Older people are upset and angry about the assumptions made about them during the pandemic, campaigners said.
Many were deeply distressed about coronavirus’s devastating impact in care homes, Age NI chief executive Linda Robinson said.
She said they feared discrimination.
She added: “The Covid-19 pandemic really placed the needs and services for older people in the spotlight, and yet many felt invisible and not part of decisions made about their lives.
“Older people were worried about the virus and its effect on their physical and mental wellbeing – and most took extra precautions to stay and keep their loved ones safe.”
It recognised the wide-reaching and intensely felt practical, physical and emotional effects of the pandemic on hundreds of thousands of older people, many of whom were previously living life to the full, Ms Robinson said.
She added that by bringing their voice into the public arena, campaigners hoped to be able to shape how preparations are made for the challenges of winter while living alongside coronavirus.
For the first time in their lives, many older people were required to view themselves as vulnerable.
She said: “Covid has caused a seismic psychological shift, as many people have been forced to adjust to losing their independence, relying on others, tackling unfamiliar technology, feeling vulnerable – and in some cases, a burden – for the first time in their lives.
“Age NI is all about supporting older people to live – and love – later life.
“Covid-19 has been a deep shock to this and a challenge for us all.”