Southern Downs and Granite Belt residents are being encouraged to join the ‘Care Army’ of professionals and volunteers called on this week by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to “rally around” seniors, while a new telephone hotline is launched to help ensure the wellbeing of older people during the coronavirus pandemic.
“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.
“The Care Army may operate differently because of health and safety restrictions, but the spirit and effect remain the same.
“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.
“Older people, particularly those with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease or a weakened immune system are most at risk of serious infection.”
The State Government has expanded 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.
“The best place for seniors to be right now is in their own home,” the Premier said this week.
“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.
“Whether it’s your mother, your grandfather, your next-door neighbour or a friend – we all know a senior in our community who will need us so they can stay safe from infection.
“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.
“We’ll give clear advice to family members and friends about how to safely support seniors.”
Minister Coralee O’Rourke said there were a number of practical steps people could take to keep seniors safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s not just about food and medicine. We need to keep people engaged during this tough time,” she said.
“Pick up the phone and talk to your parents or grandparents. Ask how they’re doing and if they need help.
For more information: www.covid19.qld.gov.au/carearmy