COVID-19 has been identified as a key issue for health and aged care. The Australian Government has adopted a whole of government emergency response which provides a framework for preparing for, responding to and managing COVID-19 in Australia.
Care for older people in the COVID-19 context will need to recognise that care may need to be provided for older people who are at end of life, those with specific palliative care needs and those who may acquire COVID-19. Residents of residential aged care facilities (RACF) are at increased risk of serious COVID-19 complications if they do become infected. Preventing COVID-19 infections is a critical part of providing care for all clients and residents.
Variations in guidance between countries, states and health networks may occur. Please refer to local guidance where available and consider non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches as appropriate.
Care of the dying and seriously ill
- Care of COVID-19 positive residents in residential aged care facilities (394kb pdf), a guide from Southern Metro Region Palliative Care Consortium (SMRPCC) NEW
- COVID-19 Preparation Checklist for residential aged care (109kb pdf), from Southern Metro Region Palliative Care Consortium (SMRPCC) NEW
- Barwon Health Residential Aged Care COVID-19 Pandemic Plan (909kb pdf) NEW
- Spiritual care during COVID-19 - Meaningful Australia
- Management of COVID-19 in Residential Care Facilities - a 30 minute video from Australian College of Nursing
- Palliative care in the COVID-19 context for Residential Aged Care - a one hour ELDAC webinar recording
- Dorothy Henderson Lodge (Baptist Care, NSW) share their experience with COVID-19 via a Learning module: What we need to know, and through a Q&A video series where experts answer frequently asked questions
- From Department of Health and Human Services Victoria:
- Advance care planning in residential aged care services
- Care Plan for Suspected / Confirmed COVID-19 in aged care resident.
- Goals of Care and End-of-Life in the COVID-19 Environment - WA health and including flow charts:
- NSW Health has COVID-19 Advice for aged care facilities including a Guidance document and fact sheets
- Australian Government Department of Health - Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for health professionals, including aged care providers, pathology providers and healthcare managers
- palliAGEDnurse App for mobile devices or computer, provides palliative care guidance including care planning for the dying older person
- palliAGEDgp App for mobile devices or computer, provides terminal palliative care guidance including medications and symptom management for older people
- COVID-19 Tips for residential care providers - Dementia Australia
- See CareSearch for resources relevant to the diverse religious, spirituality, sexuality, culture, and socio-economic backgrounds of Australians
Some medications listed in these guides are not available or are administered differently in Australia.See palliAGEDgp App for Australian guidance regarding medicines and dosing.
Grief and Bereavement
Getting more information
You can call the National Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
The phone number of each state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts.
Visit the following websites
Page updated 19 May 2020