Grief and trauma support and advice for the aged care sector

  19 July 2021  Australian Government Department of Health

COVID-19 has impacted many people living and working in aged care, including aged care residents, home care recipients, their families, families of choice, friends, loved ones, community visitors and aged care staff.

Many people living, working, or caring for those in aged care may be suffering grief from the death of a loved one due to COVID-19 or from missing their visitors, their routines, and loss of important life events. People in and around aged care may also be experiencing trauma as a response to traumatic events, isolation, physical distancing, COVID-19 hotspot lockdowns, ongoing uncertainty, and visitor restrictions.

It’s ok to seek help. The Australian Government has funded mental health, grief, trauma, and education experts to produce online resources and training and support you either in-person or on the phone.

Please encourage people in your community who might need help to engage with the services and resources provided:

Support for grief, loss, and bereavement

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement provides support, advice, and counselling in a one-to-one or group setting through video calls and in person.

Call 1800 222 200, 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday or visit aged.grief.org.au

Resources about the impacts of trauma

Phoenix Australia offers information and resources for older people impacted by trauma and their families, loved ones and aged care staff. Visit phoenixaustralia.org/aged-care  

Help for people living with dementia where behaviours are impacting their care

Dementia Support Australia has a free national service providing 24-hour help, 365 days a year.  Their dementia consultants provide support to people who care for someone living with dementia. Call 1800 699 799, 24-hours, 7 days a week. Visit dementia.com.au

Advocacy and support

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) is a free, confidential, and independent service supporting people receiving or applying for Government-subsidised aged care. OPAN helps you resolve any aged care issues and understand your aged care rights. Call 1800 700 600, 6:00am – 10:00pm, 7 days a week. Visit opan.org.au

Free, confidential, and accessible

All services and resources are free, confidential and respect your culture, religion, identity, and lifestyles. Translated brochures and posters are available for download and to order in print on the program resources page.

Interpreting is also available, call 131 450 for Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS), ask for your language to connect. Or call 1300 010 877 for Auslan Connections, email interpreter.bookings@deafservices.org.au, fax 07 3892 8511 or SMS 0407 647 591.

For more information, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website or contact: ageing.and.diversity@health.gov.au

North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network also funds additional support for people living and working in residential aged care facilities. More information on support for aged care in our region is available on our website.