Adults aged 65 years and over have a higher risk of falling seriously ill with COVID-19. If you’re in this age group, there are actions you can take to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 or from becoming very sick if you get it.
Follow these 6 simple steps:
- if you have symptoms or are in high-risk settings.
- Stay up to date with your .
- if you have symptoms.
- Talk to your GP about .
Stay up to date with your vaccinations
Older Victorians are one of the most vaccinated groups in the world. Keep up to date with your vaccine by knowing which dose you’re eligible for. Vaccines remain the safest and most effective way to protect against COVID-19.
Antiviral medications treat COVID-19 and are proven to save lives and reduce the risk of needing hospitalisation when taken early. GPs can prescribe antivirals and help eligible people plan to access them if they test positive for COVID-19. This can help you get the medication within 5 days of becoming sick when it will be most effective.
Managing your health
Managing your overall health is important when preparing and protecting against COVID-19. People who are 65 and over should continue to:
- monitor existing health conditions and seek healthcare if required
- book routine screenings (for example, see to book a breast screen appointment)
- keep scheduled medical appointments
- take medications that your doctor has prescribed
- keep up physical activity (see for workout ideas you can do from home).
Staying well-connected with family, friends, community, and services supports your mental health and wellbeing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that protective behaviours work. There are many ways older people can remain connected while protecting against COVID-19:
- Wear a face mask – if you're visiting people who may be vulnerable or you have a higher risk of falling very sick with COVID-19. See .
- If you, a friend or family member is feeling unwell, use technology – keep in touch with friends and family using video calls on your phone, tablets, and computer. See the Australian Government’s initiative for training and information on how to use everyday technology or call the helpline on .
- Spend time outdoors – when weather and conditions are appropriate, spending time with people outdoors carries a lower risk of spreading COVID-19.
- Bring fresh air inside – when the weather and temperature are comfortable. Opening windows and allowing fresh air to move through indoor spaces can lower the risk of spreading COVID-19. See for more information.
- Ask for support – carers, friends, and family can help you access the services, technology, and support you need.
- – if you are feeling anxious, uncertain, or unsafe, and to make a treatment plan for if you do become infected with COVID-19.
Other support services to help you stay connected include:
Resources for older people and carers
Support for carers
Many older people care for others. There are services to help give carers a break.