NEW ISOLATION RULES FOR SENIORS MEANS GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO STEP UP AND REACH OUT

State government agencies like Service NSW should be conducting regular welfare checks on the elderly following tougher restrictions, advising people over 70 to stay home, according to NSW Labor.

Under the Labor proposal, public servants would call all elderly residents across NSW to ensure they are well and to proactively connect them to local services, cost-of-living measures and health information.

Labor Shadow Minister for Seniors Jo Haylen said: “This is going to be a tough time for older people and the onus is on us as a community to make sure they are safe and well.

“We have seen a groundswell of community support with people reaching out to elderly neighbours and community groups rising to the challenge of managing increased demand for services. The Government needs to step up to the plate, too.

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“Most of the Berejiklian Government’s subsidies require people to apply for them, and this can already be difficult for many older people. We need the Government to be proactive about connecting elderly people to the medical, financial and emotional support they need.”

Many Labor MP’s have already been calling elderly constituents in their electorates.

As part of the Government’s stimulus package in response to COVID-19, Service NSW is hiring an additional 1,000 people to operate a hotline offering non-medical advice.

Labor Shadow Minister for Better Public Services Sophie Cotsis said: “Given the tougher restrictions coming into place today, the hotline service should be made more proactive, with outbound calls to the elderly.

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“I am concerned that many older people won’t know what help and support is available, particularly those from CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) or migrant backgrounds.

“We need the Berejiklian Government to step up and make sure elderly and vulnerable people are being looked after, not left to fend for themselves.”