COVID-19 Pandemic Update

 

9th September 2020

 

Dear Families,

 

We have been advised by NSW Public Health to continue the visitor restrictions until further notice next week.

 

I am very sorry that you cannot visit your family member within the Home to, rather it can only be through a window, by phone, and social media

This can be arranged by calling the Home to make an appointment.

 

Also, please call the Care Manager or Manager to discuss any concerns.

 

On a final note, I ask that you avoid calling the Home at mealtimes unless it is an emergency.

 

Best regards,

James Grealy

CEO


4th September 2020

 

Dear Families,

 

Unfortunately, the direction from NSW Health has not changed so we will remain locked down over the weekend and into next week.

Sadly, this means that Father’s Day visits cannot be within the Home, rather it can only be through a window or by phone, Skype, etc

 

We have put on additional staff at the Homes to assist residents with family visits at the window or with phone calls.

 

There are special events planned at each of the Homes to celebrate the day.

 

I thank you for your ongoing support and understanding during these difficult times and look forward to the return of visiting within the Homes.

 

Regards

James Grealy

Chief Executive Officer


September 1st, 2020

Dear Families and Friends,

 

On Friday 28 August 2020, NSW Health gave a Sydney metropolitan-wide instruction for all residential aged care homes to lockdown and restrict visitors for 14 days.

They have advised that this is in response to community transmission of Covid-19, not cases in Homes.

 

As you will be aware we have taken decisive action to ensure resident safety throughout the Pandemic and continue to do so. The latest steps include:

  1. Full mock outbreak drills at the Homes so if there is a positive case we are well prepared.
  2. We have commenced testing of staff for Covid-19 as a precautionary step.

 

On point 2, staff are asymptomatic but we want a point-in-time of assurance. A big thank you to staff for participating because we cannot make it compulsory.

  • Sylvania, all results negative, and three staff remain to be tested.
  • Russell Lea,  all staff negative results with two staff yet to be tested.
  • The other Homes will have testing over the next week.

 

We have also implemented face masks as compulsory for staff over the last fortnight.

 

So what’s next?

 

On Monday, we held a meeting with the Board, managers, and care managers today and in response to preventing entry of families and non-essential visitors please contact the Home to organise access as follows:

  1. Skype and other social media
  2. Visiting windows – which are being set-up in some of the Homes
  3. Staff photos and name badges being upgraded to assist residents when staff wear masks
  4. Use of Mint app for general updates

 

Father’s Day

Today: just hearing on the media that NSW may lift these restrictions again before Father’s Day. So, given the uncertainty, we would like to plan ahead

  • Make schedule appointments for both the viewing window/balcony and onsite visits for Father’s Day (just in case)
  • We will put on an extra staff member on Father’s Day to help ensure residents can see their visitors
  • We will update you on the  schedule the day before about visitation

 

Best regards,

 

James Grealy

CEO


Practice COVID Pandemic Drill August 2020

In August we conducted Pandemic (Mock) Drills across our Homes to ensure we are fully prepared and can respond swiftly if we have an identified COVID case.

The Drills were evaluated by Shanthi Mitchell (Tierra Health) as an independent observer providing feedback to the Homes and Carino Care Board.

We are pleased to advise that management and staff across the Homes performed professionally and quickly.

 


August 11th, 2020

Dear Residents and Families,

The COVID cases in NSW are unfortunately spreading and we have been notified of multiple active cases in the suburbs surrounding the Carino Care homes.

To further protect the residents, families, and staff we are implementing additional infection control practices for the next fortnight this is in lieu of going into full lockdown.

We are asking families and staff to:

  • Avoid restaurants, hotels, clubs, and cafes (takeaway or home delivery only)
  • Do not have close contact(hug kiss or be less than 1.5m) with anyone, not in your home
  • Do not shop at supermarkets at peak times
  • Always wear a mask when away from home e.g shopping, public transport
  • All visitors and staff are now required to wear masks at the Carino Care home covering mouth and nose (no exceptions)
  • Entertainers and non-essential services are canceled for the next fortnight
  • We are asking staff to be tested for Covid-19 and if you ora family member is unwell – stay away and get tested
  • Visitors will be restricted to scheduled appointment visits only, one person at a time unless the visitor requires a carer.
  • Exceptions by negotiation with the manager e.g. distressed resident, palliative resident

Our primary concern is the health and wellbeing of the residents in our care. We continue to believe this must include residents having access to family. However, we need to modify the visits to reduce the risk of Covid-19 and or influenza outbreak.

