LASA is appealing to all people over 70 to follow the Government’s new directives to stay at home and encourages everyone to make protecting older Australians from coronavirus a top priority.

“Our cherished elders are the most vulnerable to this deadly pandemic, especially those with underlying health challenges,” said LASA CEO Sean Rooney.

“So far, Australians who have succumbed to the virus have been 69 or older and LASA welcomes the new recommendations for self-isolation by those 70 or over.

“Saving the lives of our seniors from the COVID-19 pandemic is a community responsibility.

“The obligation is on all of us to do everything we can to support and stay connected with our elders but avoid any physical contact or risk of virus transmission.”

LASA also welcomes the Government’s latest $1.1 billion health commitment including a $669 expansion of telehealth services, starting on 30 March, to help people staying at home.

Bulk billing of doctors’ services will be a priority, to ensure vulnerable patients who need services continue to be provided with free, timely and appropriate access.

The new funding includes extra mental health services, with $10 million specifically for older Australians and $3 million to support health workers.

“LASA is working closely with the Government and the Department of Health, to ensure adequate support for older Australians, especially those who are receiving care in residential facilities and in their own homes,” Mr Rooney said.

“Providers of age services in Australia – across residential aged care, in-home care and retirement villages – are working tirelessly to protect residents and clients, as well as the dedicated and compassionate staff who provide their care.

“LASA continues to advocate strongly on behalf of our members and the sector, so providers can focus on caring for vulnerable older Australians.”

To this end, LASA strongly supports the Government’s decision to put three proposed changes in the aged care sector on hold:

  1. Home care payments in arrears is postponed, with the Aged Care Minister committing to consult with the sector to determine when this will recommence.
  2. The AN-ACC trial included more than 7,000 assessments across 120 facilities but will not be rolled out at any new sites until further notice.
  3. The 2020 Aged Care Approval Round (ACAR) was due to open this month but will now be set back for at least six months.

Contact: Nick Way 0419 835 449 nickw@lasa.asn.au