COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Information for older Queenslanders

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Information for older Queenslanders

The spread of COVID-19 and Australia’s response is evolving, so for the most up to date information  please www.australia.gov.au  or  www.health.qld.gov.au

The current advice is to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. If you leave your home, practice physical distancing. Gatherings are limited to 2 people.

The Queensland Government is issuing spot fines for people breaching these conditions. If you are aged over 70, aged over 60 with a pre-existing condition, or an Indigenous person aged over 50, you should stay at home.

We understand that this a confusing and unpredictable time, but we ask that you look out for one another. Older people are one of the groups most vulnerable to the coronavirus. It is important that we all practice good hygiene and take sensible precautions to keep ourselves and each other safe.

As the seniors’ peak body in Queensland, we are committed to supporting you however we can and keeping you informed as the COVID-19 pandemic develops.

Do you have a story to share? We have created a space on our  Engagement Hub  for you to share your experiences, needs, and concerns so that we can better understand the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on Queenslanders as we age.

Jump to a section:
Factsheets, Digital Media, Aged Care Facilities, Supports Available

Where to find information

For the most accurate and up-to-date health advice, visit:

Worried? Take the COVID-19 quiz

Do you have more question? Find the right service for your coronavirus (COVID-19) enquiry here.

Factsheets

Council on the Ageing (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.

Information for people with dementia and their carers is available from Dementia Australia.

NDIA have produced some easy English information sheets about COVID-19.

For information in your language, Ethnolink have translated resources into languages other than English.

Digital Media

Download the Australian Government’s official app, ‘Coronavirus Australia’ from the Apple Store or Google Play. The app includes a symptom checker, advice, resources, news updates and the ability to register your isolation status.

Join the official WhatsApp channel. Download the app from either the Apple Store or Google Play, then visit http://aus.gov.au/whatsapp in your mobile browser. It will prompt you to ‘send’ a request to join the channel.

For informative discussion and answers to common questions, ABC has created the Coronacast podcast. The daily episodes are around 10 minutes long and available through the ABC listen appApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Aged Care Facilities

The Federal Government has introduced new rules around visiting aged care facilities. Some facilities may have extra rules in place beyond what is required. Before you visit a centre, check with them directly to see whether this is the case.

Find more information on COVID-19 and Aged Care here.

Supports Available

Care Army

COTA Queensland is proud to be a part of the Care Army initiative.

While maintaining physical distancing, the Care Army is looking out for those most at risk, including people over the age of 65, and people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent over the age of 50.

Being part of the Care Army is simple. We need to:
1. Make sure our seniors have enough food
2. Make sure they have access to all their medication needs
3. Reach out for a phone or video chat and stay connected

If you need support, reach out to your trusted friends, family and neighbours. You can also call the Community Recovery hotline on 1800 173 349, or visit www.covid19.qld.gov.au/carearmy

Essential goods and services

Groceries:

ColesWoolworths along with some IGAs and smaller supermarkets are holding dedicated shopping hours between 7 am and 8 am for older people and people with disability. You will need to show some form of Government issued card to prove your eligibility. This varies between chains, so please check the requirements with your supermarket.

Some supermarkets are offering priority delivery services for people unable to come into a store. Eligibility and availability may vary between locations and companies, so please check online or contact your supermarket directly for more information. Local produce markets may also offer delivery or click and collect services. Check on their individual websites or call them directly to find out your options.

Medicines: 

As part of the National Health Plan, telehealth can now be bulk-billed and Electronic Prescribing is being fast-tracked, with work to upgrade the doctor and pharmacy software well underway. It is expected to be ready by May 2020 but there are options immediately available to support telehealth services so you can get medicine sent directly to you at home. It is important to note that these interim arrangements are temporary.

Many pharmacies are also offering free home delivery of prescriptions to vulnerable members of the community.  Speak to your pharmacy to find out if they are offering this service and what their eligibility is.

Australia Post has launched a free pharmacy home delivery service. For more information click here. For more information on the government rebate visit health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-national-health-plan-primary-care-home-medicines-services-to-support-the-response-to-covid-19.

Medical:

If you start to feel unwell, contact a doctor or call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

You can seek medical support from your GP through bulk-billed telehealth (video link such as FaceTime, Zoom or WhatsApp.) and telephone services.

Other telehealth services include:

  • Psychologists
  • Nurses
  • Psychiatrists
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners

For more information:

Financial support

Two $750 Economic Support Payments will be provided to Australians currently receiving a welfare payment. This will be automatically paid to you in April and in June/July. You do not need to contact Centrelink to access these payments.