Last Updated: 28/04/2020
Dear Residents and Families
As the COVID-19 coronavirus situation evolves, we want to reassure you that we are implementing all possible methods to protect our residents, staff and the wider community.
As we are all aware by now, there is no immunity to this virus and evidence suggests the risk is greater in older people, aged 70 and over. Out of an abundance of caution, we ask that residents abide by strict social distancing guidelines, based on advice from health authorities. The more space between people, the less chance of virus spread.
April 8 Update
To keep everyone posted on the latest developments, at the moment there have been no major updates impacting our services and we have decided to continue with resident/family visiting hours rather than full lockdown. A flyer went out to everyone yesterday giving visiting times over Easter.
We have ordered a new communications ‘App’ which can be used via Internet and once it’s on site we will be contacting families regarding how to connect and hopefully this will give you the opportunity for visual catch ups with your loved one in our care.
As we approach Easter, we are all being asked to limit travel and observe social distancing rules and I ask everyone to do their part in sticking to these difficult but necessary restrictions to keep everyone safe.
Even though all Easter services have been cancelled if any resident or their family while visiting, would like to use either Chapels at Good Shepherd Lodge or Kerrisdale Gardens for private reflection, you are more than welcome to do so keeping in mind the social distancing rules.
As much as possible, enjoy the Easter period with your ‘significant other/s’ and keep in touch with family and friends by phone or social media. I believe the Easter Bunny is still delivering but may be on a limited basis, I just hope he has lots of sanitiser in his bag along with all those eggs as he darts from house to house!
As of Monday 30 March, everyone entering our facilities, including staff, will be screened for temperature checks and if it records above 37.5 you must not enter.
Social distancing requirements:
- Stay within our facilities. We are all required to stay at home unless absolutely necessary for essential services. New legislation has been enacted that does not permit residents leaving aged care facilities, except for health care or in the case of an emergency, excluding end-of-life situations.
- Stay in your room if you are sick. If you are feeling unwell just let the staff know so you can receive the correct care.
- Use good hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water, or hand sanitiser, before and after meals and as frequently as required. If you sneeze or cough, please do so into your arm or if using a tissue, please dispose of it and wash your hands immediately afterwards.
- Practice social distancing. Please stay 1.5m apart from others and avoid handshakes, hugs and kisses.
- Note a maximum of two people are allowed to visit at any one time and must be for no longer than 2 hours duration.
- Note no children under the age of 16 are allowed to visit. Visits can be made under exceptional circumstances only.
- Ensure visits are away from communal areas. Visits should occur in your room or outdoors.
- Outside of visiting hours, residents are NOT to let anyone into the building even if you think you are doing a kindly thing, the person you are giving access to may not have followed the hygiene rules.
Previous changes implemented on the 22nd March 2020, there are some changes to our previous advice to you that we will now implement effective immediately.
- Visiting hours remain 9:00am – 4:00pm Monday to Friday however Saturday visiting hours are scaled back to 10:00am – 2:00pm with no visiting on Sundays.
- We may need to limit visitor access to the secure units at Good Shepherd Lodge and staff may ask you to wait until the area is less crowded. Visitors to the secure units are requested to stay in the resident’s room or use the outside pergola areas only. Unfortunately visitors cannot mingle in a communal area.
- Exercise classes cancelled at both sites.
- The hair salon ‘Gingers’ at Kerrisdale Gardens is operating but the hairdresser working out of Good Shepherd Lodge is currently on leave. We would ask that you contact them directly regarding appointments as they are stand-alone businesses.
- Cafés are open only for takeaway food and drinks 9:00am – 4:00pm Monday to Friday and Saturday from 10:00am – 2:00pm
- Please remember that the main entrance at both facilities is the ONLY entry point for everyone.
- We are waiting on advice from the Australian Electoral Commission regarding the Local Government election next Saturday. We were advised that postal voting has been extended and will advise as soon as we know ourselves what is happening or you may prefer to contact the commission direct.
- Small group activities will still be go ahead however bus outings will be limited to scenic drives and residents will NOT alight from the bus, numbers will have to be extremely curtailed to abide by social distancing requirements.
- External outings with family and friends are limited to services such as medical appointments and, at this point, hairdressers and other personal services.
- Overnight visits to families are cancelled at this stage.
- Families need to be vigilant in their hygiene practices and if you are feeling unwell or experiencing a high temperature or sore throat YOU MUST NOT ENTER OUR FACILITIES and we also ask that physical contact is limited between residents and visitors.
- We understand the emotional stress that this situation is causing residents and family members, however we are undertaking these measures following the directive of both Federal and State Governments. Our therapy staff will be spending 1 on 1 time with residents, especially those who may not be able to have family visits or participate in group activities. If anyone would like to access pastoral care, given that Chapel services have been cancelled, Canon Ann Dittmar McCollim and Rev Keith McCollim are more than happy to meet with you for a chat. Please advise nursing staff if you wish to avail yourself of this offer.
- We all have the very best interests of our residents at heart to ensure their safety and I’m sure you will understand that these restrictions are in line with current health guidelines and it would be appreciated if people refrain from asking staff to act outside these guidelines, unless of course there is an emergency. Also, our staff are doing their utmost to answer questions and provide information to their best of their ability and everyone is asked to maintain a respectful attitude.
Previous changes implemented on the 20th of March as a result of the Prime Minister’s announcements:
- There will be one point of entry to both facilities for visitors, both being via main reception.
- ALL visitors will be required to sign in and MUST use the sanitiser provided.
- The following individual visitors will not be permitted or admitted to enter Good Shepherd Lodge or Kerrisdale Gardens:
- those who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days
- those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- those who have a fever, or symptoms, or acute respiratory infection symptoms.
- Children aged 16 years or less should be visiting by exception, as children may be asymptomatic and may not follow recommended hygiene procedures as closely as adults
- Limiting visits to a maximum of 2 visitors at one time per day and limiting visits to a short duration
- Visits must be conducted in a resident’s room or outdoors rather than a communal area where the risk of transmission to other residents is greater
- No large group visits or gatherings, including social activity, entertainment, church services and all resident activities will be limited to small numbers
- Visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing where possible, including maintaining the distance of 1.5 meters
- In the case of serious illness, we will endeavor to work with the family to ensure that your loved one is supported and we will discuss together the measures that can be put in place
- From 1st May you must have had your influenza vaccination to visit an aged care facility.
- We are working on some form of information technology video linking between residents and families which we may be able to set up if the current situation worsens and will keep you informed.
Our diversional therapy staff are looking at providing activities that are suitable for small group gatherings as our major focus as always is on keeping residents occupied, settled and happy.
PLEASE NOTE: So we can keep you updated on a more timely basis, if you haven’t already provided us with an email address, please do so or you can view the updates on our website.
Chief Executive Officer