Communication for residential facilities


A group of Queensland-based non-government organisations have collaborated to develop a communication and engagement checklist for residential facilities during COVID-19. This can be used for any organisation that provides care and support for residents, either in short or long-term care.

Communication and engagement checklist: Residential care facilities (aged care, disability and community support)

The aim of this document is to provide a checklist for organisations to ensure good communication occurs between residents and their families and their residential facility.

Version 2, updated 27 August 2020

Download the checklist >

Staff training

Training based on the Communication and Engagement Checklist was delivered on 5 August 2020 as part of the Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer (OCNMO) -based COVID 19 Leadership and Skills Development Series. You can access resources from this training:


Other resources

Queensland Health website for COVID-19 information for Queensland clinicians: Aged care sector >


Compassionate Conversations >

  • Queensland Health has co-designed guides for clinicians to help with compassionate conversations with health consumers and their families. There are two guides, one for communicating virtually and the second is using an interpreter in virtual communication with consumers and their families.


Leading Age Services Australia: COVID-19 Lessons Learned for Age Services Providers >

(Printable A4 PDF) Summary of lessons learned from the pandemic so far, including:

  • Basic readiness activities
  • Considerations for when there is active transmission in the community
  • When a resident, client or staff member tests positive
  • Major outbreak
  • Home care
  • Service level triggers

Resources from Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) and ADA Australia

Know your rights during COVID-19 >

  • For residents and famiies. Explanation of your rights in aged care, how to get help, and the Charter of Aged Care Rights. (Printable PDF)

Provider fact sheet >

  • Gives an overview of the COVID-19 resources produced by OPAN, several of which we have included here on this page. Also covers information on supporting residents and families in COVID-19 outbreak. (Printable PDF)

A3 Poster: COVID explainer >

A5 Poster: COVID explainer >

  • Posters in two sizes for display in care facilities. Explains that there have been changes to keep everyone safe. (Printable PDFs)

Check for understanding

Teach back is an evidence-based communication technique that improves consumers’ recall and understanding of key health-related information. It aids effective communication so residents and families understand the information you are telling them.

Following are some Australian resources:

Tasmanian Department of Health: Checking understanding

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare: Health Literacy (PDF)



OPAN has developed a range of resources for RACF’s and their residents experiencing a Covid-19 outbreak/lockdown. These include a series of videos by Dr Norman Swan discussing the changes that are happening at the facility – PPE, changes to visits, food etc.  Videos 1 and 2 have been translated into a range of languages.

Video 1: Older Persons’ COVID-19 Support Line promotional video  (60 seconds)

Video 2:  OPAN Norman Swan Residential Care Outbreak Explainer Video (4:15)

  • This video is particularly targeted for anyone in a residential facility that’s experiencing an outbreak
  • View >

Video 3: OPAN Norman Swan Industry Code & Advocacy Explainer Video