THE NSW government has announced hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for the state's seniors at risk of social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seniors in the Wagga electorate will be the focus of the $600,000 to help keep the older community connected.
Wagga MP Joe McGirr said eligible organisations were able to apply for the grants valued between $10,000 and $100,000.
"We want to fund innovative ideas in our region to help seniors keep in touch by utilising phone calls, online platforms or other methods of communication," he said.
"With so many seniors now missing their regular social activities, we want to encourage programs which foster inclusion and encourage positive social outcomes."
Acting Minister for Seniors Geoff Lee said applications for the Combatting Social Isolation for Seniors During COVID-19 grants program were open now until April 26.
"While more seniors are staying at home to protect their health, we do not want to create an epidemic of loneliness in our community," he said.
"Our most vulnerable age groups are being advised to follow social distancing rules, so face to face catch-ups and normal daily routines have become difficult."
In other news:
Programs and initiatives that may be funded by the grants can use different aspects of technology such as video chats, phone calls or online activities, and must focus on the following factors:
- Effectively address social isolation for seniors while reducing the risks from COVID-19
- Actively attract seniors who are socially isolated, or at risk
- Can start immediately, or in a very short timeframe, by extending current capacity, systems and networks
- Have a wide geographic spread, regionally or locally focused, community driven and online
- Can show business continuity planning to keep the project running until the end of 2020
- Give value for money, in terms of overall costs and the outcomes and benefits.
Those suffering acute, cold, flu-like symptoms who have recently returned from travelling or are a contact of a confirmed case are urged to be tested for the virus. To do this, call HealthDirect on 1800 022 222 to be triaged and advised by a nurse over the phone. Alternatively, contact your GP to book an appointment and let them know in advance if you have symptoms - these might include fever, cough, runny nose or shortness of breath.
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