This content relates to a former minister

Support for senior Australians during the holiday season

Vital support services will ensure senior and vulnerable Australians can access the help they need and stay connected during the holiday season.

Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck
Former Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services
Former Minister for Sport

Media event date:
Date published:
Media type:
Media release
General public

Vital support services will ensure senior and vulnerable Australians can access the help they need and stay connected during the holiday season.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck, said after a difficult year, the need for older Australians to stay connected was more important than ever.

“We know living with the pandemic has made life harder for many senior Australians,” Minister Colbeck said.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to reach out to their older friends and family members.

“Just a quick chat and acknowledgement can make a huge difference to somebody’s life at this time of the year.”

The Australian Government has bolstered a range of resources to support the social connection, mental health and wellbeing of senior Australians, including the Government’s free digital mental health gateway, Head to Health.

These services include:

Minister Colbeck said The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line provides links to several initiatives to support senior Australians.

This includes practical advice and referrals to services that can ease their concerns about any social isolation they may be experiencing, travel restrictions, access to new, or queries about existing, home care services and other questions they may have about the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Senior Australians who are lonely or isolated over the holiday period can contact the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN),” Minister Colbeck said.

“OPAN is funded by the Government to deliver free, independent and confidential advocacy support and information to older people, ensuring they are empowered to make informed decisions about their care.”

Older Australians and their families and aged care staff who require grief, loss and bereavement counselling can contract the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement has a free telephone service available on 1800 22 22 00.

Phoenix Australia has tools to support those who have had traumatic experiences, as well as trauma recovery resources for carers and aged care providers.”

In addition, a range of Australian Government funded dementia services will continue to be available this holiday period to support people living with dementia and their carers.

Dementia Support Australia delivers the free Dementia Behaviours Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) and Severe Behaviour Response Teams (SBRT).

These services can assist carers when behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia are affecting a person’s care or quality of life. These programs are available 24 hours a day by phoning 1800 699 799.

Dementia Australia delivers the National Dementia Support Program (NDSP) which includes the National Dementia Helpline.

The Helpline is free and provides information and advice including caring for people living with dementia and how families and carers can look after themselves.

The Helpline is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm (AEDT) by phoning 1800 100 500. It will be closed on the following public holidays - 25 and 28 December 2020, 1 and 26 January 2021.

“Dementia is one of the nation’s greatest health challenges,” Minister Colbeck said.  “That’s why the Australian Government is committed to supporting these important programs and provides more than $50 million each year to fund a number of these services.”


Help us improve

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.