MEDIA RELEASE: COVID-19 Fact Sheet for Older Australians provides authoritative advice to promote clarity and avoid confusion for those at risk

Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia and the Australian Government today released an information resource to give specific information to older Australians and a clear place to find practical information and strategies for mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations.

COTA Australia Chief Executive, Ian Yates, said many older people are understandably anxious about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and need clear, simple information about the risks and precautions they should take, while at the same time continuing to live their lives as normally as possible.

“People over 60 years, or Indigenous populations over 50 years, are at a higher risk of serious illness caused by COVID-19. Indeed, the highest rate of fatalities are amongst older people, especially people who already have an underlying serious health condition, such as heart or lung diseases, or those who may have a weakened immune system.

“However, that does not mean life should stop or people should panic. For example, the best medical advice is that you should continue to safely walk your dog outside, ensuring you remain at least 1.5m away from others, and not touching surfaces that others may have touched, and cleaning your hands properly when you get home. Indeed, keeping up physical fitness is important to maintaining health and wellbeing.”

COTA Australia has launched as a portal of information that will provide links to trusted sources of information from various official Government resources. In addition, COTA will try to provide relevant information about day-to-day living such as updates on initiatives by local supermarkets as they become known.

“We thank the Government for codesigning a clear fact sheet for older Australians with COTA Australia. We hope our web page’s additional information will help older Australians to get additional accurate information relevant to them.

“One area the Fact Sheet includes thanks to the work of is to remind older Australians that sadly there are scams occurring. COTA will also provide as up to date information as we can about the initiatives of supermarkets to ensure older Australians have access to basic necessities and relevant reminders on consumer laws for people who have been forced to cancel tickets and holidays.”

Mr Yates said the website information would be continually updated as new information becomes available.

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Media contact: Ian Yates 0418 835 439; Hannah Craft 0423 377 96