On a final note, last week we conducted Pandemic Drills across all Homes. Thank you for your support of this training. We have now finalised changes to our Pandemic Plan and response so it is more streamlined. Training is critical in preparation for an event.

Any concerns please speak with the Manager or Care Manager.

Regards

James Grealy

Chief Executive Officer


July 28th, 2020

Pandemic Preparation and Training

 

Dear Families,

On Wednesday 29th July we will be conducting a full ‘mock’ Pandemic Outbreak Response at Sylvania.

The training response will be overseen by Shanthi Mitchell, RN, a specialist in compliance management.

Think of this as being similar to a mock evacuation drill we conduct as part of fire training.

 

This is designed to train staff and evaluate our responsiveness

  • Infection Control
  • Contacting families
  • Managing visitors
  • Ensuring we can obtain new supplies on the day
  • Switching to disposable crockery, plates, etc
  • Allocating staff to work only in one area

 

As a family member,

  • If you visit on Wednesday we will ask you to leave the Home as we go into lockdown from 10 am to 5 pm
  • We will contact you on the day as part of the training – to make sure we can reach you and explain the mock event.
  • That you are provided with enough information

 

Any concerns please call the manager.

Regards,

Dr James Grealy

Chief Executive Officer


July 18th, 2020

Attention all Visitors

Think about your movements in the community

Are you eating out at restaurants?
Are you visiting clubs?
Are you shopping during peak times when there are lots of people?
Do you greet people you don’t live with a hug or kiss?
Do you really keep 1.5m away from people?

COVID -19 is highly contagious.

If Covid-19 gets into our home it will be hard to contain and people will likely die.

Please consider not visiting if you are frequenting high-risk areas.


Update from the CEO

 

17th July 2020

 

Dear Families and Visitors,

As you would be aware there are now Covid-19 hot spots in Sydney (see Update 14th July) and major outbreaks in Melbourne, with 24 aged care homes having declared Covid-19 Outbreaks.

Our number one priority is the health, safety, and emotional well-being of your family member (residents). So, we need to work together to keep the virus out of the Homes.

So, in response to the Sydney Hotspots, we are tightening our management controls to reduce the risk of Covid-19 virus and influenza (Flu) exposure to residents.

Visitors

  1. Visitors must make an appointment and have a Flu Vax (show evidence)
  2. Only one (1) family member visiting at a time visiting unless the visitor requires a primary carer. The exception to this is where the resident is palliative or distressed.
  3. All visitors must wear a mask over their mouth and nose (properly) during a visit.People not complying with mask-wearing will be asked to leave the Home.
  4. On entry follow the instructions of sanitising hands, temperature, declaration, and washing hands
  5. Enforcement of social distancing during visits
  6. NDIS and non-family – risk assessment to be undertaken
  7. Use blue light hand wash for visitors for next week as a fun exercise but to show risk
  8. We are canceling entertainers at Russell Lea due to distancing control challenges and hairdressing will be by Carmen only
  9. Bus trips will continue
  10. Families should ask themselves how they are going to keep themselves safe when in the community
  11. No entry for any person where
      1. they have been to Victoria in the last 3 weeks or been in contact with anyone who has been to / come from Victoria in the last three weeks
      2. Where they have been in the Sydney hotspots – see list above on 14th July

Staff

  1. We are updating staff infection control knowledge over the next week
  2. Asking the staff how they and their family members keep safe in the community – and how to do this
  3. Registered Nurses are to be fully familiar with the Pandemic Plan

Please speak with the management team if you have any queries or concerns

Regards,

Dr James Grealy

Chief Executive Officer


14th July 2020

Attention all visitors, contractors and staff,

NSW Health is requesting residential aged care facilities screen staff and visitors against the following venues and dates:

 

