Call for 'Care Army' to help seniors

COVID-19

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Queenslanders are being called on to join the Care Army to help the vulnerable in our community.

A Care Army of professionals and volunteers will rally around Queensland’s seniors, while a new telephone hotline is also being launched, to help ensure the wellbeing of older people during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 increases with age and the Queensland Government was mobilising the Care Army to protect up to one million seniors.

“Queensland’s community spirit always shines through in times of crisis, as it did when the Mud Army went into action after the 2011 floods,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Many seniors will of course be supported by family, but others will need volunteers and community service organisations to help them stay home and stay safe and with things such as food or medicine drops. Even something as simple as a daily telephone call can make a huge difference.”

The government is today expanding the Community Recovery Hotline - a free call on 1800 173 349 - to link seniors and other vulnerable Queenslanders to essential services and support.

Queenslanders wanting to volunteer should also contact 1800 173 349.

A new COVID-19 Seniors Panel, led by Minister Kate Jones, will co-ordinate the Care Army.

Ms Jones said she had already started working with Queensland Health, community organisations, supermarkets and pharmacies.

“We will scale up care and support services for Queenslanders over 65 years of age with underlying health issues, all Queenslanders aged over 70 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50 with one or more chronic diseases,” Ms Jones said.

“The best place for seniors to be right now is in their own home. Seniors should not be out and about doing errands that someone else can do for them.

“It is now up to every single Queenslander to show we care.

“If you don’t have family or friends in this age group who you can help, we still need you to step up and help those people who will be looking for it and you can do that by contacting our 1800 number.

“Queenslanders have gone through their fair share of floods, fires and cyclones because we’ve taken care of each other. We need to do the same during the coronavirus pandemic.”


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