Covid-19 Increases Demand for Age Concern’s Services
The long weeks in lockdown are challenging for all us and even more so for isolated and vulnerable older people. Often lonely, anxious and separated from family, friends and support networks, our older population struggle with the lockdown.
Age Concern Auckland has been working to support older people in West Auckland since 1949. Based in Avondale, demand for the charity’s services was high during the first lockdown and has continued since.
The charity is a worthy recipient of $5,380 of funding from the Your West Support Fund.
The Trusts set up the initiative to give back $500,000 worth of short-term financial assistance for registered charities helping West Aucklanders. The fund aims to support those in need during difficult times. And to reach as many groups as possible, the funding has been capped at $5,380 for each recipient.
In the face of significant life changes such as retirement, health challenges or the loss of a loved one, getting older can be difficult for many. Age Concern Auckland estimates that over 20 per cent of older people experience isolation and loneliness at a level damaging to their physical and mental wellbeing. A global pandemic and lockdowns have made those challenges even harder.
Age Concern Auckland has provided an essential lifeline for many during difficult times. The organisation remained open throughout lockdown, supporting and advising older people and their whānau. According to the charity, the main issues for older people were needing help with shopping, getting medication and wanting social connection.
‘We rely on community donations and support to fund 60 per cent of our operating costs,’ reports Kevin Lamb, Age Concern Auckland’s Chief Executive Officer.
‘The $5,380 funding we received from the Your West Support Fund will be applied to power, phone and internet costs at our Avondale office. These costs are essential for our team to deliver support to the vulnerable and isolated older people we work with in West Auckland,’ says Kevin.
The charity estimates that over the next three months, its services will directly help 448 vulnerable and isolated older West Auckland residents. Furthermore, according to Kevin, Age Concern Auckland’s advice, information, and phone-based assistance will reach a further 2,500 older people and their families.
‘We are incredibly grateful to the Your West Support Fund for ensuring that we, and other community organisations, can support West Aucklanders in need of help at this time,’ concludes Kevin.
Age Concern Auckland is one of 107 local charitable groups to receive support from the special fund. A full list of recipients is available here.
You’ll find Age Concern Auckland at 57 Rosebank Road, Avondale. For more information about the services and support available visit www.ageconcernauckland.org.nz or phone 09 820 0184.