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. Older people and people with pre-existing conditions are at increased risk for serious complications with COVID-19 infection. Preventing infections is a critical part of providing care for all clients recieving home based care.
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
- Home care providers and end of life care - ELDAC webinar recording NEW
- Personal monitoring technology for senior Australians - Department of Health NEW
- Spiritual care during COVID-19 - Meaningful Australia
- It's OK to have a home care visit - Australian Department of Health
- Palliative Care Symptom Management Medicines (97kb pdf) a list from ANZSPM for Australians Living in the Community and in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs)
- Caring@home resources help at home carers manage breakthrough symptoms safely using subcutaneous medicines.To assist clinical service providers during the COVID-19 pandemic, caring@home have produced augmented caring@home packages for carers. These include an Emergency COVID-19 pack to support home-based care and help limit risks of community COVID-19 transmission. These packages are funded by the Australian Government. Service providers can order the augmented caring@home packages online
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guide for Home Care Providers - Department of Health
- Fact Sheet Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for in-home care workers, see Government resources for more
- 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
- Goals of Care and End-of-Life in the COVID-19 Environment - WA health and including flow charts:
- 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
- palliMEDS App for mobile devices provides information on eight palliative care medications for management of terminal symptoms
- COVID-19 home medicines services - patient eligibility
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tips for home 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