We’re continuing to provide vital services to our community while working to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our customers, employees and volunteers.
AnglicareSA has moved quickly to adjust our service delivery in order to do what we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Across our broad range of services, theses changes include:
- Minimising face-to-face contact
- Limiting visitors to sites
- Utilising innovative technology to connect with customers
Where face-to-face contact cannot be avoided, we’re adhering to social distancing measures and strict personal hygiene protocols.
The way we deliver our services may look a bit different, but our commitment to delivering the highest quality care and support remains the same.
Live Updates to our Support Services
We appreciate there are concerns following the current coverage, through the media and social media, about how people might be impacted by COVID-19.
The situation is changing rapidly and, as a result, we will be responding responsibly with regular online updates. Please access tailored information to our specific services below.
These are unprecedented times and we’re very aware of the huge impact on residents, families, employees and the entire community that visiting restrictions are having.
We reinforce that the safety and wellbeing of our residents is our primary focus as we implement these important, life-saving measures. However we’re also committed to working with families and residents to find new and innovative ways to stay informed, connected and engaged.
We’ve been overwhelmed with the positive support and feedback regarding the changes we’ve implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our social media is full of examples of residents staying active and connected to their friends and family.
Rest assured, we continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation and we’re unwavering in our commitment to protecting the health and wellbeing of the vulnerable older people in our care.
Residential Aged Care
Across South Australia there are good signs that the implemented measures in the community are having a positive impact and are controlling the spread of COVID-19, however, we’re not able to be complacent, nor is there any indication that we can ease restrictions at this time.
We continue to monitor the situation each day and are working through strategies and plans in line with advice from the Australian Department of Health, SA Health and SA Police. We continue to undertake actions to ensure our residents’ safety including the following:
- All staff are temperature tested before commencing each shift;
- Staff returning after any leave must complete a COVID-19 screening process;
- Staff returning from anywhere outside the state must quarantine for 14 days at their own home and cannot enter any AnglicareSA residential care homes during this period;
- Only essential contractors and deliveries are permitted on site — they are required to complete COVID-19 screening and temperature testing before entering;
- We’re checking every resident’s temperature, and staff have increased monitoring of all residents for any respiratory symptoms;
- All staff have completed additional training to ensure that we’re as prepared as we can be.
We continue to review and make changes in the best interests of older loved ones in our care – their health and safety is our priority as is the health of our staff who provide the dedicated support.
Effective from 17 March, we put in place a number of strategies that restrict the movement into, and within AnglicareSA’s residential aged care homes.
- stopping all external visitors to the site, including family and friends;
- restricting movement within the home;
- postponing visits from non-essential external providers;
- essential visits and services from external providers, including GPs and dentists, will continue at this stage.
Only the following visitor exclusions apply:
- Where a resident is receiving end of life support;
- or where a resident is required to attend an urgent, scheduled external medical appointment.
Our teams have been working to keep our residents connected and in contact with their families via video calls, window catch ups, or by photos and videos we take and send to loved ones. We’ll continue to support our residents to stay in touch with their loved ones in anyway we can.
These restrictions will be in place until further notice. They’re reviewed on a daily basis to ensure we’re doing all we can to protect our residents.
We’re very aware of the impact of these measures, and will continue to provide regular updates and information to our staff, residents and their families.
As of 21 April, SA Police have enacted new restrictions to all aged care sites.
As per the new directive, a resident who leaves the premises of their residential aged care facility is prohibited from re-entering those premises, unless:
- it is for medical or dental treatment of the resident;
- it is to attend the funeral of a member of the resident’s immediate family;
- the resident has dementia or another cognitive impairment (such as the resident does not understand this direction or the consequences of leaving) and inadvertently leaves the premises;
- the resident has no safe alternative accommodation.
Also in line with SA Police’s new restrictions, from 1 May, any visitor to an aged care site is required to provide evidence that they’ve had their annual flu vaccination. AnglicareSA is currently rolling out its annual flu vaccination program for staff and aged care residents.
