COVID-19 has impacted many people living, working, and caring in the aged care sector. This includes aged care residents, home care recipients, their families, families of choice, friends, loved ones, community visitors and aged care staff.
Some people may be experiencing grief and bereavement because they have lost a loved one or someone they care for due to COVID-19.
Others in aged care may be experiencing grief or loss due to the COVID-19 hotspot lockdowns and restrictions experienced in aged care:
- missing their visitors and routines,
- absent regular staff; or
- unable to celebrate important events.
The lockdowns, social isolation and ongoing uncertainty may have caused emotional trauma. COVID-19 and the associated restrictions may have raised past trauma, for example from their home country, childhood, or past pandemic occurrences.
While some people can work through these feelings and recover, others may need help.
As part of the aged care COVID-19 grief and trauma response package, the Federal Government has funded expert organisations to provide free grief, trauma, dementia and advocacy support for those living, working and caring for people in the aged care sector.
This support is intended to assist aged care residents, home care recipients, their loved ones, friends, families, community visitors and aged care staff during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
To help you share information about the free supports in your organisations, and in your communities, resources are available for your use.
You can download and print the resources, or order in print using the resources order form.
Just send the order form directly to the printers, and they will send all of the printed resources below to you at no cost.
The following resources are available to raise awareness of the supports in your organisations and communities:
- An ‘Impacted by COVID-19 in aged care?’ brochure, in 64 languages and a brochure tailored for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- An ‘Impacted by COVID-19? Help is available’ poster, in 11 languages.
Social media images (tiles) and content for you to share on your social media pages
There are multiple images for each provider/service targeted at various audiences: aged care residents, home care recipients, families and loved ones, aged care staff, and ‘generic’
- Images for Phoenix Australia, trauma support
- Images for Australian Centre of Grief and Bereavement, grief support
- Images for Older Persons Advocacy Network, older persons advocacy support
- Images for Dementia Support Australia, dementia support
- Indigenous designed content, grief, trauma and loss support.
There is also accompanying text that has been drafted for you to share with the images on your platforms and suggested content available for Facebook, LinkedIn, and twitter.
Trauma fact sheets are available across eight languages – English, Chinese Simp, Chinese Trad, Arabic, Hindi, Filipino, Italian and Greek, ncluding understating trauma, impacts of trauma, trauma loss and grief, self-care, supporting others, understanding trauma and dementia, trauma and Veterans.
These fact sheets are targeted at older people, their families and loved ones, families and loved ones and aged care staff.
Download from the Phoenix Australia Trauma & Aged Care Support and Information hub, or order in print at no cost using the resources order form.
Grief fact sheets are available in six languages – English, Chinese Simp, Chinese Trad, Arabic, Vietnamese, Greek covering the following topics:
- What is grief?
- Non-death grief and loss
- Ageing and Self compassion
- Resilience and aged care
- Older Australians – when grief won’t heal
- Uncertainty and aged care
- Grief and aged care Managers
- Self-Care for workers.
Please encourage people in your community who might need help to engage with the services and resources provided
Support for grief, loss, and bereavement
The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement provides support, advice, and counselling in a one-to-one or group setting through video calls and in person.
Call 1800 222 200, 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday or visit aged.grief.org.au
Resources about the impacts of trauma
Phoenix Australia offers information and resources for older people impacted by trauma and their families, loved ones and aged care staff. Visit phoenixaustralia.org/aged-care
Help for people living with dementia where behaviours are impacting their care
Dementia Support Australia has a free national service providing 24-hour help, 365 days a year. Their dementia consultants provide support to people who care for someone living with dementia. Call 1800 699 799, 24-hours, 7 days a week. Visit dementia.com.au
Advocacy and support
The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) is a free, confidential, and independent service supporting people receiving or applying for Government-subsidised aged care. OPAN helps you resolve any aged care issues and understand your aged care rights. Call 1800 700 600, 6am-10pm, 7 days a week. Visit opan.org.au
Interpreting is also available, call 131 450 for Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS), ask for your language to connect. Or call 1300 010 877 for Auslan Connections, email firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 07 3892 8511 or SMS 0407 647 591.