According to the latest information released by the Department of Health, people aged 70 and over – and 65 years or over who have a chronic medical condition – are most at risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The World Health Organisation has confirmed that there are three main reasons why the ageing population is most susceptible: physiological changes in ageing, decreased immune function and multi-morbidity.
With the recent rollout of the 3-stage plan made by the Australian Government, it is more important now than ever to flatten the curve as we move toward normalcy and keep our communities safe and healthy – especially our most vulnerable members.
It’s also important to keep in mind that our elderly have been requested to self-isolate over these few past months, which may have impacted their mental health and increased loneliness.
Alongside keeping our elderly loved ones physically safe from the coronavirus, it is also crucial we continue to nurture their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
So, what preventative actions can you do to keep your elderly and vulnerable loved ones both physically and emotionally healthy?
- Continue to check in with them and make sure they have everything they need. This may look like running some errands for them such as picking up mail, going on a grocery shop, or collecting prescription medication.
- Keep in regular communication with them via phone calls or video chats. Avoid any contact visits if it can be helped, especially if you or anyone know are displaying symptoms.
- Contact the National Corona Virus Helpline on 1800 020 080 or use the COVIDSafe app if you do feel unwell and self-isolate until you seek further advice and have been tested.
- Take a look at the aged care facilities’ or home care providers’ preventative measures and support systems they are taking to keep your loved ones safe – are they implementing the recently amended Industry Code? The Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19
- Ensure that your elderly loved one’s chosen home care provider keeps stringent documentation on their systems, policies and procedures regarding the virus.
- Continue keeping an open dialogue between yourself and your elderly loved ones around the importance of self-isolation and good hand sanitisation. If they refuse to take precautions, be open and honest about your fears and vulnerabilities.
- Get involved as a volunteer in the recent Community Visitors Scheme CVS) and visit older people to provide friendship and companionship. This is available to anyone receiving government-subsidised residential aged care or Home Care Packages.
Resources & Contact Information for You to Access:
For the latest coronavirus advice and information, you can access the following from the Australian Government Department of Health website:
- National Coronavirus Helpline – 1800 020 080 – it operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Download the COVIDSafe app – guides and information on this here – Link
- English COVID-19 resources are found here – Link
- Translated Covid-19 Resources are found here – Link
- Visit the Head to Health website or the Beyond Blue coronavirus online and phone support service for:
- links to mental health online and phone support
- resources and services that can help if you’re experiencing mental health concerns or trying to support someone else.
If you would like a face-to-face consultation, reach out to our highly qualified and experienced Aged Care specialist and consultant Pauline Healy to answer any more questions you may be having, especially around your loved one’s physical and mental well-being during the coronavirus.
Reach out to us today:
Phone: 0419 327 294