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.
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 18 September, 2020
Wearing a face mask is now recommended by health experts in areas where community transmission of COVID-19 is high or whenever physical distancing is not possible.
The Australian Government Department of Health has an updated resource about identifying COVID-19 symptoms: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - identifying the symptoms fact sheet.
NSW Health has updated information on accessible COVID-19 testing. Accessibility of testing facilities should now be available on searching for a COVID-19 testing clinic. The NSW Health website advises that people should contact their GP if they cannot attend a testing facility.
Specific information for carers of older people
NSW Health released updated advice on 11 September 2020 for residential aged care facilities and home care providers. This advice confirmed the continuation of visitor restrictions for residential aged care facilities in metropolitan Sydney and the Nepean Blue Mountains and Central Coast regions. In addition, staff who work or live in these areas must wear masks whilst at work.
Updated information about accessing Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) services during the COVID-19 pandemic has been released. The fact sheet details information for clients, families and carers and covers topics such as mental health supports, grocery and home services supports, social gatherings and moving out of care during the pandemic.
Other updated factsheet include:
- It's ok to have home care
- Accessing aged care services
- Seeing family and friends and living in the community
- Updated COVID-19 advice for retirement villages
The Australian Government Department of Health has published a collection of resources for the public and industry about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on its website. Fact sheets for providers funded to deliver services under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) include:
A national model of emergency support is now available for up to eight weeks through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) for residents of aged care homes who temporarily transition to the community. The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) can provide information to residents and their families on their eligibility for home support services, their risks and responsibilities and things to consider before returning a loved one to the community. This program is not designed to provide ongoing support. If a resident wants to remain permanently in the community they will need to relinquish their position in residential aged care and contact My Aged Care for a formal assessment for a Home Care Package. More information can be found in the fact sheet.
The Australian Government Department of Health released a new data snapshot of residential aged care facilities which have recorded COVID-19 infections. The report provides greater transparency for residents and their families around the situation in aged care facilities. The report will be updated weekly and can be viewed on the Department’s website.
Specific information for carers of people with disabilities
NSW Health are continuing to work on improving accessibility of communications for people living with vision and hearing impairments. Their COVID-19 information for people with disability is available at https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/disability/covid-19/Pages/default.aspx.
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has published a fact sheet, COVID-19 outbreak preparedness, prevention and management, containing practical guidance on supporting providers to:
- ensure workers take reasonable precautions to protect people with disability and themselves
- prepare for an outbreak of COVID-19
- respond to suspected or confirmed cases in different types of service settings
- manage an outbreak of COVID-19.
The Disability Information Helpline now has a web chat option during the week. To chat online, click on the weekday livechat link, then on the button in the bottom right corner.
If you need individual information or support, please phone Carers NSW (Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.