  1. Crossroads Hotel, Casula: 3-10 July (people who attended the Crossroads Hotel during these dates are advised to immediately self-isolate until 14 days after they were last there and attend a clinic for testing even if they have no symptoms https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/news/Pages/20200712_01.aspx)
  2. Picton Hotel: 4, 5, 9, 10 July
  3. Planet Fitness, Casula: 6 – 10 July
  4. Star City Casino: 4 July (8:00pm – 10:30pm)
  5. Canterbury Leagues Cub: 4 July (11:00pm – 1:00am)
  6. Narellan Town Centre Shopping Town (Kmart, Target, Best & Less, H&M and food court): 6 July
  7. Zone Bowling, Villawood: 27 June (11:00am – 3:00pm)
  8. Cook, Kurnell: 5 July (11:30am – 12:30 pm)
  9. Highfield, Caringbah: 5 July (6:00pm – 9:00pm)
  10. Merimbula RSL: 6 July (6:00pm – 9:00pm)
  11. Waterfront Café, Merimbula: 7 July (8:30am – 9:30am)
  12. Murray Downs Golf Club: 4-5 July
  13. Victoria: If you or someone you have had contact with has visited Vicotira in the last two weeks, you cannot visit.

 

Staff and visitors who have attended these venues or have been to Victoria or in contact with someone from Victoria on these dates cannot enter the facility until 14 days after they last attended the venue and are well.

 

Regards

Dr James Grealy

Chief Executive Officer


19th June 2020

Dear Families,

 

Firstly, thank you for your support during the Pandemic – still no cases at the Homes or influenza cases.

 

We are pleased to advise that we have recommended bus trips for residents.

The trips will be ‘scenic drives’ so staying on the bus, and therefore no exposure to the wider community.

 

We are still mandating that residents can only leave the Home for medical appointments.

This is based on our risk management of the Covid-19 Pandemic advice and to minimise risk of influenza.

The infection control precautions have resulted in no incidence of influenza at the Homes, and staff sickness is at its lowest in years.

This means that residents are being cared for by our staff not agency staff – ensuring the continuity of care.

 

It was great seeing the entertainers and the residents’ enjoyment in the last two weeks.

 

If you have any queries please speak with the management team.

 

Regards

Dr James Grealy

Chief Executive Officer


25th May 2020

Dear Families,

 

Firstly, thank you to all the families who have responded to our ‘quality contact’ telephone call in the last two weeks.

Over the next fortnight we will be actioning concerns raised, firstly by logging them in the feedback system and then following up with you.

The NSW Government has eased measures for the general public and the Commonwealth has also eased restrictions for visiting to residential aged care highlighted in Yellow below.

https://lasa.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Industry-Code-RAC-Visits-FINAL-11-May-2020-1.15pm.pdf

 

Summary:

Right of Entry

  1. Do not visit the Home if you have a cold or flu-like symptoms including runny nose, cough, scratchy throat, fever
  2. You will not be permitted entry or be on the premise if
    1. you have not had influenza vaccination (flu-vax) – you must provide the Home with a copy of the vaccination record
    2. You will not be permitted entry if you have a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius
    3. You do not have an appointment
    4. You are under 16 years of age
  3. Visitors can now include friends and others
  4. Visitors can stay for 2 hours at a time
  5. Up to 4 visitors – please check with management at the time of making an appointment to ensure we can maintain social distancing with this number
  6. NDIS and other allied health visitors can recommence
  7. Religious services and entertainment are recommencing but from a distance

 

On Entry

  1. Sanitise hands
  2. Complete statement that
    1. You have not returned from overseas or travelled on a cruise ship within the last 14 days
    2. Been in contact with someone who has COVID -19 within the last 14 days
    3. You are currently in contact or caring for someone who is unwell
    4. Have had any respiratory symptoms current or within the last 7 days
  3. Have your temperature taken and record this on the Visitor Log
  4. Face mask on
  5. Wash your hands at the sink

 

When in the Home

  • Only visit your immediate family member or the person you have arrived to visit if you are a friend
  • Social distance (1.5m)
  • Keep face mask on

 

Going Out

  • Residents can only leave the Home for medical appointments

 

Please direct all queries to the local management team.

 

Regards

Dr James Grealy

Chief Executive Officer


8th May 2020

 

Dear Families,

 

WE ARE NOT EASING RESTRICTIONS FOR VISITORS.

Our number 1 priority is the safety and well being of the residents so on mother’s day the same restrictions will apply as every other day.

