COVID-19 information for Over 50s

This information is designed for Yarra residents 50 years and over, as well as their families, to provide some useful resources and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

COVID-19 has had a major impact on everyone, but unfortunately for older people there is an increased risk of experiencing more severe symptoms if COVID-19 is contracted. Health advice notes those most at risk include:

  • People aged 70 and over.
  • 65 and over with chronic health conditions.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 50 and over.
  • People with a compromised immune system.

You can find more COVID-19 advice for people most at risk on the Department of Health website. Or, see COVID- 19 advice for older people on the Department of Health website.

On this page:

Things you can do to stay healthy and safe

Download the COVID-Safe app 

Downloading the app is something you can do to protect you, your family and friends and save the lives of other Australians. The more Australians connect to the COVID-Safe app, the quicker we can track the virus.

Get the flu shot

For people aged 65 years and over, the flu shot is free and is an enhanced vaccine (called FLUAD) that is specifically designed to produce a higher immune response for this age group. 

This is not a vaccination for COVID-19, however it is still important that you get vaccinated. Getting the flu vaccination will help protect you, your family and other people who are at risk of becoming seriously ill from the flu. It will also help ensure that our emergency beds are available for those who need it most. 

 In addition to this, getting infected with both the flu and COVID-19 could result in serious illness.

Practice good hygiene

You should maintain good hygiene and take care when interacting with other people. These practices are the best defences for you and your family against COVID-19:

  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue.
  • Dispose of used tissues immediately into a rubbish bin and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet, and when you have been out to shops or other places.
  • Using alcohol-based hand sanitisers (60% alcohol), where available.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces you or other people have touched.
  • Stay 1.5 metres away — 2 arms’ length — from other people. This is an example of physical distancing.
  • Continuing to stay at home and avoid contact with others.
  • Continuing to avoid non-essential travel.
  • Considering having the chemist deliver your medicines.
  • Considering having your groceries and essential items delivered to your home.

For more information on how to protect yourself visit the government's health website.

Online shopping

If you would prefer not to have to go to the supermarket, both major supermarkets (Coles and Woolworths) offer an online grocery shopping service, with the links below:

Supported shopping with Yarra Aged and Disability Services

Yarra Aged and Disability Services also offers supported shopping for eligible residents. Please phone 9205 5285 for further information on this service.

Physical fitness

The Wellness Locker is full of ways to replenish your body, mind and soul, including fitness classes to do at home and much more! There is also a video from our Senior Hub Exercise instructor Jeff aimed at people over 50 remaining active. 

Why not try one of these workouts with Yarra Leisure trainer Jeff:

Or, try Chair Yoga with Christine from our Willowview Centre

More free exercise videos for Seniors can be found through Active Seniors Health Centre or at Safe Exercises at Home. 

LGBTI+ Digital Dance Club

A free online dance platform to connect the rainbow and allied community during these times. Find out more on the All the Queens Men website. 

Mental health  

Phone Support

The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line provides information and support to senior Australians, their families and carers. Call 1800 171 866 Monday to Friday (except public holidays) from 8.30am to 6pm to discuss if you:

  • would like to talk with someone about the COVID-19 restrictions 
  • are feeling lonely or are worried about a loved one 
  • are caring for someone and need information or a listening ear 
  • need help or advice about changing your aged care services 
  • need help to access new care services or essential supplies 
  • are concerned about a friend/family member living with dementia.

LGBTI+ support

All Queerspace services are continuing via telehealth and online including individual, relationships and family counselling, as well as Peer support groups online. Find out more on the Queerspace website

Mindfulness support and resources

Our mental health is a crucial part of our overall wellbeing so here are some useful supports and resources to help you stay on track and find some inner calm.

Community Visitors Scheme

The Community Visitors Scheme arranges volunteer visits to older people to provide ongoing friendship and companionship. Phone and virtual friendships are in place at the moment and available to anyone receiving government-subsidised residential aged care or Home Care Packages. If interested phone My Aged Care on 1800 200 42.

Get support to manage stress, anxiety and improve your wellbeing

If you are not coping or have been feeling distressed, anxious or down over several weeks, help is available through the Partners in Wellbeing service.

The free service offers one-on-one support to help you improve your wellbeing, develop strategies to cope and provide emotional support when and as you need it. 

Keeping connected and engaged

Victorian Seniors Festival Reimagined in 2020 

This year the Festival is coming straight to your home via online performances, zoom interviews and story-telling. Hosts Bec and Tristan meet performers online from the comfort of their own homes to bring you some amazing weekly programming from May through October 2020. Visit Seniors online

You can also call Seniors Card on 1300 797 210 if you would like to be mailed monthly updates of the schedule of radio stations broadcasting the Seniors Festival radio programs. 

The Lifting Spirits Outreach Project 

Ordinarily the Art Group meet each Thursday in the Richmond Senior's Hub, but in light of COVID-19 they have returned to snail mail to realise the 'Lifting Spirits Outreach Project'. Group members have been creating beautiful sculptures with materials provided via the post and returned to our art group facilitators who gradually piece together the installations. If you are interested in being involved please call 9205 5439.

Yarra Libraries

Access to our libraries has been increased as a result of the easing in Government restrictions, check out your local library access here.

Boredom Busters

Want to try something new? Why not try your hand at Olive pickling. Check out our how to video guide at Willowview's Boredom Busters

Updates on Yarra Council Activities and Groups for people over 50

In response to the outbreak Aged and Disability Services has modified the way we approach our service delivery and activity for the present time. Some of our regular services and activities are being delivered differently, i.e. via phone and online mediums where possible. Some services and activities have been postponed, mainly those where there are large gatherings of people, for example the Senior Hubs in Collingwood and Richmond. We are however continuing to look at different ways we can support the community. 

Changes to our services

Find up-to-date information on our coronavirus services page.
We are continuing to monitor changes in restrictions and will keep this page updated with any new information on our services.

Other support available in Yarra

Digital Coaching

Yarra Libraries also offer digital coaching to support you with your technology nous or issues. If you would like support call 1300 695 427 or visit the Yarra Libraries website.

‘Walk With Me’ initiative 

Keen to get out for some exercise and would like some company? Yarra Aged and Disability Services support staff can support you through our ‘Walk with Me’ initiative. We’ll match you with one of our friendly staff to put an extra spring in your step as you plod our beautiful streets. Contact Aged and Disability Services on 9205 5285.