Queensland COVID-19 ‘Care Army’ Ranks Boosted

Australian Associated Press is an Australian news agency.
April 18, 2020Updated: April 18, 2020

The Queensland government has boosted support for senior citizens isolated by COVID-19 as thousands of people sign up to join the “care army”.

About 25,000 people have enlisted to support the state’s most vulnerable community members since the call for volunteers went out three weeks ago.

They have been matched with 350 community organisations and begun helping about 2000 senior citizens, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones says.

“We understand that having to stay in isolation for long periods of time can be distressing and add to people’s loneliness,” she said on April 18.

“If you are struggling, if you are feeling isolated, please give us a call. Don’t feel ashamed. Don’t feel embarrassed. We are here to help.”

Jones said Uniting Care Queensland had also joined the “care army” to provide additional social and emotional support.

“(They) are working closely with us by operating the community recovery hotline telephone service for our seniors,” she said

“That means that seniors in distress can get on the phone and talk to a specialist seven days a week.”

Uniting Care will also help Queenslanders who are over the age of 70 and in quarantine at their homes by coordinating with local service providers, such as Meals on Wheels.

The organisation will offer the same support to people over the age of 65 who have an underlying health condition or if they are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, over the age of 50.

By Aaron Bunch