This update brings you the latest information on our COVID-19 response, including communication initiatives, telehealth provisions and new government flu vaccination requirements for visitors to residential aged care sites.
Stringent access controls
Our aged care homes remain in a period of stringent access controls due to the significant risk that COVID-19 poses to the elderly and those with chronic illness.
We thank our aged care families and friends for responding to these restrictions with such understanding. We know that connection is vital and we will continue to support ongoing contact between residents and their loved ones through alternate means, as outlined below. We will also continue to handle the restrictions sensitively with regards to residents at the end stages of life.
The current stringent access controls are due to be reviewed in the lead up to 4 May 2020.
Communicating with loved ones using Skype
Our Information Technology and Aged Care teams have been working hard to keep residents connected during the current visitor restrictions.
Each of our sites now has an iPad equipped with the Skype app, to ensure residents can catch up with their loved ones using this free video platform.
Our Aged Care teams will ensure residents and families have equal access to the iPad and video call technology, and will support all to schedule a catch-up.
If you are a loved one of a resident in our care, please click here to find out how to prepare for video calls. Your patience is appreciated as our homes set up a system for all over the coming days.
New quarantine process for parcels and letters
We are pleased to have finalised a new procedure that will enable family and friends to safely recommence sending parcels and letters to their loved one.
Australia’s leading public health experts have advised that COVID-19 can survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and for a number of days on other surfaces.
Based on this advice, we will be quarantining parcels, letters and post cards in a designated area at our homes for at least 48 hours prior to delivery to residents.
Packages must be in sealed packaging and clearly labelled. Please note: Perishable food items are not permitted for delivery.
UnitingSA is establishing a process for telehealth consultations across our homes, utilising the Skype video-conferencing platform.
This will help residents attend important medical appointments safely. We remain in regular contact with General Practitioners and allied health professionals to ensure the continuation of care to our residents.
Government flu vaccination requirement
The Australian Government has mandated that everyone entering an aged care facility on or after 1 May 2020 must have the current influenza vaccination. This applies to our staff, suppliers, health care providers and residents’ families and friends.
While our homes are currently not accepting visitors, it’s important that we provide you with advanced notice so that you can book in to receive a vaccination.
Once our stringent access controls are relaxed, visitors will only be permitted to enter if they can present evidence of vaccination. For more information, please click here.
Email messages and photos
Our homes continue to receive heart-warming messages and photos from family and friends, which are delivered to residents as they arrive.
We encourage families and friends to send email messages and photos to their loved one, using the home’s email address listed below:
- Seaton – firstname.lastname@example.org
- St Teresa – email@example.com
- Hawksbury – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Westminster – email@example.com
- Wesley House – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Regency Green – email@example.com
We will continue supporting our residents to respond to messages.
We encourage feedback via the above-mentioned email addresses. Your feedback will help us shape future plans and initiatives.
As always, please speak with the home’s Director of Nursing if you have any concerns that you would like to share.
This is a trying time for all and we thank you for your patience as we change our systems and processes in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation.
- Information regarding aged care video calls
- Information regarding influenza vaccinations for aged care visitors
- Visit our coronavirus updates page for the latest information.