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.

General information

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 Friday 14 August, 2020

Wearing a face mask in Australia is now recommended by health experts in areas where community transmission of COVID-19 is high or whenever physical distancing is not possible.

The most important things that you can do to protect yourself and others are to:

  • Stay at home when you are unwell, with even mild respiratory symptoms
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub
  • Do not touch your face
  • Do not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the virus
  • Stay at least 1.5 metres away from other people (physical distancing)
  • Cover your mouth when you cough by coughing into your elbow, or into a tissue. Throw the tissue away immediately.

Specific information for carers of older people

NSW Health have published the following:

The Department of Health’s ‘It’s ok to have home care’ fact sheet has been updated and continues to be available in multiple languages.

The Department of Health has developed a range of resources to support aged care services with care planning, including:

The Safe Exercise at Home website includes expert-vetted information for older people in an accessible format on a range of topics, including information on safe mask wearing.

The Dementia Australia website has published a number of COVID-19 resources including a fact sheet for older Australians on COVID-19. Other resources available include:

The NSW Chief Health Officer has released new advice to aged care providers. As part of preparedness planning, aged care providers should put in place arrangements to limit staff working across facilities. Where this is not practical, staff movement should be minimised and additional measures should be put in place, such as maintaining records of staff and work locations and increasing the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The local government area of Hornsby Shire and Hills District, has also been added to the list of regions required to implement stricter measures for RACF providers and home care providers.

In Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs), face shields or other protective eyewear (such as goggles) should be worn for the routine care of suspected, probable or confirmed cases of COVID-19. In geographical areas with significant community transmission, face shields should be worn by all staff working in RACF’s (in addition to other PPE, including a surgical mask or particulate filter respirator). This includes support staff who do not have patient contact. Guidance on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in areas with significant community transmission is available on the Department's website.

The Australian Physiotherapy Association told the Aged Care Royal Commission’s Impact of COVID-19 inquiry that COVID-19 social isolation, visitation restrictions and infection control measures, while well meaning, have had detrimental effects of accelerating physical, mental and cognitive decline in many cases. There has been almost double the number of life threatening falls and other injuries occurring in RACFs.

Specific information for carers of people with disabilities

NSW Health has provided updated guidance for residential disability care providers at: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Documents/covid-19-advice-for-rdcf.pdf

The Disability Royal Commission released the second progress report this week. The report focuses heavily on the impact of COVID-19 on the Royal Commission as well as the Commission’s response to the pandemic, including:

  •  Suspension of all face to face proceedings of the Commission from 16 March 2020
  • Ongoing drafting of the Royal Commissions draft report
  • The publication of items in response to COVID-19  including Emergency planning and response issues paper and COVID-19 Statement of Concern

 

  • Face to face hearings hope to return 17 August 2020, situation permitting. The next planned hearing will be Hearing 5, focusing on experiences of people with disability during COVID-19. The hearing will combine face to face and virtual engagement to protect people with disability during the ongoing pandemic.

The interim report is still expected to be released by the Commission on 30 October 2020.

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.

You can also provide feedback and your views by completing the Carers NSW online Policy Advice Form survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/policy_advice_form or email Carers NSW on contact@carersnsw.org.au.

 

 

 

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