Welfare checks to ensure the wellbeing of senior Australians

Font Size:

Many older Australians have chosen to defer aged care home services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But they will not “fall through the cracks”, says Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck, who announced that regular welfare checks would be conducted on home care recipients who had suspended services to avoid the risk of contracting the virus.

The checks will come in the form of phone calls to ensure their wellbeing and is another measure to ensure seniors received the support they need during this difficult time.

“We don’t want people to fall through the cracks,” said Mr Colbeck.

“Elderly people who receive home care visits are often extremely vulnerable.

“It’s clear some senior Australians are anxious about the risks of visits from providers.

“Of course, it’s their choice to receive or not receive care, but we remain determined to ensure those who need support are still receiving it.

“Care providers are trained in infection control to help stop the spread of coronavirus and protect clients in their care.

“All the proper procedures are being put in place to ensure the highest level of protection.”

The minister said the government was also working with a number of consumer organisations in order to provide the additional supports.

“From today, OPAN (Older Persons Advocacy Network) will be able to receive referrals from home care and CHSP (Commonwealth Home Support Program) providers where the client or their family are reducing or cancelling services due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Colbeck said.

He said referrals could also be made for people needing extra support as a result of the restrictions.

“The aged care provider has a responsibility to notify the care recipient or family of the referral to the Older Persons Advocacy Network and that they will receive a call back,” he said. 

“The welfare of people in care is our absolute priority and I’m determined to ensure they can continue to access the services they need.”

The government has also released additional resources to assist older people throughout the pandemic, including videos and helpful information sheets about:

  • what COVID-19 is
  • how it is spread
  • symptoms
  • who needs to get tested
  • risk to older people
  • whether to go out
  • getting other vaccinations
  • what it means for recipients of Home Care Packages
  • how to get medical services
  • visiting friends and family
  • wearing masks
  • getting help
  • suspicious messages about COVID-19
  • arrangements for cancelled events or holidays

Additional information and resources can be found here.

If anyone you know needs support, they should be encouraged to contact OPAN on 1800 700 600.

Do you feel that you have enough support at the moment?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.


How are retirement villages helping residents through the lockdown?

This retirement village group is doing great things to help residents through a tough time.

How COVID-19 affects those with chronic illness, regardless of age

Anyone of any age with a chronic illness is just as vulnerable as an older person with the same

Physician answers most commonly asked coronavirus questions

Should you disinfect your shopping? Can COVID-19 live on clothes? Find out.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Sign-up to the YourLifeChoices Enewsletter

continue reading


How to boost your gut health and immune system this winter

A healthy gut is key for overall health, and affects so much more than just our digestion. With links to...


Things people who grew up in the '70s will remember

If your childhood or teen years happened to fall in the 1970s, you probably have a lot of fond memories...

Food and Recipes

The favourites that send food lovers pie-eyed

Pies, pies, pies. For some of us it's the flaky pastry and gooey filling. For others, it's the firm shortcrust...


How much of a risk are microplastics?

Perhaps you've seen headlines saying we consume a credit card's worth of microplastics a week, or that microplastics have been...


Friends, family and Aunty Maud

Columnist Peter Leith has always been one to take time to talk, lobby and observe. In this true short story,...


Podcast with leading Melbourne podiatrist

They take you thousands of kilometres, but we probably look after our car tyres better than we look after our...


Travel SOS: When will cruising restart in Australia?

With the travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand set to reopen, will we see cruising restart earlier than expected?...


Air New Zealand's blueprint for post-COVID travel

Air New Zealand's trial a digital health pass on flights to Australia could be the blueprint for future digital 'vaccine...