The Australian Government Department of Health has established several programs to support older Australians during the pandemic.
Older persons COVID-19 Support Line
Older Australians, their families, friends and carers can free call 1800 171 866 if they:
- would like to talk with someone about the COVID-19 restrictions and its impact on them
- are feeling lonely or are worried about a loved one
- are caring for someone and need some information or a listening ear
- need help or advice about changing the aged care services they are receiving
- need help to access new care services or essential supplies such as shopping
- are concerned about themselves, a friend or family member living with dementia
- would like to arrange a one-off regular wellbeing check for themselves, or someone else.
Older Australians, their relatives, carers, friends or supporters can call 1800 171 866 from 8:30am – 6:00pm AEST weekdays for any information or services they may need.
Health professionals can also refer people (with consent) for a call back if they are worried about the person’s decision to stop or alter their normal home care services. This can be done by dialling 1800 171 866 and selecting option 1.
Community Visitors Scheme (CVS)
This is a free service that coordinates volunteer visits to provide ongoing friendship and companionship to eligible older people who are lonely or socially isolated. With increased isolation during the pandemic, the CVS is supporting phone and virtual friendships.
For anyone who would like to register to receive a visitor; refer someone to receive a visitor; or for any volunteers who would like to make a connection, visit the CVS website.
National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP)
NACAP is a free, independent and confidential service supporting older people who receive or are applying for government-subsidised aged care by providing advocacy services and support to resolve issues with their aged care, helping them to understand and access the aged care system, and informing them of their aged care rights. NACAP can be accessed by phone on 1800 700 600 or by visiting opan.com.au.