"Towards COVID Normal", the second survey in the AIFS Families in Australia Survey series, ran November-December 2020, when restrictions were no longer in place in most parts of Australia. The findings in this report focuses on connection with others - from family members living elsewhere to the local community. Later reports will add to and expand on these findings.
Barriers to connection: Limited technological skills was a common barrier to older people connecting with family, although several older participants commented that adult children were too busy or unwilling to communicate.
Grandparents: Many grandparents found their regular patterns of care of or contact with grandchildren disrupted by COVID restrictions and felt disconnected and isolated from their children and grandchildren. 14% of respondents with grandchildren aged under 13 years provide child care daily or several times a week and another 16% provide child care about once a week.
Help and support: almost 30% of respondents who reported needing help with everyday tasks due to a disability or illness said that they did not receive help from professional services but they would like to.
Volunteering: COVID prevented many people from performing volunteer work. The number of respondents volunteering since COVID restrictions were lifted has not equalled the numbers volunteering before restrictions, suggesting that volunteer numbers across Australia have yet to recover to pre-COVID levels.
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