Australian Government provides support for the elderly during lockdowns
Senior Australians that have been affected by the ongoing lockdowns throughout the country can now access vital support services, ensuring they stay socially connected and maintain their health.
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services Richard Colbeck said it was important that the elderly and their families knew and understood that aged care services were available to them.
“Challenges remain for senior and vulnerable Australians as we continue to navigate the impact of the pandemic, particularly the effect of the Delta strain,” Minister Colbeck said.
“Staying connected and healthy has never been more important.”
The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line is an important first step for any elderly Australian who is in need of support or assistance.
The Australian Government has also initiated the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), providing $4.3 million to help deliver education, information and advocacy services for seniors and their families, especially to those in areas most affected by lockdowns.
OPAN also offers a Wellbeing Check service, providing emotional or social support for those who have reduced or cancelled home care services due to pandemic concerns. This service is available to both Home Care Package or Commonwealth Home Support program recipients.
“We know due to concerns about COVID-19, some senior Australians have reduced or cancelled their in-home aged care services,” Minister Colbeck said.
“We want to ensure people have the best information when making these decisions, as reduction of services may negatively impact health and wellbeing.”
Minister Colbeck believes that vaccination of the elderly is still part of the country’s key defence against COVID-19.
Almost 80 per cent of senior Australians aged 70 years and over have received a first dose COVID-19 vaccine and more than 86 per cent of people in residential aged care have received their first dose with 83 per cent fully vaccinated.
“Vaccination is the best protection against hospitalisation and death due to COVID-19,” Minister Colbeck said. “Jabs can now be arranged through your GP, Commonwealth vaccination clinic or state and territory run vaccination clinics.”
For senior Australians with mobility issues, it is encouraged to contact one’s GP to discuss the possibility of a home visit to receive the vaccine.
The Australian Government continues to strongly encourage all in‑home and community aged care workers to get vaccinated.
SOURCE: DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH MEDIA RELEASE