Welcome to the OPAN COVID-19 Resources page. We have developed this resources page to connect you with reliable and accurate sources of information about COVID-19 and alleviate some confusion. As the situation with COVID-19 is developing rapidly, information and advice may also change. It is important that you continue to check the sources outlined below for the most up-to-date information.
Keeping all Australians informedLast updated on April 24th, 2020
National Coronavirus Helpline
Call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 for information and advice about COVID-19, including advice if you start to feel unwell and are concerned you may have COVID-19. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450 and ask them to call the helpline.
COVID-19 Health Alert
Updated daily by the Australian Government Department of Health, the health alert is the official source of truth for COVID-19 information in Australia. It covers everything you need to know about COVID-19, including who is at risk, how you can protect yourself and others, and what you should do if you think you have COVID-19. You can also access a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) via the resources section of the webpage. The FAQs cover many of the other questions you may have including the restrictions in place across the country and whether you should go out in public.
Coronavirus Australia app
Developed by the Australian Government Department of Health to keep smartphone and tablet users informed. The information in the app is the same information accessible via the COVID-19 Health Alert weblink in an easy to navigate format.
iOS (Apple) users: https://apps.apple.com/au/app/coronavirus-australia/id1503846231
Android users: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.gov.health.covid19
Where to go for COVID-19 information and updates for your state or territory
With the evolving changes and announcements from the Australian Government on COVID-19 it is important to check information and updates relevant to the state or territory you live in. An example is the Government’s tightened ‘social distancing’ restrictions. How this is applied is determined by each state and territory. This means there will be differences from state to state.
ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA
Information and support for older AustraliansLast updated on May 12th, 2020
Fact sheet: for older Australians on COVID-19
This fact sheet expands on the Australian Government Department of Health information and advice for the general public. It outlines why older people with a pre-existing health condition or weakened immune system, are at greater risk and what they can do and should do to protect themselves. Many common questions are answered in this fact sheet. If you still have questions or require more information or clarification please contact the National Coronavirus Helpline or OPAN Information Line.
Fact sheet: Assistance with food and meals for older Australians impacted by COVID-19
This Fact sheet outlines what help is available to older Australians finding it difficult to access food and basic household items. Older Australians can find more information about accessing prepared meals (through meals on wheels), groceries and household items including priority home delivery by contacting the Australian Government My Aged Care contact centre. If you need further assistance please call the OPAN Information Line for help on 1800 237 981, 6am-10pm, 7 days a week.
Home Medicines Service -Information for Consumers
To help older Australians stay home as much as possible, older Australians (over 70 years) can have their prescription medications and other pharmacy items home delivered for free. This fact sheet provides information about this service. Contact your local pharmacy for more information and to access this service.
OPAN Know your rights flyer
In conjunction with OPAN members from every state across the country, we’ve put together flyers that outline in a clear and concise way the Charter of Aged Care Rights. In such an uncertain time, it’s important to know that older persons are always entitled to these 14 rights.
Older Australians COVID-19 Support Line: 1800 171 866
The Older Persons Support Line is a joint initiative of COTA Australia, Dementia Australia, National Seniors and OPAN, supported by funding from the Australian Government. The line provides information, support and connection to Older Australians.
Older Australians, their families, friends and carers can FREECALL 1800 171 866 if they:
- would like to talk with someone about the COVID-19 restrictions and its impact on them
- are feeling lonely or are worried about a loved one
- are caring for someone and need some information or a listening ear
- need help or advice about changing the aged care services they are receiving
- need help to access new care services or essential supplies such as shopping
- are living with Dementia or are concerned about a friend or family member living with Dementia
- would like to arrange a one-off or regular wellbeing check.
Information for people receiving home care servicesLast updated on April 24th, 2020
OPAN webinar series: COVID-19 and what it means for people in Aged Care
The webinar series provides a weekly update for older people, families and carers on the latest COVID-19 situation and impacts on aged care. The second webinar delivered on 1 April discusses the impacts for home care services, including more stringent infection control procedures and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in response to COVID-19. The importance of staying connected and communicating with loved ones to minimise social isolation was also explored.
OPAN COVID-19 FAQ page
The OPAN COVID-19 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page contains answers to common questions and issues received via our OPAN Information Line and raised to OPAN aged care advocates by older people, families and representatives. Refer to this resource for answers to home care related issues and questions.
