Protecting Older Australians: COVID-19 Update 15 March 2022

In this edition: Update on Aged Care and COVID-19 with the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Service, Trauma support is available online for the aged care sector and more.

Date published:
Health sector

Update on Aged Care and COVID-19 with the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services

The Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, invites aged care providers to an update on Aged Care and COVID-19.

The session will be held online on Friday 18 March, 4.30pm - 5.30pm (AEDT).

Please register to attend. We are aiming to limit registration to one representative per organisation, so please have a discussion within your organisation to nominate an appropriate attendee.

The session will include a moderated Q&A session with the Minister and Department of Health officials and we encourage you to submit questions in advance.

Trauma support is available online for the aged care sector after a disaster

Helping older adults after a disaster

Phoenix Australia have developed a range of free, accessible and expert resources to help health professionals who are supporting people on the ground during the floods which are available at: Resources – Phoenix Australia Disaster Mental Health Hub

This is part of a wide range of resources available to support communities, first responders and health and community support practitioners during disasters at Phoenix Australia’s disaster mental health hub which is funded by the department.

The below fact sheets are available in the resource hub, which are aimed at health practitioners and people in the community supporting older Australians following a disaster.

A number of videos are also available on trauma in older people and caring for older Australians affected by trauma.

Support for aged care workers who have experienced trauma and grief

Phoenix Australia have also developed a wellbeing program for aged care employees, funded as part of the Government’s  $12.4m Aged Care COVID-19 grief and trauma response package. This free online program is for aged care workers looking to build their emotional resilience, develop skills to support their wellbeing, or recover after stressful or distressing events and trauma. Aged care workers can register for this free program.

Aged care workers and volunteers can also access a range of online trauma resources – Aged Care Workforce - Phoenix Australia, including fact sheets and videos, to assist them in caring for people who have experienced trauma, as well as supporting their own wellbeing.

The Aged Care COVID-19 grief and trauma response package also funds the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (ACGB) to provide free grief support for aged care recipients, their loved ones and those working and caring for people in the aged care sector. The ACGB provides tailored support, advice and specialised counselling with a bereavement practitioner in a one-to-one or group setting. The ACGB has also developed online self-care resources that are available as webinars and fact sheets. The ACGB’s resources and supports can be accessed on the Aged Care Greif and Bereavement Support website.

OPAN Wellbeing check for in-home and community aged care services

If you are concerned about your clients’ wellbeing during these extreme weather events, the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) is available to support older people on 1800 700 600.

To ensure older Australians are safe, healthy, and are not missing out on services due to this challenging time, a referral program is available to Home Care and CHSP providers, or any concerned parties, (with client consent to be contacted). The service is complementary to the work of home care providers in continuing to connect with the older Australians they assist.

Wellbeing checks can be arranged in two ways:

  1. Clients can ring themselves to register for these wellbeing call backs
  2. Providers can register the clients’ interest on their behalf (with client consent to be contacted).

Call 1800 700 600

Senior Rights Service is the NSW OPAN member and Aged and Disability Advocates Australia are the QLD member, who can be contacted on 1800 700 600 : 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday.

Access to urgent meals

My Aged Care can assist with access to basic food and groceries. Access to prepared meal services can be set up quickly for up to 8 weeks without the need for an aged care assessment if they are not already an existing client. My Aged Care is available on 1800 200 422 (free call) between 8:00am and 8:00pm on weekdays and between 10:00am and 2:00pm on Saturdays. My Aged Care can also refer directly to meals services in the local area.

Access to emergency CHSP services

People seeking access to aged care services for the first time should contact My Aged Care to have a client record created and arrange for an assessment of their care needs.

An older person client can be directly referred by My Aged Care to a CHSP service provider if they have a need for an immediate health or safety intervention that is not available through other means. The services where this is likely to happen include nursing, personal care, meals, grocery shopping and transport.

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