Helping seniors cope with COVID


Glynis Thorpe from the RFDS is reaching out to the elderly during the COVID lockdown. Photo contributed

The Royal Flying Doctor Service is running programs to help older citizens navigate their way through the challenges of dealing with COVID-19 regulations, testing, vaccines, and information.

Glynis Thorpe is a clinical nurse consultant with the RFDS and runs the ‘Covid In Reach’ programs.

Glynis said there were many barriers to older people accessing up to date information about COVID and many were becoming anxious and concerned when the lockdowns were extended.

The RFDS has been funded to provide help for indigenous people aged over 55 and non-indigenous people aged over 65.

Glynis said the program was designed to help people at a grass roots level, from booking vaccinations or applying for border passes, to just keeping in touch with loved ones.

“Much of the COVID information has been very internet-based and relies on people going online, which not everyone uses or has access to,” Glynis said.

“I’ve tried to come up with practical ways around that, like linking up people who haven’t seen family for up to three years because of lockdowns.

“If they don’t have a smart phone or Zoom or Teams they haven’t physically been able to see them so I can link them up on Zoom so they can see how much their grandkids have grown, or they can meet the new pet that have joined the family.


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