Support for older people living alone
Our older adult services and programs are tailored to help you keep enjoying a healthy, active and involved lifestyle, right into retirement and beyond.
NSW Police Force
For all emergencies please dial 000 (triple zero). If your matter is not an emergency, call 131 444 or contact your local police station.
Why this is important
- The 2016 census found that 32.5%, or nearly one-third of people in the City of Sydney local area live alone. Many of these residents live healthy, active lives and are in touch with their neighbours and local communities. However, some may be at risk of becoming cut off from society due to advanced age, ill-health or fears for their own safety.
- People who are socially isolated can easily become invisible to the rest of the community, which can affect their individual health and wellbeing. They may have an accident or a fall at home, and have no way of alerting someone that they need help.
- If you are someone living alone who might need help for peace of mind, this page gives information on a number of services available. Or if you're concerned about the welfare of a friend, neighbour or relative living alone, please contact your local police station to conduct a welfare check.
Personal emergency alarms
These portable devices provide a way to instantly ask for help, even if you cannot reach the phone.
The Independent Living Centre has a range of products available depending on your personal needs.
Free daily telephone calls to check on the wellbeing of older people are available from the Australian Red Cross.
If a call goes unanswered, its Telecross service starts an emergency procedure to arrange help if it's needed. Call 1300 885 698 for more information about the service.
You can download below a list of emergency telephone numbers and essential safety contacts that we've put together.
Next of kin register
Older people who live alone can register personal information such as next of kin, doctor's and dentist's contact details, and medical alert information. In an emergency, this helps ambulance officers or police get in touch with the nominated people more easily.
You can download a next of kin registration form (see below).
Kings Cross police station has a seniors personal information kit that provides important telephone numbers and a contact information sheet to record important personal information. The information is then kept on the police database and a laminated reference sheet will be created, free of charge, so it can be kept on the fridge and accessed in case of emergencies.
To get a free seniors personal information kit, please contact your nearest City of Sydney customer service centre or give us a call. To be included on the next of kin register, please contact your nearest police station.
Squalor and hoarding
Some people neglect their personal health and immediate surroundings for many reasons, sometimes to a point where their behaviour and living conditions can present a risk to themselves or others. This may include severe self-neglect, accumulating rubbish, hoarding, and a home infested with vermin.
Catholic Healthcare has developed a resource unit for people affected by hoarding and squalor. The resource unit aims to help those in the community to access information and assistance about hoarding and squalor. It includes an online resource, helpline, e-learning module and an intake line for referrals.
Support for organisations
We support organisations that provide services to people with disability, older adults and their carers operating in the City of Sydney area.
Sector support and development activities include:
- regular Information to local organisations with updates from the aged care sector, training opportunities, and information about relevant local programs and services
- regular interagency meetings
- the opportunity to promote activities, events and programs for older adults, on our dedicated older adults page on the What’s On website.
We convene the City and Eastern Sydney Ageing and Disability Interagency with Waverley Council and Randwick Council. Meetings are held every second month from February to October.
The interagency provides a forum for organisations to collaborate, exchange information, ideas and new innovative service approaches that are responsive to the needs of the community.
The interagency is a great opportunity for organisations to learn more information about changes and reforms in the ageing and disability services sector and to network with other providers.
We understand how important it may be to maintain your independence but there may be times when some extra help is needed. A number of low-cost or free in-home care services are available for older people who are frail, people with disability and their carers.
The City of Sydney receives funding from the Australian Government's home support program to provide services for older people aged over 65. Commonwealth Home Support Program services are available to our residents and include delivered meals, community transport, social support and community nursing. For more information, visit myagedcare.gov.au.
Our community centres offer a range of programs, activities and services to support healthy active aging and social connection with others. Centre-based programs are offered to support individual independence. Ongoing programs are designed to build on existing strengths and abilities, while time-limited programs aim to increase function and reduce reliance on ongoing supports.
Our online programs help people who are staying apart, keep together. You can connect with your community online and enjoy exercise classes, workshops and inclusive events from the City of Sydney's community centres.