Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) and the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) have partnered to produce a short video series aimed at helping protect older people from COVID-19.

Titled ‘Your health is in all of our hands – keeping older Australians safe from COVID-19’, the videos are hosted by the highly respected Dr Norman Swan.

“With older people so vulnerable to this virus, I am pleased to provide some independent, evidence-informed commentary and clarification, to assist in their protection from COVID-19,” Dr Swan said.

“Hopefully, this will help make their lives safer and contribute to them coming through the pandemic with less health impacts.”

LASA CEO Sean Rooney commended Dr Swan for his contribution to keeping Australians informed at this critical time.

“This is an important series to help protect our elders and save lives, in home and residential care and right across the community,” said LASA CEO Sean Rooney.

“Older Australians receiving care, their families and advocates, and the workforce who cares for them need accessible, straightforward and authoritative information to keep them safe and give them confidence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are delighted Dr Swan chose to present these important videos, with his conversational style that people can relate to and understand.

“It also aims to ‘myth-bust’ some of the common concerns and misconceptions about COVID-19 and explains how to stay safe while still accessing essential aged care services.”

With older Australians being more vulnerable to severe consequences from COVID-19, OPAN CEO Craig Gear said detailed preparation had gone into the series.

“The videos address specific issues around aged care and what older Australians are experiencing right now,” he said.

“We’re hearing many questions and concerns so it’s important to ensure there is clear, practical advice.

“Our videos take into account the expert health advice we’re getting around outbreak management and the implementation of risk mitigation plans for COVID-19, and how that can adapt to a rapidly changing environment.

“The series is focused on minimising health risks, while reducing anxiety among older Australians, their families and friends and the people who look after them.”

The series includes five videos:

The series covers a wide range of issues including: Appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment; Concerns of home care clients about staff coming into their homes: Messages on social distancing; Reduced visitation; Risk reduction measures; Available supports.

“This is about giving the public confidence in the age services industry and helping to clarify what they need to do and why they need to do it, to protect vulnerable older Australians,” Mr Rooney said.

The series is being promoted and shared across social media and will also be available on the LASA and OPAN websites.