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Phone welfare checks for older Australians

Elderly people who have suspended in-home services during the coronavirus crisis will soon receive welfare checks over the phone.

Many older Australians have scrapped home care visits to avoid the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck is nervous vulnerable people could fall through the cracks.

“It’s clear some senior Australians are anxious about the risks of visits from providers,” he said on Wednesday.

“Of course, it’s their choice to receive or not receive care, but we remain determined to ensure those who need support are still receiving it.”

Colbeck said care providers were trained in infection control to help stop the spread of the virus.

“All the proper procedures are being put in place to ensure the highest level of protection,” he said.

Colbeck said the government is working with a number of consumer organisations, including the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), to provide the additional supports.

“OPAN will be able to receive referrals from home care and CHSP providers where the client or their family are reducing or cancelling services due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic,” Colbeck said.

He said referrals could also be made for people needing extra support as a result of the restrictions. 

“The aged care provider has a responsibility to notify the care recipient or family of the referral to OPAN and that they will receive a call-back,” Colbeck said.  

Senior Australians who need support with aged care advocacy can contact OPAN on 1800 700 600.

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One comment

  1. Caladenia Dementia Care has partnered with Easter Volunteers and all staff are busy doing welfare checks to ascertain any changed needs for over 1400 vulnerable older people in Melbourne’s Outer East. Also offering shopping and delivery, as well as phone chats, Zoom chats and delivery of activity packs.