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Special Message from the CEO – Latest from COTA NT

1 Apr 2020

The team at COTA NT have been busy adapting to new working practises, delivering information, supporting our members and seniors in the Territory in lots of different ways in these extraordinary days.  We are lucky in that our head office at Spillett House in Darwin can still open, with my fantastic and professional staff ready to assist. We are working in separate offices and strictly adhering to the 1.5m distancing rule. We do have new office opening hours and entry restrictions in place and are enforcing distancing between staff at Reception desks and visitors.

Here’s an overview of what we are doing. (This news message is also available as a PDF).

PROMOTING KEY SOURCES FOR INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19

COTA NT is doing its best to disseminate relevant information, especially in relation to the COVID-19 virus, so that Territory seniors will be able to make informed decisions.

Our Chief Minister and the Australian Prime Minister have stated that seniors over 70 should stay home – I would reiterate that they also advised that seniors over 70 can still go shopping, to the pharmacy and take exercise, but must take every precaution – and then go straight home. If you have any queries, go to the coronavirus.nt.gov.au website (coronavirus.nt.gov.au) for information, or call the dedicated 24-hour phone line 1800 020 080.

Here are key sources for information:

Published at, https://www.cotant.org.au/for-senior-territorians-covid-19-information-resources/
This page also includes quick links to Northern Territory Government online health advice, information and updates, Woolworths and Coles shopping services (including Priority Assistance Service information), scams relating to COVID-19 and links to translated resources.

Useful Apps

Australian Government has also released the Coronavirus Australia app, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

ONLINE AND TELEPHONE GP SERVICES

You can seek medical support from your GP through bulk-billed telehealth (videolink) and telephone services if you:

  • are aged over 70 or
  • are aged over 50 and are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person or
  • have a chronic condition.

Refer to: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/community-advice/elderly-and-aged-care/elderly-care

STAYING IN TOUCH WITH US

  • COTA NT offices are currently open to the public,
    Mondays to Fridays from 10am to 2pm (excluding public holidays).
    Where possible, please contact us by phone or online means to reduce foot traffic into Spillett House.
  • PHONE Head Office – 08 8941 1004
    • Aged Care Navigator (Darwin) – Janet Brown 0466 544 552
    • Aged Care Navigator (Alice Springs) – Debbie Pepper 0423 828 558
  • EMAIL Contact me by email at
  • WEBSITE Contact us online – through our website contact form (we will call you back at your preferred time within office hours, 9am – 3pm)
  • Contact us online with our NEW website chat feature (staffed between 9am and 3pm). You will see this on the right-hand side of our home page.
  • FACEBOOK Follow us on social media.

STAYING CONNECTED

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

We want to hear from you about the current coronavirus crisis. We are gathering this information at COTA NT to understand better the impact the crisis is having on our members and senior Territorians aged 50+. We will then be better placed to determine what our role can be and what support we can offer during this time.  Click on the survey link here.

ASSISTANCE WITH SHOPPING

We are also trying to assist seniors with shopping who have NEITHER online access nor family to assist them. If you know of a senior who has no online access for shopping and home delivery, or does not have family to assist, you can call us on 8941 1004 and we will try to help. 

We will find out what they need and find out if that person qualifies for any government-funded assistance. Then we will go through a shopping list with them; source the shopping and deliver it. The person receiving the shopping will pay our representative on presentation of a receipt with their debit or credit card on our portable EFTPOS banking machine. I would stress, that with our very limited physical resources, that this will only be done for those seniors who are alone, not ambulant and without online shopping access.

TOUCHING BASE WITH MEMBERS BY PHONE

We are phoning our COTA NT members – firstly those who do not have email or Internet access – to see how they are faring and to see if we can help. We are also extending this reach – with the help of some wonderful volunteers – to members of the Seniors Card program. Thank you to all who have expressed their appreciation to Fran for making these calls.

ONLINE ACTIVITIES

COTA NT is also resourcing reputable and trusted providers of online fitness and exercise programs specific to seniors and our wonderful instructor Sharon is currently working on Chair Aerobics sessions that can be done safely at home.

We will release these shortly on our new STAY CONNECTED web page and will send notifications through Facebook and email. https://www.cotant.org.au/contact-us/stay-connected/

NT SENIORS CARD

Finally, we are still producing cards for the NT Seniors Card program – over the last week we printed over 150.  However, the production of the printed NT Seniors Card Business Directory has been put on hold for the time being. In this current business and economic climate, the print edition would not be an accurate indication of what is available. 

We are still listing businesses on our online business directory, so if you know of a business that isn’t listed, please ask them to contact us. (https://ntseniorscard.org.au/business-partners/listing-application-form/)

We are also featuring various businesses and new opening times in this directory and on the NT Seniors Card Facebook page. (https://www.facebook.com/ntseniorscard/)

If you can make sure you buy locally and support all these businesses.               

Take care,

Sue Shearer – CEO, COTA NT

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