          Many said that they became better  dents  said  they  felt  anxious,         Unemployed  older  people  and
        25% of respondents said their  at living in the moment and “being  depressed, isolated and/or lonely  those receiving JobKeeper or
       level of skill with technology had  kind to yourself and others”.          last year. These were more likely to  Jobseeker also experienced more
       increased during the pandemic.         The main things that older peo- be people with a disability and/or  negative emotions. Around 6% of
       There was a marked increase in  ple missed were contact with  chronic disease and their carers,  respondents had lost their jobs
       the use of video calls and social  immediate family and friends.  who experienced decreased social  because of COVID-19, with the
       media.                               This was particularly the case for  interaction with service providers  highest proportion in the 50-59
        One  respondent  reported  that  the older age groups. People were  and social groups and also needed  age group.


                 he passing of legislation  and lower fees can significantly  the ability to prevent persistently  that a new super account is not
                 that encourages super  increase retirement incomes”, said  underperforming super products  automatically created  each  time
      “Tfunds to improve invest- Mr Strandquist.                                  from taking on new members”,  a worker changes their employer.
       ment performance, lower their          “The ‘Your Super’ comparison  explained Mr Strandquist.                   Your super account will follow
       fees, increase member engage- tool will enable super fund mem-              “The superannuation reforms  you (also called stapling) thus pre-
       ment and prevent duplicate super  bers  to  compare  the  investment  also increase accountability by  venting the creation of unintended
       accounts is welcomed by retir- performance  and  costs  of  their  compelling superannuation trust- multiple super accounts with
       ees,”  said  Mr Wayne  Strandquist,  fund and switch to a better per- ees to act in the best financial  duplicate fees and insurance pre-
       President of the  Association of  forming fund if appropriate”, added  interests  of  their  members  and  miums. With approximately 6 mil-
       Independent Retirees.                Mr Strandquist.                       increase transparency  with better  lion multiple super accounts in the
        “With superannuation accumu-          “Super funds will be bench- information about how they man- system and about 850,000 created
       lating for at least 40 years of work- marked via an annual perfor- aged and spent members’ retire- every year, this reform is most
       ing life and continuing for up to  mance test including fees. If a fund  ment savings during the previous  welcome,” said Mr Strandquist.
       30 years in retirement, even small  fails the test, members of the fund  year”, said Mr Strandquist.
       gains in investment performance  must be informed. APRA will have           “The new legislation also ensures
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