The risk of an outbreak in the Homes has not changed, in fact, with fewer restrictions in the community we need to be more careful at the Homes over the next few weeks.

Rules for visiting

  • Make an appointment to visit. If you turn up you may not be permitted to enter.
  • One visitor at a time.
  • Visitors must be over 18 years of age.
  • Provide proof of having had influenza vaccination (FLU VAX) – NO FLU VAX NO ENTRY
  • Must remain 1.5m from their resident family member.
  • You must sanitise and wash hands upon entry, wear a mask, sign the declaration, and have temperature taken.

 

The only exception to the number of visitors and duration of visits is for palliating residents by negotiation with the manager.

 

We are happy to accept presents on behalf of the resident and provide these to the resident if you cannot enter.

 

Do not visit when having the mildest symptoms of ‘cold’ or ‘flu’ scratchy throat, runny nose, cough, sneezing.

Residents may only leave the premise for medical appointments.

 

Regards,

Dr James Grealy

Chief Executive Officer


22nd April 2020

 

Dear Families,

Re: Increasing risk of COVID-19 / Influenza being introduced into the Home

At the outset, I want to be clear that our priority is the health and well-being of the residents which includes connectedness to family.

We have not gone into full lockdown because we are working with families to ensure residents receive carefully managed visits but this is now at risk.

The Problem 

Managers are reporting that not all visitors maintain social distancing when visiting loved ones.

To date, there are 52 cases of COVID-19 in Nursing Homes in NSW with a high death rate of people over 70 years old.

I’m sure you want your loved one to remain safe during this time, but one person infected can impact the entire Home.

Please realise that if there is an outbreak, we will be in full lockdown resulting in no visitors permitted.

The Solution 

In line with government directives for aged care homes, here’s a reminder of what you need to do when you enter our homes.

  • Make an appointment to attend the service. Please do not just turn up as you will not be let in.
  • Sign a declaration to state you are not ill, and meet the other criteria for entry and have your temperature taken.
  • We only allow one visitor at a time per resident because social distancing would be impossible if everyone had several visitors.
  • If you have not linked to our MINT app then ask the management at the Home as this will keep you updated directly from the CEO and local management team.
  • If you assist your family member with meals you must wear a mask and gloves.

If we do not see an improvement over the remainder of this week and weekend we will have to recalibrate our processes.

Please do not become complacent with this as one person infected will spread quickly and may cause multiple deaths in our Homes.

Also, from 1st May you will not be permitted entry if you have not provided evidence of influenza vaccination or a medical certificate stating you are exempt from the vaccination.

Regards,

Dr James Grealy

Chief Executive Officer


16th April 2020

 

Dear Families,

I would like to take this opportunity to update you on our actions to care for the residents and minimise the risk of a COVID-19 and influenza outbreak at the Homes during this unprecedented time.

Firstly, if you are not receiving regular updates or have any concerns about care and services please advise the management at the Home or log feedback via the online form on our website. Our primary portal for communication is via the app Mint.

A reminder that all visitors must have influenza vaccination by end-April 2020 and we require you to present the record of vaccination for our note. Vaccination has legislated by the NSW Government for visitors to aged care homes and is a requirement of the Commonwealth Government. The exception to this is a medical condition or religious reason – please speak with the manager.

The Board, Executive, and Management continue to implement robust processes, communication, analysis of risk data and evaluation of practices to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents, staff, and families.  A more detailed outline of our actions to date is below.

On a final note, we will continue with the current strategies to minimise the risk of an outbreak including visits to residents by appointment with the exception of palliating residents and residents distressed by separation from family. Stay safe and stay well.

Best regards

Dr James Grealy

Chief Executive Officer

 

High level summary of actions

Board and Executive Oversight and Governance

  • Director visiting Homes to personally check actions and care and service delivery
  • Limited visiting of Executives with COO not visiting as a risk mitigation strategy for CEO and CFO being affected by COVID-19 or influenza
  • Multiple Updates weekly with Executive and management at the Homes
  • CEO Comms to families and staff
  • Comms to Residents
  • Microsoft TEAMs for centralised information for management at Homes
  • Organisational Pandemic Plan
  • Commission desk top audits-oversight
  • COVID-19 Audits conducted at homes via Moving on Audits

