Seniors phone check-up reveals a stoic generation

A phone around to check on the welfare of the over-80s in the Kogarah electorate has shown they are concerned about family members and other people rather than themselves.
A phone around to check on the welfare of the over-80s in the Kogarah electorate has shown they are concerned about family members and other people rather than themselves.

They are considered the most vulnerable age group in the health emergency brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

But a ring-around of people 80-and-over to check on their welfare by the office of Kogarah MP Chris Minns shows they are more worried about family and friends than themselves.

For the past two weeks Mr Minns and his staff have been phoning residents aged 80-and-over in the Kogarah electorate to check on their welfare.

The objective was to find people who were in urgent need of help with shopping or access to medical supplies and then link them up with local community groups to assist them.

Mr Minns said when he and his staff have spoken to residents over 80 in the electorate he has found a resilience and sense of caring for others.

"We have been phoning suburb by suburb and most of them have been easy to contact because many still have landlines," Mr Minns said.

"About 75 to 80 per cent have direct family to carry the load for them," he said.

"They were grateful for us contacting them but they were more concerned about others in the community.

"There was stoicism and an overwhelming sense of selflessness.

"Half of them told of having a direct family member who has lost their job, such as a grandchild or a friend of the family so they are very concerned about the state of the economy.

"They are concerned about family members and other people rather than themselves.

"A few, less than 10 per cent said they needed some help with shopping and we have been linking up with a community service provider and coordinating pharmacy runs."

After Mr Minns posted the idea on Facebook it has been picked up by other MPs including Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese.

And he was contacted by the Premier's office showing there is cross-party support for the initiative.

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