Factsheet: It’s OK to have Home Care
This factsheet includes information about personal protective equipment recommendations for your aged care worker, how to protect yourself against coronavirus and where to find out more information.
Information for people living in residential aged care facilitiesLast updated on May 19th, 2020
Fact sheet for families and residents on restricted visits to residential aged care facilities
This fact sheet explains the current Australian Government restrictions for visitors to residential aged care facilities. Please note that some facilities have taken a tighter approach than that advised by the government. These facilities are asking all visitors not to visit in order to protect older people living in the facility, except in exceptional circumstances. It is important to call the facility to understand what processes are in place. Please review the OPAN COVID-19 FAQ page for more detail on how OPAN is responding.
OPAN webinar series: COVID-19 and what it means for people in Aged Care
The webinar series provides a weekly update for older people, families and carers on the latest COVID-19 situation and impacts on aged care. The first webinar delivered on 25 March discusses the restrictions in place across residential aged care facilities and why some facilities have imposed tighter restrictions. The importance of staying connected and communicating with loved ones with new ideas and initiatives through this period was also explored.
OPAN COVID-19 FAQ page
The OPAN COVID-19 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page contains answers to common questions and issues received via our OPAN Information Line and raised to OPAN aged care advocates by older people, families and representatives. Refer to this resource for answers to issues and questions related to residential aged care facilities, including restrictions for visiting family and loved ones.
Factsheet: When to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Aged Care
This factsheet provides information on what personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn when treating someone with confirmed case of COVID 19 in Aged Care.
Factsheet: COVID-19 anxiety and staying mentally healthy
During this coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, residential aged care homes are facing increasing difficulties to reduce risk to residents and balance the need for social contact. The following tips from the Australia Psychological Society may help keep stress and anxiety at bay during this challenging period.
Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes During COVID-19
The Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19 aims to provide an agreed industry approach so that aged care residents have the opportunity to receive visitors during COVID-19, while minimising the risk of its introduction to, or spread within, a residential care home. The Code was drafted by leading consumer advocacy groups, and was shaped by public consultation. It is up for review on 29th May.
Understanding the Charter of Aged Care Rights and how aged care advocacy can help you at this timeLast updated on April 7th, 2020
OPAN Charter of Aged Care rights webpage
The fundamental rights of older people, through the Charter of Aged Care Rights, and the Aged Care Quality Standards, must be upheld as services respond to the COVID-19 situation. OPAN has developed resources to help you understand your rights under the Charter which can be accessed via this webpage.
OPAN What is Advocacy webpage
OPAN acknowledges this is an extremely stressful and challenging time for older people and families. We are here to help. Our advocacy page explains what an aged care advocate can help you with and how to request an advocate to support you.
Resources to help people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds understand COVID-19 informationLast updated on April 7th, 2020
COVID-19 Fact Sheets and explainer video in other languages
The Australian Government Department of Health has developed a range fact sheets about COVID-19 in other languages. You can also access a short explainer video about COVID-19 in other languages via the Australian Government Department of Health YouTube channel.
Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia
Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) has collated a range of multilingual materials from verified sources to assist non-English speakers to learn more about COVID-19.
Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS)
If you need help to understand COVID-19 information call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450 and ask them to contact the OPAN Information Line on 1800 237 981, 6am-10pm, 7 days a week.
Information for people living with DementiaLast updated on April 7th, 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Tips for People Living with Dementia
All Australians have been advised to ‘stay home’, except for the essentials such as shopping for food and necessary supplies, medical or health care, and exercise. People over 70, people over 60 with existing health conditions, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians over 50 with existing health conditions are advised to ‘self-isolate’ at home as much as possible. This Dementia Australia resource provides many ideas and resources for people living with Dementia and ‘self-isolating’ to maintain activities of daily living, maintain social connections, and stimulate the mind. There is also a resource for carers, families and friends of people living with Dementia accessible via this link.
Staying connected with family, friends and the communityLast updated on April 7th, 2020
Learn how to use technology to stay connected
All Australians have been advised to ‘stay home’, except for the essentials such as shopping for food and necessary supplies, medical or health care, and exercise. During this time, it’s important to stay connected with family, friends and the community through technology. Be Connected provides free courses that you can access from your home to learn how to use new technologies, such as Skype, WhatsApp, and FaceTime for video calls, and social media platforms.