Govt and industry updates

  • Monitored by CEO and COO
  • Communicated to managers and care managers
  • Policy updates

Residents

  • Monitoring of temperatures and checking for flu-like symptoms daily
  • High risk residents identified and being monitored closely.
  • Palliating residents and residents who may become distressed are being monitored closely and family access different from other residents
  • No external entertainers – internal programs only
  • Spiritual care – remote or with staff only
  • Connectedness to family see below
  • Flu Vax underway
  • Admissions planned accepted and hospital transfers with confirmation of well-being
  • Telehealth offered in consultation with GPs

Communications 

  • COO & CEO co-ordinated meetings with Executive and management at Homes -minutes kept and policy, procedures, and processes updated
  • Website link for latest CEO messaging
  • Families – via SMS, Website, Mint App
  • Residents –  FACT Sheets, restricted visiting, Memos, Mint App, Face Time, Skype
  • Staff- FACT sheets, training, and organisational directives

Access & Visitors

  • 3-days of no visitors at the commencement of this period whilst we finalised the Pandemic Plan and preparations for the Pandemic
  • Moved to restricted visiting to immediate family, no children, one visitor at a time, visiting by appointment, signing that they are not unwell, have not been OS or with people from OS in last 14 days, the temperature on arrival at the Home, social distancing 
  • Flu Vax required by 1st May
  • Exemption to palliating residents and residents who may be distressed
  • Visitor logs being monitored

Staff

  • Flu Vax required by 17th April
  • Online update on infection Control Training
  • Tool Box Talks 
  • COVID-19 training 
  • Temperatures on arrival at work
  • No traveling on public transport in work clothes
  • Identified staff working at other businesses and Homes
  • Staff contingency plans completed for a possible outbreak
  • The staff over 70  risk plan completed

PPE

  • Full review of PPE (gloves, gowns, masks, etc) at Homes and centralised supply at head office 
  • Hand sanitiser and masks limited supplies all other supplies no issues

Supplier, Contractors, and Consumables

  • Logistics confirmed and low level risk of supply interruption – see above
  • All deliveries to the entrance of Homes to avoid in house contact
  • Non-essential suppliers and contractors canceled / deferred
  • Flu Vax requirement by 17th April implemented 

Carino Care is continuing to review concerns or any arising risks on a daily basis. 

  • Lifestyle programs and spiritual support are being reviewed due to the restrictions and alternative methods being sourced and implemented
  • We have had some Visitors/families projecting aggression towards the staff and the police have been called
  • Hand Sanitizer and masks – we are sourcing elsewhere due to the shortage in Australia
  • Staff who work at more than one aged care centre – we are identifying these staff are aware of the status of the other homes.

Regards

James Grealy

Chief Executive Officer


 April 3rd, 2020

 

Dear Families,

 

Over the last week, we have started settling into the ‘new world’ living in a time of a Pandemic. Changes at Carino Care include taking the temperature of everyone on entry to a facility, restricted visiting by appointment only, increased staff training and continual updates of managers, care managers with the executives to discuss and implement the best processes at Carino Care. Our priority is ensuring the well-being of residents, staff, and families.

This week, there have been a number of important government updates.

1. NSW Government legislated (Gazette 55): new measure

No one can enter the Home unless they have had the Flu-VaxYou will need to show evidence of having the Flu-Vax to enter a home. We are requiring this from the 18th of April 2020 for all staff, contractors, and visitors. Vaccination for residents and staff is commencing at the Homes currently.

2. No outings for residents unless it is for a medical appointment

3. The introduction of telemedicine is now accessible to aged care facilities with GPs.

Visiting the Homes

We have been advised most aged care homes have gone into full lockdown banning all visitors for extended periods.

We continue to support residents having family restricted visits via appointments. It is imperative for the well-being of residents that they stay connected to the family during the Pandemic. This is a strictly managed approach. We also want to remain open and transparent so you have confidence that your family member residing in one of our Homes is receiving the care and services agreed.

Important points:

1 The ABC has reported (2nd April)  17 aged care homes with 41 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This reinforces the need for vigilance and adherence to our infection control protocol so your family member is protected.

2 Appointments continue to be the method of visiting. After hour visits are permissible but we need an appointment to be made in advance via administration or management.

