While well-being is predicted to decrease with higher levels of loneliness during COVID-19, a recent study shows that higher levels of social networking reduce the negative feelings and experiences of loneliness through isolation.

Professor Emeritus Anneke Fitzgerald, Gabriela Di Perna and Dr Katrina Radford from the Department of Business, Strategy and Innovation, Dr Gaery Barbery, Associate Professor Neil Harris and Dr Jennifer Cartmel from Griffith Health have partnered with Western Australian not-for-profit community organisations to conduct a well-being survey to better understand and respond to the needs of older Australians.  

Their preliminary findings conclude that COVID-19 in itself is not necessarily leading to an increase in loneliness if coupled with social networking. This finding is significant as it appears that on average participants of the Wellness Survey across Melville Cares, MercyCare, Alchera Living, Astley Care and Southcare have not suffered significant decreases in their ability to maintain their social network and generally feel connected to their communities despite the difficult climate.

The Wellness survey is part of an evidence base for an Intergenerational Practice Pilot to be conducted in 2021 through a collaboration between Griffith University and WA Community Organisations—MercyCare and residents at Mercy Village and Magis students at John XXIII College. The aim of the well-being survey is to explore the general state of well-being of older people in Australia during COVID-19.

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