Aug 26, 2020

Feeling lonely, worried about a loved one, need essential supplies? A new helpline delivers wellbeing to older people impacted by COVID-19

The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line has been set up to provide information, support and connection for older Australians during the period of social distancing measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COTA Australia, National Seniors, Dementia Australia and the Older Person’s Advocacy Network have banded together to deliver this service, supported by funding from the Australian Government.

Older Australians, their families, friends and carers can FREECALL 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 with questions or concerns about residential aged care, visitation or home care services
  • 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 or regular wellbeing check for themselves, or someone else.

Home care service providers can also use the number and dial option 1 to refer home care clients who would like a call from an independent organisation to check on their wellbeing.

Since its launch on 22 April, the line has received or made calls covering wellbeing checks, information on COVID-19 and travel restrictions, concerns with residential aged care homes visits and seeking information about retaining or altering their home care arrangements.

As COVID-19 measures lift in parts of the country, the Support Line has been able to connect older people with the COVID-19 action plan to help people to make COVIDSafe decisions about work, transport, and social activities in their communities during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In parts of the country with community transmission, especially as new COVID-19 restrictions were introduced, the Support Line has provided older Australians who are not digitally connected the ability to speak with someone who has been able to research specific questions and provide them the latest government advice over the phone.

Older Australians who do not speak English can:

  • call TIS National on 131 450
  • request an interpreter

ask to be put through to the Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line or quote the 1800 171 866 phone number to be connected.

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