A Care Army of professionals and volunteers will rally around Queensland's seniors, while a new telephone hotline is also being launched, to help ensure the wellbeing of older people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 increases with age and the new the Care Army to protect up to one million seniors.
"Queensland's community spirit always shines through in times of crisis, as it did when the Mud Army went into action after the 2011 floods. The Care Army may operate differently because of health and safety restrictions, but the spirit and effect remain the same," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"Many seniors will be supported by family, but others will need volunteers and community service organisations to help them stay home and stay safe and with things such as food or medicine drops".
The Premier said even something as simple as a daily telephone call could make a huge difference.
"Older people, particularly those with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease or a weakened immune system are most at risk of serious infection," she said.
The government is now expanding the Community Recovery Hotline - a free call on 1800 173 349 - to link seniors and other vulnerable Queenslanders to essential services and support.
Queenslanders wanting to volunteer should also contact 1800 173 349.
A new COVID-19 Seniors Panel, led by Minister Kate Jones reporting directly to the Premier, will co-ordinate the Care Army and launch a community awareness campaign about how to help seniors.
Ms Jones said she had already started working with Queensland Health, community organisations, supermarkets and pharmacies and would also work closely with Minister O'Rourke.
"We will scale up care and support services for Queenslanders over 65 years of age with underlying health issues, all Queenslanders aged over 70 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50 with one or more chronic diseases," Ms Jones said.
"The best place for seniors to be right now is in their own home. Seniors should not be out and about doing errands that someone else can do for them.
"It is now up to every single Queenslander to show we care."
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