Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information for carers

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information for carers

 

Carers NSW is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the ongoing government response and the wide ranging impacts it has on carers. Below is our latest COVID-19 information and resources for carers.

The Australian Government Department of Health website provides daily updates, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), the latest news, current facts and figures, travel advice and contact details. Visit www.health.gov.au for more information.

NSW Health provides the latest information and advice on the coronavirus (COVID-19) on their website at www.health.nsw.gov.au

The NSW Department of Communities and Justice have information for seniors, people with disability and carers on their website.

Carers can visit these websites or call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 (or the National Relay Service on 1300 555 727) for up to date advice about the present level of risk and recommended precautions.

Latest information from 17 April 2020

The Australian Department of Health has published a collection of resources, including responses to frequently asked questions about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which are updated regularly on its website. Many of these resources are translated into other languages, including Chinese, Korean, Farsi and Italian.

The National Mental Health Commission, together with mental health organisations, has developed #InThisTogether – a national conversation sharing practical tips online to support the mental health and wellbeing of Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can view their latest video here.

The Australian Government has funded 20,000 subsidised places for six-month online courses developed by the higher education sector to upskill people out of work due to COVID-19.

The NSW Government will release a $60.5 million stimulus program to boost the economy, support unemployment and improve public housing and supply with upgrades and maintenance.  This package includes providing emergency accommodation in response to COVID-19 that is delivered at a lower price than what it would cost to rent emergency accommodation.  A similar stimulus works program through the Aboriginal Housing Office is focusing on improving living conditions and reducing cost of living pressures for Aboriginal tenants in regional and remote NSW.

Specific information for carers of older people

To help keep seniors stay active and connected during this period of self-isolation the NSW Government has thrown its support behind the Biggest Seniors Online Workout.

The workout will focus on practical and positive strategies for seniors to remain active at home. It will include strength, balance and mobility exercises.  The 30 minute workout will be streamed live on April 29 2020 on various platforms including YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Zoom. To register please visit the Active Seniors website.

The Australian Department of Health has confirmed that phone or video calls must be accessible to all residents of aged care facilities to enable more regular communication with family members. Family and friends are encouraged to maintain contact with residents by phone and other social communication apps, as appropriate.

The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and their service providers may be able to deliver services to a client needing urgent and immediate care before they have contacted My Aged Care and received an assessment. This provision is only intended to take effect where it is clear that urgent and immediate care is required to ensure client health or safety (e.g. the unplanned absence of a carer or the provision of essential support to a client in isolation due to COVID-19).

Under existing arrangements for the CHSP, clients whose Home Care Package is fully allocated may in an emergency (such as when a carer is not able to maintain their caring role), access additional services under the CHSP on a short-term basis. For more information you can visit the My Aged Care website.

Dementia Training Australia has produced two new resources:

  • COVID -19 An Informative Resources Guide: practical information links on COVID-19 including tips for supporting people with dementia. 
  • Dementia Discovery: micro-courses (as quick as 15 minutes) giving introductory level education about dementia, including communication strategies in care settings. 

People aged 65 years and over are eligible for a free flu shot. You can contact your GP to find out when these will be available.

Updated fact sheets from the Australian Government Department of Health are available in the links below.

Specific information for carers of people with disability

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) is currently taking COVID-19 related questions from people with disability until 10am 20 April 2020. They intend to post a video Q&A session with the most commonly raised questions which they will upload online. You can submit a question in this form.

The Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS) has published new easy-read and Auslan resources on their website.

The Disability Information Helpline provides information and referrals for people with disability, their families and carers who need help because of coronavirus (COVID-19). You can contact the Disability Information Helpline (Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturday and Sunday, 9am-7pm) on 1800 643 787 or on the National Relay Service on 133 677.

Funding of $90.7 million has been announced to support people with disability through COVID-19 including:

  • establishing a dedicated phone line to provide accessible information, counselling and outreach services to assist people with disability
  • extending grant agreements to 31 March 2021 to minimise disruptions, including services for families and children experiencing the impacts of alcohol and drug misuse
  • supporting Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE’s) to help organisations transition to new opportunities to create jobs for people with intellectual and cognitive disabilities as the economy recovers
  • ensuring ongoing support for participants through Disability Employment Services.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has published COVID NDIS information in 12 languages. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has developed a new dedicated page for participants during COVID. They have developed a new fact sheet regarding participants rights and complaints pathways, the fact sheet is also available in easy read and Auslan.

 

If you need individual information or support, please phone Carers NSW on 02 9280 4744 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or call Lifeline at any time on 13 11 14 for 24-hour emotional and crisis support.

Carers and service providers are invited to raise issues for carers and suggest solutions by completing our online Policy Advice Form survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/policy_advice_form or emailing Carers NSW on contact@carersnsw.org.au. This information will help us in adjusting our service delivery and advocating for carers’ needs during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

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Carers NSW acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land, Elders past and present and all Aboriginal people.