Before 2020, ‘digital engagement’ and ‘aged care’ were two phrases we never thought we would use in the same sentence. Consultation with older community members was typically carried out face-to-face, with digital engagement techniques reserved for younger, tech-savvy audiences. With the advent of COVID-19, communications professionals need to look to new, digital engagement techniques to safely consult with vulnerable stakeholders. While many older people are tech savvy and embracing of new technology, others need help transitioning to the digital space. This is particularly true of the aged care sector where residents can often have accessibility challenges.
Older people have a wealth of invaluable wisdom and experience to offer consultation initiatives, and social distancing requirements should not preclude them from having their say.