Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for older Australians and people supporting them who are receiving care either at home or in a residential aged care.
Find up to date information and authoritative information and advice on COVID-19 for the health and aged care sector on the Australian Department of Health’s website and at the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s website.
The Australian Government has Advice on aged care during Covid-19 on their website or aged care providers, aged care workers and people who receive residential or home care.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be rolled out in stages, over a 6 to 12-month period. The COVID-19 vaccine National Roll-Out Strategy details the phases in which vaccines will be made available.Information regarding the vaccine can be found here.
COTA Australia has worked with the federal government to produce a fact sheet for older Australians. It provides clear and practical information about reducing the risks of COVID-19 and answers many frequently asked questions.
COTA Australia has also put together a frequently asked questions page.
NDIA have produced some easy English information sheets about COVID-19.
For information in your language, Ethnolink have translated resources.
Dementia Australia Help Sheets
- Tips for people living with dementia – outlines the coronavirus COVID-19 symptoms, hygiene tips, the importance of having a good support network, ideas to remain active and engaged while in self-isolation, and where to go for help.
- Tips for carers, families and friends of people living with dementia – outlines the coronavirus COVID-19 symptoms, hygiene tips, helpful tips for primary carers, as well as for family, friends or neighbours, ideas for remaining active and engaged while in self-isolation, and where to go for help.
- Tips for residential care providers – outlines the impacts coronavirus COVID-19 may have on residents, tips on alternative activities and how to support continued engagement with families and carers.
- Tips for home care providers – outlines the impacts coronavirus COVID-19 may have on a person living with dementia, tips to reduce heightened anxiety and where to go for help.
National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500, interpreter service are available.
Submissions to the Aged Care Royal Commission have closed
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is called for submissions from the general public and organisations relating to the impact of COVID-19 on the aged care sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on all aspects of Australia’s economy and society, including the delivery of aged care services. In order to understand that impact fully, the Commissioners were seeking the views of those people directly affected, in particular recipients of aged care services, families or supporters of recipients, aged care service providers, and those who work in aged care.
Find more information here.
Visits to friends and family in residential aged care
It is important to stay up to date with the latest Aged Care Direction and take reasonable steps to protect residents, visitors and staff.
There are special measures in place to stop the spread of the virus through residential aged care facilities.
For the most up to date information visit Queensland Health’s website.
Visiting someone in residential aged care
Visitors, staff or volunteers at a residential aged care facility should not be anyone who:
- is unwell
- has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or asked to quarantine
- has returned from overseas in the last 14 days (excluding safe travel zone countries)
- has had contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- has visited a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days or since the hotspot was declared (whichever is shorter)
- has been tested for COVID-19 and is waiting for the result (except for tests due to surveillance testing obligations)
- has COVID-19 symptoms of fever (37.5 degrees or more), cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or fatigue
- has been in a public exposure site as listed by the Victorian Government
- has been in the 31 Greater Melbourne Local Government Areas of concern between 29 January 2021 and 6 February 2021 and not obtained a negative COVID-19 test.
You may enter a residential aged care facility if you do not fit into any of the above categories.
- wash their hands before entering and leaving the facility
- stay 1.5 metres away from others where possible
- follow requests from the facility to help keep staff and residents safe.
For information on the Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19, can be found here.
If you have concerns about their processes, you can contact the Older Person’s Advocacy Network on 1800 237 981 the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on 1800 951 822.
Find out more, including frequently asked questions here.
If you, or the person you are visiting, are unwell (particularly with flu or cold-like symptoms), you must not visit. Consider a chat over the phone, or other arrangement. Aged care providers have been asked to set up video links, skype connections and the like.
If you are receiving support in the home or need support
If you are in your own home and require help at home or short-term care or an assessment of your needs, contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or go to myagedcare.gov.au. If you are already accessing support and you require additional support or a change in your support contact your providers to discuss your needs and care plan.
The Australian Government has introduced new flexibility provisions for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). If your current services are not meeting your needs talk to your service provider or contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
Training and Guidelines for service providers
Online training on COVID-19 for care workers across all health care settings.
The Australian Department of Health has a 30-minute online training module – How to protect yourself and the people you are caring for from infection with COVID-19. This training is for care workers across all health care settings. It covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19 including:
- infection prevention and control for COVID-19
- training for aged care workers
- training focused on rural and remote communities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
Australian guidelines for aged care providers
The Infection Control Expert Group have developed national guidelines for COVID-19 infection prevention and control in residential care facilities in Australia. Access the document here.
The Department of Health have produced a guide for aged care providers who offer home care services to older people. It provides information and guidance on how to stay safe from coronavirus (COVID-19). Access the document here.
Other guidelines and advice for the health and aged care sector can be found on the Department of Health website here and you can find Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for health professionals, including aged care providers, pathology providers and healthcare managers here. You can find advice and resources from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, including a COVID-19 management flowchart, here.
‘It’s ok to have home care’ infographic and factsheet
The Australian Government has released an information sheet and infographic for older people who may have an aged care worker visiting them at home. The It’s ok to have Home Care Infographic’ and the It’s ok to have Home Care Factsheet provide people with information on safety measures that have been put in place, how they can protect themselves against COVID-19 and to look after their health. Factsheets are also available in languages other than English.
Guidance from the World Health Organisation
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released an Infection Prevention and Control guidance for Long-Term Care Facilities in the context of COVID-19 on 21 March 2020 . Access the document here.
Dementia Australia Help Sheets for care providers
Tips for residential care providers outlines the impacts coronavirus COVID-19 may have on residents, tips on alternative activities and how to support continued engagement with families and carers.
Tips for home care providers outlines the impacts coronavirus COVID-19 may have on a person living with dementia, tips to reduce heightened anxiety and where to go for help.
Information pages from provider peak bodies