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COVID-19 support and essential services

7-minute read

If you develop symptoms such as severe shortness of breath or chest pain, call triple zero (000) immediately. Tell the call handler and the paramedics on arrival if you have COVID-19.

Quick read

You may be eligible for help getting essential supplies and medicines delivered to you while you isolate.

How can I get food and essential supplies while isolating?

If you have COVID-19 and are isolating at home, it’s a good idea, where possible, to ask friends, family or neighbours to get essential supplies for you if they are not isolating too. They should drop items at your door but not enter your accommodation.

If you don't have anyone nearby who can help, consider ordering groceries online.

Some supermarkets may have special arrangements for older people. Please contact your local supermarket directly for more information.

Can I get my medicines delivered to my home?

If you need medicine while you are isolating at home, ask a family member or carer if they can collect your medicine for you.

Electronic prescriptions can be forwarded to the person collecting your medicine so the pharmacist can scan the prescription.

FIND A HEALTH SERVICE — The Service Finder can help you find doctors, pharmacies, hospitals and other health services.

Support for people with disability

If you are a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant and you have concerns about getting your NDIS support, contact your service provider first.

You can also call the NDIS Contact Centre on 1800 800 110 and select option 5.

Visit the Disability Gateway website or call 1800 643 787 for information, support or help booking a COVID-19 vaccination. Eligible participants can buy rapid antigen tests (RATs) with NDIS plan funding.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations for people with a disability.

Support for older people

Older people are at risk of serious illness from COVID-19. The risk is higher if you have other serious health conditions or a weakened immune system.

Getting vaccinated, including booster vaccination, is the most effective way to protect you against severe illness, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations for older people.

Home care packages

If you have a home care package, the services you currently get will continue. However, there may be some changes in the way a service is delivered. For example, home care staff may limit person-to-person touch where possible, or wear masks and gloves.

If you are concerned about the way your current services are delivered or would like to make changes because of COVID-19, please contact your provider. They may be able to arrange help with going to the shops, or they may arrange for your carer to shop on your behalf.

Older Australians who need urgent assistance can get short-term home support services, such as meals and personal care, without needing to have an aged care assessment.

To get emergency aged care services, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

Mental health and wellbeing support

Feelings of anxiety, distress and concern are normal, and there are several steps you can take to look after your mental health.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Making small lifestyle changes can help increase your physical and mental wellbeing and decrease feelings of stress and anxiety:

  • create a daily routine that includes activities and hobbies that you enjoy
  • get active
  • eat well
  • stay connected to family and friends, in person or online

Access support services

There are many support services that can help you so make sure you reach out when you need help.

Learn more here about managing your mental health and who you can reach out to for help.

Financial support

Visit your state or territory government website to learn if financial support is available.

If you’re an aged care worker, you may be able to get COVID-19 leave payment grants. Visit the Department of Health and Aged Care for more information.

Grief, loss and bereavement support

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (ACGB) provides a free grief, loss and bereavement service on 1800 22 22 00.

Callers are directed to self-care resources, group counselling or one-to-one counselling sessions with a bereavement specialist via telehealth, video call or in person.

Visit ACGB to learn more about the services they offer.

For urgent support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for confidential counselling and referrals — available 24/7.

Domestic violence support

If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, or if you have been threatened, physically hurt or sexually assaulted, call triple zero (000).

If you are currently self-isolating, you can still leave your home if there is family violence or a risk of violence.

You can call 24 hours, 7 days a week on 1800 737 732.

Services Australia can help you access payments or connect to your local support services, including housing options.

You can also access national phone support services that can support you with counselling, support and advice for many different situations.

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Last reviewed: September 2023

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