Extension of Older Persons Covid-19 Support Line welcomed

Dementia Australia has welcomed an announcement by the federal government of a $2.5 million investment to extend the Older Persons Covid-19 Support Line until 30 June 2021.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe says the continued investment will enable Dementia Australia and other advocacy and support groups to continue to help older Australians to get the critical information they need to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic.

“The support line has received more than 5,000 inbound calls and provided more than 29,000 outbound calls,” Ms McCabe says.

“As well as helping to provide information to stay healthy and safe during the pandemic, the support line is also an accessible one-stop source for personal support, questions and up-to-date guidelines.

“We encourage people living with dementia, their families and carers to call the support line, where they will be connected with our trained Dementia Australia advisors.”

The support service is a joint initiative of Dementia Australia, COTA Australia, National Seniors Australia and the Older Persons Advocacy Network. The expansion of the service will also include support from the Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) Alliance.

“It is fantastic to see that the service will now be extended to include outbound calls to carers of people living with dementia, as well as more specific community supports for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) seniors,” says Ms McCabe.

“The unprecedented social distancing measures and restrictions put in place as a result of Covid-19 have affected people living with dementia, their families and carers significantly.

“We know that people from CALD communities can face difficulties with language and a lack of understanding of the service systems available to people living with dementia. This focus is vitally important.”