3 The staff has been instructed not to open the door unless an appointment has been made. The staff has been instructed to call the police if visitors attempt to enter the facility without permission; abuse will not be tolerated.

4 Visitors must adhere to social distancing and other precautions – including temperature taking on entry and washing of hands thoroughly – please see protocols on entry. 

Social distancing does not apply where a resident is palliating and they are spending quality time with their family.

5 We continue to restrict visitors to the immediate family: spouse/partner, siblings, and adult children.

6 This week we initiated a thorough review of our lifestyle approach to ensure residents still are supported emotionally.

On behalf of the management teams, I would like to thank visitors who are supporting these measures as they are the best way to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak at the Home. We are very appreciative of your commitment to keeping all residents safe. Our number one priority is the health and well-being of the residents in our care.

I would also again express my gratitude to the staff at this time. Like many other Australians, staff also face challenges such as accessing childcare and quite a number have family members who have lost their employment, yet these staff continue to provide wonderful care leaving their worries at the door.

If you have any concerns, please speak with The Manager or Care Manager at the Home.

Regards

James Grealy

Chief Executive Officer


24th March 2020

 

Dear families,

We are very appreciative of your support at this time to restrict visiting to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spread while we organise our site plans.

We do not want residents and families to be separated so our plan is to recommence visits by immediate family on Thursday asking that everyone adhere to the following:

  1. You make an appointment/schedule so we can manage the visits (risk) – please call the Home and speak to reception or the management team
  2. One visitor at a time per resident
  3. You respect our instruction to
    1. Wash hands, have temperature taken at entry, wear a mask, sign a declaration
    2. Social distancing of 2 meters from the resident (so no hugging, kissing or close proximity)
    3. Do not visit other residents or relatives
    4. If in a share room then the meeting will be redirected to a lounge  / communal area

Our primary focus is the health and well-being of the residents (your family member) and our staff, and we see it as essential that residents maintain contact with the family.

We understand this is a trying time for everyone but sadly we have had some ugly incidents of verbal and physical aggression by a few families directed toward staff. I will not tolerate this behaviour and have directed the Homes to make this a police matter and the person will be required to leave.

I will keep you updated via the website and Mint.

Regards

James Grealy

CEO


20th March 2020

 

Pandemic Update

 

Dear Residents, Families and Staff

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during the Pandemic, this is assisting greatly in focusing on the prevention of an outbreak at the Homes.

We had a telephone desktop audit by the Quality Commission today on our preparedness and the feedback was very positive. We are taking all the necessary steps.

This weekend our Carino Care at Sylvania Home will be in full lockdown due to nearby Home having two cases of Covid-19.

Russell Lea, Oatley and Rockdale will continue with the restricted visiting and infection control practices. Visitors are now restricted to 10am – midday and 2pm to 4pm

Please see the previous advice provided again here below.

On Monday we will review the government advise and risk and advise any changes.

Families with the Mint app will start receiving photos of their family member in our care as reassurance during this difficult time.

 

Changes for visitors

  1. Only immediate family can visit (spouse, partner, sibling or child – no extended family member or friends) in a designated area e.g. resident room.
  2. Absolutely no children under 18 years.
  3. The only exceptions to Point 1 above are
    1. Palliating/end of life resident
    2. Or where a visitor requires a primary carer to be able to visit e.g. an elderly spouse requiring a family member
  4. Visits will be restricted to visitation times – Visits after 10am – midday and 2pm to 4pm
  5. Photos and updates will be primarily through the Mint app. We will do our best to take and respond to inquiries by phone but limit these please to the nominated primary contact family member, preferably use Mint.
  6. All doors and gates are now secure and visitors, suppliers, and contractors need to be admitted by a staff member
  7. On entry
    1. Temperature to be taken and if high (above 37.8 degrees Celsius) you will be refused entry
    2. If you have a cold or any signs or symptoms of illness you will be refused entry
    3. You will be required to sign a declaration form on your health and risk of exposure upon entry
    4. Wash hands with soap and water
    5. Put on a mask
    6. Maximum stay is 1 hour a visit
    7. You cannot visit other residents
    8. Repeated use of hand sanitiser when in the Home and on exit

Regards,

 

Dr James Grealy

CEO

 


March 19th, 2020

 

Dear residents, families, and staff,

 

