COVID-19 coronavirus: Help for older Western Australians

With high COVID-19 caseloads in WA, there are things we can do to stay safe.
A middle aged woman wearing a mask with her hands resting on the shoulders of an elderly woman sitting down and wearing a mask.

Some groups have additional needs or are at a greater risk from COVID-19, including older people.

6 steps everyone should take when dealing with COVID-19

  1. Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations (external link)
  2. Get tested (external link) if you have symptoms (external link) and follow the steps if you’re COVID-positive or a close contact
  3. Wear a mask where required (external link) and follow the health and safety guidelines
  4. Keep up healthy hygiene habits (external link).
  5. Prepare a COVID-19 kit and COVID-19 Care Plan (external link) for your household.
  6. Speak to your GP or regular health service if you have concerns. Some conditions and lifestyle factors (external link) can increase your chance of illness from COVID-19.

As an older person, the information on this page is particularly important for you.

Get vaccinated for COVID-19

Make sure you’re up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccinations

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19. Make sure you’re up-to-date with your vaccinations and have received all recommended doses (external link).

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective (external link).

Third and fourth dose vaccinations

All people aged 16 years and older should receive a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Your third dose should be given 3 months after your primary course.

An fourth dose is encouraged for higher risk groups (external link), including adults aged 30 years and older.

The fourth dose should be given 3 months after your third booster dose.

If you’re unsure how many doses you should have or need advice about the timing of vaccines around treatments, speak to your GP or healthcare professional.

If you have had COVID-19, you should wait 3 months after your confirmed COVID-19 infection before you receive your next dose.

To book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination, visit Roll up for WA (external link).

What to do to prepare for COVID-19

Masks

With COVID-19 in the community, it is understandable if you are hesitant about masks not being required in some settings, especially if you have an underlying medical condition, or if there are people at risk of serious illness in your household or family. If you feel more comfortable doing so, continue wearing a mask in public places and at gatherings.

Wearing a well-fitting mask is a simple and effective precaution you can take to stay safe and minimise the spread of COVID-19.

It is a good idea to carry a mask when you leave home and wear one if you can't physically distance from others.

Visit HealthyWA’s Face masks (external link) for information on the different types of masks and how to care for them.

For information about mask rules in Western Australia and the different types of face masks.

Additional measures

If you have a medical condition that puts you at increased risk of serious illness with COVID-19, you can ask friends or family members to take a rapid antigen test (RAT) before catching up.

It is also important to continue to keep up good hygiene habits (external website) like washing hands and using hand sanitiser, and holding gatherings outside where possible.

You may be eligible for COVID-19 treatment with an antiviral medication (external link), depending on your age, existing medical conditions, when you were diagnosed with COVID-19 and the severity of your symptoms. Your GP can prescribe antiviral medication treatments.

Complete a COVID-19 care plan

It helps to plan in case you or anyone in your household gets COVID-19.

A COVID-19 Care Plan (external website) includes important information about you and your health and details your plans for the care of your pets and other adults in your care, should you need to go to hospital.

You can also share your plan with your GP, your family or support person, and hospital staff and other health workers.

Prepare a COVID-19 kit

If you or someone in your household tests positive to COVID-19, having a COVID-19 kit with the items in this checklist will help you monitor and manage your symptoms.

WA Health has also developed a checklist (external link) that you can complete, under their ‘Measures to keep us safe’ section.

What to do if you test positive

  • Register your positive rapid antigen test (RAT) result (external link) on HealthyWA as soon as possible.
  • People at risk of severe illness should register for WA COVID Care at Home (external link) (more below).
  • Speak with your GP about treatment options, especially if you are at high risk of severe illness, to find out if you are eligible for a COVID-19 antiviral treatment.
    • Some medicines must be started within specific timeframes of developing COVID-19 symptoms (within 5 days) to be effective, therefore it is important that you seek treatment for your symptoms as soon as possible.
  • Follow the isolation protocols for COVID-19 positive cases.
  • Monitor your symptoms by keeping a daily diary and discuss with your GP if required.

WA COVID Care at Home

WA COVID Care at Home (external link) delivers home monitoring via the telephone for COVID-positive people with risk factors that put them at greater risk of hospitalisation.

You must test positive to COVID-19 to register for WA COVID Care at Home (external link). If you are unable to complete the form by yourself and do not have someone to help, call 13 COVID (13 268 43) for help to complete registration on your behalf.

The free program will enrol patients based on risk factors such as age, severity of symptoms, medical history and social factors. You will be asked to consent to enrol in the program.

Useful resources:

Page reviewed 5 August 2022