Published date: 31 August 2020
Key information about COVID-19
Where do I find the most up-to-date information?
Where can I find specific COVID-19 advice for older people?
I feel unwell – what should I do?
Can I have visitors to my aged care home during a COVID-19 outbreak?
I need urgent home support services – what do I do?
Where can I find information about the COVID-19 vaccine?
How do I get a COVID-19 digital vaccine certificate?
I receive aged care services – how does COVID-19 impact them?
Are the workers at my aged care home vaccinated?
What are COVID-19 antiviral treatments and am I eligible?
Can I take leave from my aged care home?
I’m feeling lonely and/or worried, what can I do?
I need help using the computer – can I get support?
Is there support available for people experiencing grief or trauma?
I care for an older Australian – is there support available?
I speak a language other than English. Are there translated resources available?
For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert.
If you are an older Australian, or a family member or friend of an older Australian, visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for older people.
If you’re having a medical emergency, call 000.
If you’re feeling unwell, the Department of Health and Aged Care website explains what you should do.
Older Australians can access short-term home support services (such as meals or personal care) in an emergency without having had an aged care assessment.
To access emergency aged care services, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
For all the latest information and news on the COVID-19 vaccine visit the Department of Health and Aged Care website.
Once you are fully vaccinated, you can download a COVID-19 digital certificate to your phone using your Medicare online account through myGov.
If you are not eligible for Medicare, or if you do not have online access, you can also ask your vaccination provider to print your immunisation history or COVID-19 digital certificate.
For more information on how to get proof, visit the Department of Health and Aged Care website.
The Australian Government and aged care providers are working together to respond to the changing situation and protect the safety of all older Australians.
I’m receiving services at home
There may be some changes to the way home support services are delivered. If you have questions or concerns about your current services or would like to change your services because of the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact your provider.
Download It's ok to have home care, a factsheet that contains information for older people who may have an aged care worker visiting them at home.
I’m receiving services in an aged care home
Residents and their visitors need to keep up to date with changes in residential aged care to protect residents during COVID-19.. The Department and Aged Care has put together COVID-19 advice for people living in aged care homes its website.
You can now find out the rate of worker vaccinations at every aged care facility in Australia. To find out more view the interactive map on the Department of Health and Aged Care’s website.
The map displays data reported by providers and is updated weekly.
Antiviral treatments taken as capsules or tablets may help stop a COVID-19 infection from becoming severe. Courses of these antiviral treatments need to be started as soon as possible after symptoms from COVID-19 begin.
People at higher risk of severe illness are eligible for antiviral treatments. This includes Australians aged over 70.
To learn more visit the Department of Health and Aged Care’s website.
Yes, you can. Permanent aged care residents can now take temporary leave from an aged care home during a situation declared an emergency by the Australian Government. This could include disasters (natural or otherwise), pandemics or epidemics.
For more information on this, read our new Emergency Leave factsheet for residents.
We know this can be a stressful time. Social distancing, self-isolation, and changes to your daily routine and life can impact your wellbeing.
If you are feeling lonely, distressed or confused, you can call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 (free call). The support line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Some other things that may help:
- call a family member or friend to talk about how you’re feeling.
- visit the eSafety website for some resources that can connect you with other older Australians online.
- read the Head to Health website for tips on how to cope with anxiety, depression, and other challenges you may be facing at this time.
- call FriendLine for a chat on 1800 424 287. FriendLine is a national telephone support service for older Australians.
- the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) can help can organise volunteers to visit people receiving Home Care Packages or living in government-funded aged care homes.
- read the Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for older Australians factsheet for information and advice on ways to help you stay connected.
Yes, you can. Be Connected is offering free online classes (known as webinars) to help you improve your digital skills. There are a range of classes to help you learn how to do things like:
- video call your family, friends and health professionals
- order groceries online
- complete everyday tasks such as banking
- find out up-to-date COVID-19 information.
Even though these classes are online, you can call the Be Connected support line on 1300 795 897 and someone can help you get started.
Yes, there are a range of resources to support people living, working and caring in the aged care sector, who have been impacted by COVID-19.
The grief and trauma support and advice services are available Australia-wide.
Yes, there is. If you are a carer and need access to support, services or information, contact your current service provider or call:
- the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 (free call). The support line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737, which can provide access to short-term counselling and emotional support. The Carer Gateway website also hosts a range of resources and information to support you in your caring role.
Importantly, respite services continue to be available for carers. This includes both in the older person’s home and in an aged care home.
If you are a carer and require:
- emergency respite, you should contact Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737
- planned respite, you should contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422
People who have difficulty speaking or understanding English can contact My Aged Care through the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National).
There is useful information and advice on other trusted websites. Below are some resources to keep handy:
- Department of Health and Aged Care COVID-19 alerts
Daily updates on how to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia, what to do if you have symptoms, and the latest official medical advice and case numbers.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for older Australians
This page contains information and advice for older Australians. It outlines the COVID-19 facts and measures you, your family and friends can take to protect older Australians.
- Information for families and residents on restricted visits to residential aged care facilities
Up-to-date information on the restrictions and situation for people living in residential aged care.
- Important coronavirus (COVID-19) information
Factsheets, infographics, and other publications.
- If you want additional support, you may want an advocate. Advocacy services support the rights of anyone receiving or seeking to receive aged care services, and empower older people to make informed decisions about their care. To find out more about advocacy services and how to access them, visit the OPAN website, or call 1800 700 600.
Last updated date: 7 October 2023