Our most vulnerable community members including seniors, their families and carers are being supported throughout the coronavirus and can now call a dedicated free support line for help.
Federal Member for Wright, Scott Buchholz said it was important that during social distancing, everyone in the community continued to talk to someone and remain connected.
Mr Buchholz said for many, particularly the elderly, they could find themselves more isolated and lonely and it was important they had an understanding ear to listen to them.
“These are anxious times and it is very important that residents know there is support for anybody who is struggling to cope with the anxieties and fears of coronavirus and the emotional and mental toll it is taking.
“While the threat of illness from the coronavirus is serious and real, we know the outbreak of coronavirus has also created additional pressure on individuals and communities, and it is having an impact on mental wellness.
“That is why the Australian Government has worked closely with the Council on the Ageing Australia, National Seniors Australia, the Older Persons Advocacy Network and Dementia Australia, to develop a call line,” Mr Buchholz said.
“This is targeted at supporting the mental health of those impacted by the spread of COVID-19.
“There are many people in our local community here in Beaudesert and surrounds, that do not have a lot of family support or, support from family locally. Much of their social support is found in the community clubs such as Beaudesert Bowls, Beaudesert Rotary and gathering at the Beaudesert Golf Club for various events, that they would usually attend but are now unable to do due to restrictions.
“This hotline will fill that horrible void of loneliness, to provide a calming, considerate and listening ear to anyone that is struggling at this time, feeling isolated, stressed or scared.
The hotline builds on measures announced by the Federal Government including welfare checks for those who have suspended their home support packages and a $10 million funding injection for the Community Visitors Scheme aimed at keeping people connected.
General Manager of Beaucare, Louise Dwyer said while the current situation was challenging, staff were committed to finding alternate ways to provide support.
“We are all finding the current situation challenging, our staff are totally committed to finding alternate ways to provide support and continue all our services. It has been very reassuring to staff and management that the government responses have been developed quickly, are targeted at the most vulnerable and clearly communicated.
“This has allowed me to ensure that our staff and clients are reassured and that work continues.
“Particularly helpful have been the flexibility arrangements in the Commonwealth Home Support Program and reassurance of the aged care staff retention bonus; the payment of 1 month’s invoices from the NDIS to ensure cash flow for disability support; and the PAYE reimbursement payments. We are extremely grateful for these initiatives.”
Mr Buchholz urged those in his community needing help, to pick up the phone, because no issue was too small to be talked about.
“Please, don’t be afraid, call and speak with one of the advisers who can offer practical help and advice,” Mr Buchholz said.
In addition, the Department of Health is currently working to enable existing home support and home care providers to source technology-based personal monitoring systems for vulnerable Senior Australians who are self-isolating.
Residents can Call the COVID-19 support line on 1800 171 866, during hours of operation Monday to Friday, from 8.30am to 6pm. Outside of these hours, you can call BeyondBlue on 1800 512 348