10 Apr 2020

Elderly concerned access to vital information mostly online

10:51 am on 10 April 2020

Charity organisation for the over 65s, Age Concern, says essential messages and access to services need to be available via other sources other than just the internet so that everyone in the community is covered.

Happy asian senior man using the mobile phone at home

Photo: 123rf

Age Concern Canterbury chief executive Simon Templeton said they have had a number of calls from older people, and their family members, concerned essential information was primarily available online.

He said one of the biggest concerns was about food distribution.

"If they don't have family members or friends locally, they are saying, 'how do we get food?'.

"If we look at all the options that are becoming available you have to be online to access them and you also have to have a credit card. And this cuts out a reasonable group of older people."

Templeton said information needed to come out in multifaceted ways, with radio and mail drops good options for older people.

He said the Ministry of Social Development had supplied Age Concern a list of people on superannuation, and branches around the country are contacting all of those people to check that their needs were being met.

Templeton said in Canterbury all over 90 year olds had been contacted and now people over 80 were being contacted.

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