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Protecting Older Australians: COVID-19 Update 10 July 2020


Acting Chief Medical Officer's letter to Home Care and CHSP Providers

The Commonwealth’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, has written to Home Care and Commonwealth Home Support Programme providers promoting the importance of the influenza vaccination for their staff and volunteers to help minimise the risk to the older Australians they care for.

You can read the letter here.


Reminder: Emergency funding support is still available to CHSP Providers

The Department has committed an additional $30.2 million in 2020-21 to help fund short-term support for CHSP service providers to continue delivering services to older Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Grant Opportunity Guidelines for this emergency funding opportunity are available to download from GrantConnect.

CHSP service providers who have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to apply for additional temporary funding if required: to maintain and expand direct service delivery to meet changing community demand; retain key home support staff; and/or cover the increased cost of safe and effective service delivery.

Before applying for emergency funding, CHSP service providers must have fully allocated their existing 2020-21 base funding and any unspent 2019-20 funds (which may now be carried forward into 2020-21), including through the relaxed flexibility provisions. The flexibility provisions allow CHSP service providers to re-distribute their existing base funding across all of the service types and aged care planning regions identified in their grant agreement and activity work plan in 2020-21.

For providers who are eligible to apply for emergency funding in 2020-21, you are encouraged to complete an application form outlining how you will use the additional funds to meet the objectives and intended outcomes of the grant round. Applications must be completed and submitted to .

For more information about this funding opportunity, please download and review a copy of the Grant Opportunity Guidelines or contact your Community Grants Hub Funding Arrangement Manager.


Support for seniors in Victoria during COVID-19

The health and wellbeing of senior Australians, especially those in Victoria during this time, is a priority.

A range of supports are available to all seniors to assist them during COVID-19. Providers are reminded to encourage their clients, particularly in Victoria, to access these supports if and when needed.

  • Assistance with food and meals including prioritised online grocery ordering and urgent referrals to meal providers.
  • Access to MBS telehealth services so senior Australians can talk to a GP or other allied health professionals without having to leave home.
  • Home medicine delivery through pharmacies, enabling people to have prescriptions delivered to their home.
  • Community Visitors Scheme to support senior people receiving Home Care or Residential Care who may be feeling more isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic through phone and virtual friendships.
  • The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line – 1800 171 866, which provides information and support to senior Australians, their families and carers.
  • Friend Line telephone support service – 1800 4 CHATS (1800 424 287) which offers a free and anonymous telephone service that provides senior Australians with the opportunity to chat with a volunteer.
  • TIS National for people who do not speak English and for agencies and businesses that need to communicate with their non-English speaking clients.

Please inform your clients and care recipients about these supports, as well as senior Australians who may be your friends, neighbours or family members so that everyone is aware of the supports available.


Reminder: Who to contact if you have a positive COVID-19 case

A reminder that the Department needs to be immediately notified in conjunction with your state health department when there is a confirmed outbreak of COVID-19 in an aged service.

The Department will appoint a case manager who is the Commonwealth’s single point of contact for the aged care service. The case manager will connect you with resources to manage the outbreak. Resources include PPE, surge workforce and supplementation, testing in residential aged care facilities, and access to primary and allied health care.

The email address to notify of a confirmed case is: .


Reminder: Communications survey

The Department is seeking your feedback on what information you would find most helpful as we continue to respond to COVID-19.

The survey can be completed by anyone with an interest in the aged care. All participants are welcome to forward the survey link to others who may be interested in participating.

All questions are voluntary and the survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete. The survey is anonymous and will not collect personal information.

We would greatly value your feedback with the survey open until 24 July 2020.  A link to the survey can be found here.

Unknown Author, 2020, Department of Health

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