I understand this is a distressing and unprecedented time as the world has not had a Pandemic since 1918. The worldwide current death rate of older people
affected by the Covid-19 virus is above 25%. The virus is airborne and for instance, can survive on  

  1. Cardboard 24 hours
  2. Plastic and metal 2-3 days

 

Today, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Minister for Youth and Sport
updated guidelines for aged care providers on the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Accordingly, we have implemented the following

Changes for visitors

  1. Only immediate family can visit (spouse, partner, sibling or child – no extended family member or friends) in a designated area e.g. resident room. 
  2. Absolutely no children under 18 years.
  3. The only exceptions to Point 1 above are
    1. Palliating/end of life resident 
    2. Or where a visitor requires a primary carer to be able to visit e.g. an elderly spouse requiring a family member 
  4. Visits will be restricted to visitation times – see details at each Home.
  5. No visits after 5 pm or before 10 am
  6. Photos and updates will be primarily through the Mint app. We will do our best to take and respond to inquiries by phone but limit these please to the nominated primary contact family member, preferably use Mint.
  7. All doors and gates are now secure and visitors, suppliers, and contractors need to be admitted by a staff member
  8. On entry
    1. Temperature to be taken and if high (above 37.8 degrees Celsius) you will be refused entry
    2. If you have a cold or any signs or symptoms of illness you will be refused entry
    3. You will be required to sign a declaration form on your health and risk of exposure upon entry
    4. Wash hands with soap and water
    5. Put on a mask
    6. Maximum stay is 1 hour a visit
    7. You cannot visit other residents
    8. Repeated use of hand sanitiser when in the Home and on exit

Influenza vaccination: once available this year, no one (family or staff) will be permitted entry without showing the vaccination documentation.

What are we doing?

  1. We are monitoring and responding to Commonwealth and State advice on Pandemic measures
  2. We have an organisation-wide Committee actioning on the Pandemic 
  3. We have 
    1. Relevant policies and procedures specific to prevention and management 
    2. A Pandemic plan in place that we update as information comes to hand
    3. Increased management at the Homes
    4. Organised additional medical and other stocks to be prepared for a worst-case scenario
  4. All staff 
  • Also undergo temperature checks prior to the shift and similar protocols to visitors
  • Have been updated in infection control and hand washing
  1. No suppliers are entering the Homes and we are spraying deliveries 

 

Regards,

 

Dr James Grealy

CEO

 


Updated March 13th, 2020

 

Dear Families and Friends,

 

I write to you to provide an update on our outbreak preparedness in light of the Pandemic status of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and the impending influenza season.

 

Who is most at risk?

Older people are most at risk of severe illness and death from Covid-19 (Coronavirus) along with those with comprised immune systems.

What makes prevention of the spread of Covid-19 very difficult is that the disease has a long incubation period during which the person may have no signs or symptoms yet it is contagious.

Secondly, in adults and children it can present as mild ‘cold’ symptoms but to an older person be life-threatening.

 

What are we doing?

  • Co-ordination: We are holding weekly meetings of the executive team with managers and care managers re: risk management and resourcing
  • All staff are completing another update in handwashing
  • Stores of gowns, gloves and other medical/nursing supplies are at the Homes and a larger centralised store at head office
  • Escalation of potential situations advised to the executive immediately
  • Additional signage at the entry to the Home
  • Monitoring government updates
  • We have stood down multiple staff who have recently traveled and or family has ‘cold-like’ symptoms.
  • We have canceled entertainers
  • Increased cleaning of hard surfaces and touchpoints
  • Staff are asked not to wear their work uniforms on public transport
  • We are spraying hard surfaces and commonly used areas with antimicrobial sprays

 

How can you help?

  • Stay alert and connected for updates: Mint (app) is now our number 1 portal for priority communication, please share the app link to other family members.
  • Only visit your family member – do not visit other residents
  • Wash your hands on entry and exit of the Home
  • Stay away if unwell or been with people from overseas who have recently arrived in Australia
  • Tell the manager if anyone you have been in contact with  has been in contact with Coronavirus before you visit
  • Tell the manager if you have family members in other nursing homes and you are visiting more than one home

 

If you have any concerns or don’t have access to the Mint App, please speak to the care manager or manager.

 

Regards,

 

Dr James Grealy

CEO