Protecting older Australians: COVID-19 update 24 March 2020

Information about the new process for ordering PPE supplies for the aged care sector, the new e-learning module for aged care workers, visit guidelines, and mental health resources.

Date published:
Health sector

New process for ordering Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies for aged care sector

Aged care providers that require PPE must now email for all requests – please don’t approach Primary Health Networks.

All requests will be triaged by the Department of Health with priority given to facilities, programs and workers where there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Requests can be made by aged care services and any workers providing support to people receiving aged care support living in the community.

The following information must be provided in your email request:

  • the facility, program or service requiring PPE
  • if you have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 at your facility, program or service
  • types and quantities of PPE required – please note, only masks are available at this stage and other PPE will be provided when available
  • details of other suppliers you have attempted to source PPE stock from.

If your facility, program or service is experiencing an outbreak of influenza the above process applies.

The Department of Health will triage your request to determine priority and may be in contact with you for further information.

Once approved the request for supplies will be shared with the National Incident Room who will work with your State or Territory Government to distribute the supplies.

It is important to remember that if you do not have a confirmed case of COVID-19 within your facility, program or service you should expect delays in receiving your PPE due to the increase in demand.

Emails previously sent to the National Stockpile address do not need to be resent as they have been captured in this new, dedicated aged care process.

New e-learning module for aged care workers now online

The Department of Health has released the first module in a new eLearning program aimed specifically for Aged Care workers on appropriate health management techniques in all aged care settings.

Module 1: Personal Safety can be accessed here.

On completion of this module, participants will be able to:

  • describe how you can minimise the risk of developing COVID-19
  • identify what to do if you develop symptoms of COVID-19
  • demonstrate to others how to perform effective hand hygiene
  • explain how to practise cough and sneeze etiquette.

More modules will be released across the week and available here.

Social Distancing without the isolation: Helping Older Australians connect online

With so many people practising social distancing in the face of COVID-19, friends and family of older Australians can help them avoid social isolation by assisting them to get established online.

The Government's eSafety Commissioner has released a great resource for older Australians to develop online skills and navigate the digital world with confidence.

At a time when video calls and online purchasing are encouraged, we need to ensure older Australians receive the right advice and support to help them interact online.

The Be Connected website established by eSafety is a dedicated learning site with over 45 free online courses plus interactive training tools and resources. These include courses on:

Beyond Blue

This is a difficult and unsettling time, and if you need mental health support you can call the Beyond Blue Support Service. The free and confidential service is available every day to all Australians online from 3pm to midnight AEST or 24 hours a day by phone on 1300 22 4636.

The Beyond Blue Online Forums have a dedicated ‘Coping with the Coronavirus outbreak’ section for anyone seeking a safe and anonymous place to discuss their mental health and wellbeing.  For practical information and tips, please visit Beyond Blue - looking after you mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.

MindSpot Wellbeing Plus Course

MindSpot also offers a ‘Wellbeing Plus’ online course for people 60+ years. It aims to help older adults learn to manage stress, anxiety, worry, low mood and depression. The course was funded by a grant from beyondblue.

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