COVID-19 has impacted many people living, working and caring in aged care, including aged care residents, home care recipients, their families, families of choice, friends, loved ones, representatives and community visitors, and aged care workers.

You may be experiencing grief from the death of a loved one due to COVID-19 or loss because of the lockdowns and visitor restrictions. You may be feeling loss because you have missed routines, loved ones and important events. Or you may be experiencing trauma from isolation or past events.

While some people recover, others may develop mental health problems and need help.

If you need help for any of these situations you will find on this page:

  • Grief and trauma support services for the aged care sector impacted by COVID-19. These services are free and available across the country.
  • Additional helplines and digital resources available on Head to Health to support those impacted by grief and trauma.

Who are these services for?

  • Residents in aged care
  • Home care recipients
  • Families of senior Australians, their families of choice, friends, loved ones, representatives and community visitors
  • Aged care staff, including residential aged care staff and home care staff, including aged care leadership, nursing and personal care workers, and ancillary staff

Types of services available

Support for grief, loss and bereavement, trauma resources, dementia advice and advocacy help for the aged care sector affected by COVID-19.

Support for grief, loss and bereavement

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (ACGB) provides tailored support, advice and specialised counselling with a bereavement practitioner in a one-to-one or group setting through:
  • Telehealth
  • Video call
  • In person

Online self-care resources are also available:

  • Webinars and fact sheets
  • Web chat
  • SMS support
  • The app provides access to tools and resources to help bereaved people and gain practical strategies.

  • To contact the grief, loss and bereavement service, call 1800 22 2200, 9am – 5pm AEDT, from Monday to Friday.

    ACGB has bi-lingual staff who can work with clients in 12 languages:
    English, Arabic, Czech, Farsi, French, Italian, Japanese, Maltese, Sinhali, Tamil, Spanish, Yiddish.

    To use Translating and Interpreting Support (TIS),

    1. call 131 450 first,
    2. nominate your language and
    3. ask to be connected to ACGB on 1800 22 2200.

    For sign language interpreting services,



Resources for those affected by trauma

Phoenix Australia offers information and tools to support those who have had traumatic experiences, and trauma recovery resources for carers and aged care providers.

There are three resource packages designed for the aged care sector, available on the Phoenix Australia aged care website:

  • Trauma-informed care policy resources including a trauma-informed care framework, webinars, workbooks and self-assessment tools. Access the resource package here.

  • Trauma-informed practice resources, including videos, webinars and online training. Designed to help aged care staff give trauma-informed care to others and understand self-care for themselves. Access the resource package here.

  • Trauma awareness and support resources on understanding trauma. Guidance on when to seek help, self-care strategies and resources for caring for a loved one affected by trauma. Access the resource package here.

Help for dementia associated behaviours

Dementia Support Australia's engagement program helps aged care providers to alleviate the impacts of lockdown on residents living with dementia.
  • Specialised clinical support and advice is available on the phone 24-hours, every day. Resources are also available for aged care staff, families, friends, loved ones, families of choice, and representatives and community visitors.

    Call 1800 699 799, 365 days, 24 hours.

Advice and advocacy for older people

The Older Persons Advocacy Network provides information and advocacy to families, loved ones and the community, during a residential care facility COVID-19 outbreak.
  • OPAN provides free, confidential and independent advice, information and education to older people, their families, friends and representatives. Ask for an advocate - someone who can give practical help and explore options or solutions on issues important to the person.

    Call 1800 700 600, 6am – 10pm AEDT, 7 days.

Crisis support services - available 24 hours

Download communication materials

These downloadable materials outline the grief and trauma support services available for those living, working and caring in the aged care sector, who have been impacted by COVID-19.

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Page last updated 30th June 2021