Victorian extension to COVID-19 support line providing access to crucial and valuable service for Senior Australians

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Victorian extension to COVID-19 support line providing access to crucial and valuable service for Senior Australians

Media Release: 13 November 2020

Today’s newsletter provides information on the extension of the COVID-19 support line. The support line has provided a valuable service for senior Australians, ensuring they have access to crucial information and support during the pandemic.

This edition also provides the latest directive from Victoria on the easing of visitor restrictions in residential aged care facilities, as well as a link to the most recently updated COVID-19 Residential Aged Care Facilities Plan for Victoria.

Again we encourage you to share this newsletter with your colleagues and workforce, particularly your communications teams. Encourage them to subscribe for future updates.

Anyone living in an aged care facility, their family or representative who needs support should contact the Older Person’s Advocacy Network on 1800 700 600.

In this edition:


What’s New

Extension of the COVID-19 support line

The Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck has announced a $2.5 million investment to extend and expand the Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line until 30 June 2021 to ensure senior Australians get the services and assistance they need during COVID-19.

Between 22 April and 23 October 2020, the support line received more than 5,000 inbound calls and provided more than 29,000 outbound calls.

The top five reasons for calls included:

  • wellbeing checks
  • information about COVID-19
  • advice to vulnerable people
  • travel restrictions
  • access to new, or queries about existing, home care services.

The support service is a joint initiative of COTA Australia, Dementia Australia, National Seniors Australia and the Older Persons Advocacy Network. The expansion of the service will also include support from the Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) Alliance.

Senior Australians who would like information and support are encouraged to contact the Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line on 1800 171 866, Monday to Friday between 8:30am to 6pm AEDT (excluding public holidays).

Updated Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Directive

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has issued the Care Facilities Direction no.16 which applies to residential care facilities, including aged care facilities and disability residential facilities.

From 11:59pm on Sunday 8 November 2020, restrictions on visitors to care facilities have been eased, including:

  • one household is able to make a visit of up-to two hours per day for each resident at care facilities
  • family members of infants or children under 18 years can continue to visit together for unlimited periods
  • hairdressers and barbers can visit care facilities to provide hairdressing services to residents
  • care facilities must comply with the density quotients that limit the number of people that can be in a shared space at the same time.

The Victorian Government has updated its COVID-19 Residential Aged Care Facilities Plan for Victoria. This document provides guidelines to assist RACFs to support their healthcare workers, residents, families and visitors to prepare for, prevent and manage cases and outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19). Updates to the document are highlighted in yellow.

Resources

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