Grief and trauma support for older Australians impacted by COVID-19

The Australian Government is funding a range of organisations to provide grief and trauma support to people affected by COVID-19 across the aged care sector.

The funding will help ensure support is available for aged care recipients, their loved ones, and aged care staff who’ve experienced loss, trauma and distress due to COVID-19. Support includes counselling services, information on self-care, resources and advocacy, as well as specific services for people living with dementia.

See more information about the organisations and the free services they offer below.

Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (ACGB) provides grief and bereavement education and support across Australia. Their services include:

  • Counselling. Call ACGB on 1800 22 22 00 to receive information on self-care resources, and group or individual counselling (via telehealth, video call, or in person).
    • If you speak a language other than English, ACGB has bilingual staff who can also work with clients in Arabic, Czech, Farsi, French, Italian, Japanese, Maltese, Sinhali, Tamil, Spanish and Yiddish. For other languages not listed above, you can use Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National)
    • Auslan is available for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Support for Community Organisations and aged care providers. ACGB also supports community and religious groups, practitioners, and aged care providers to tailor strategies to support their communities, clients and residents. Call 1800 22 22 00 for more information on how to help your community.
  • Phone app. The free My Grief app provides tools to support  bereaved people, and also provides strategies for carers on how to support someone experiencing grief and loss.

For more information on the above or to see a suite of COVID-19-specific grief and trauma fact sheets, visit the ACGB website.

Phoenix Australia

Phoenix Australia offers information and tools to support people who have had traumatic experiences. This includes COVID-19 support as well as historical trauma that may impact on peoples’ experiences in aged care. They also offer information for carers, families, and aged care providers, as well as tip sheets to support health practitioners and community members.

Visit the Phoenix Australia website for more information.

Specialised Dementia support

From changes in routine to social isolation, the impact of COVID-19 has caused significant challenges for people living with dementia, and their families and carers. 

Dementia Support Australia provides 24 hour help across Australia, 365 days a year. It provides advice and recommendations to people who care for someone with dementia where behaviours are impacting their care.

For more information, call 1800 699 799 or visit the Dementia Support Australia website.

As part of the grief and trauma package, Dementia Support Australia will offer a first line of support for care homes regarding activity engagement support for people with dementia through its Dementia Engagement Modelling Program (DEMP).

Need translating or interpreting assistance?

If you need a translator to access these services, you can use Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National). Simply call 131 450, choose your language and then nominate which service you’d like to connect to. If you are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing, you can access sign language interpreting services through Auslan Connections.

News and updates

For alerts on issues like COVID-19, information on new features coming to this website, important updates from the Australian Government about aged care, and more, visit our News and updates page.

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