The only exclusions to these requirements are if the person has a medical contraindication to the flu vaccine (such as a person who has a history of anaphylaxis, or has had Guillain-Barre Syndrome, following vaccination, or who is taking checkpoint inhibitor medication for cancer treatment).
Our Home Care customers’ health and wellbeing is our priority; this means ensuring all essential home care services remain in place.
To support social distancing, we’ve temporarily put our social group activities on hold. We’re supporting our customers to remain connected in other ways, through one-on-one supports, phone calls, and assisting them to stay connected to friends and family.
We’re providing more unaccompanied shopping to ensure our customers’ pantries stay stocked while they heed the government’s strong advice for over-70s to stay at home.
Our care staff are taking all the necessary measures to ensure our customers stay safe and happy in their own homes.
This includes following the advice from Australia’s Chief Medical Officer relating to infection control and when to wear protective equipment.
Please see the attached link for advice from the Department of Health outlining why ‘It’s still ok to have Home Care’:
Allied Health services continue to operate to ensure you have access to the services you need.
To support social distancing, group activities have been postponed, however we’re offering one-on-one sessions to help our customers maintain a healthy lifestyle.
In line with the government’s recommendation for people over 70 to reduce their community outings, we’ve reduced our clinic services. We’re offering home visits and consultations over the phone and through Telehealth to minimise the impact on service access.
Allied Health staff are also contacting customers to undertake wellbeing screenings to check in and understand any needs they may have.
All Allied Health services continue to be delivered at each of our residential aged care sites.
Disability & Mental Health Services
We’re working across the organisation, as well as following government guidelines, to implement safe and practical procedures to reduce the risks associated with this virus.
We’ve made some significant changes to our Disability and Mental Health Services.
We make these changes in the best interests of loved ones living with disability and/or mental health struggles — their health and safety is our priority as is the health of our staff who provide the dedicated support.
- stopping access to sites for all non-essential external providers, external visitors, including visits from family and friends;
- pausing participation in all group programs and ‘Day Options’ activities;
- taking extra care to actively manage and encourage personal hygiene (including additional cleaning services);
- sourcing additional personal protective equipment, including personal and site cleaning;
- continuing essential visits to and from external providers, such as GPs and behavioural support staff as required;
- continuing respite services with additional precautions in place;
- and actively supporting families to keep in touch through technology.
- suspending all group programs (with the exception of our early learning services);
- and contacting all customers affected by this and offering alternative forms of support where required.
While some individual support services have been suspended, for example those based in schools and some accommodation services, all other individual supports to customers will continue. Changes include:
- continuing individual support services face-to-face, and using alternate means such as video/phone calls where appropriate;
- sourcing additional personal protective equipment, including personal hygiene products;
- contacting all customers prior to visits to ensure they’re physically feeling healthy and not experiencing any symptoms of illness;
- and suspending services for two weeks in circumstances where customers or any other household members are experiencing symptoms of illness — further checks will then occur before home visits continue.
These restrictions will be in place until further notice.
We appreciate that this is a stressful and difficult time for many in our community. We’ve informed all families to contact our Disability and Mental Health Team with any questions and concerns.
We’ve implemented some simple measures to help keep our housing tenants and the community healthy and safe.
Our tenancy office is following strict social distancing protocols and is only open for essential visits (for tenants that don’t have access to a phone).
We’ll continue to be there for our tenants – who we’ve provided with the appropriate numbers for tenancy queries and maintenance requests. Any lease renewals will be sent via post.
In the case where a tenant urgently needs to visit one of our offices, or our staff/maintenance contractor need to attend a tenant’s home, we’ll be clarifying prior whether:
- the tenant or any person(s) they live with have been diagnosed with Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- the tenant or any person(s) they live with have been overseas in the past 14 days
- the tenant or any person(s) they live are displaying any flu-like symptoms
We appreciate that this is a stressful and difficult time for many in our community. We’ve informed all tenants to contact us with any questions and concerns.
We’ve implemented some simple measures to help keep those who access our homelessness services healthy and safe.
In keeping with strict social distancing protocols, we’ve recommended reducing time in our reception areas and only visiting our offices if it’s essential. We’re currently contacting those who access our services to discuss how they’d prefer to be supported during this time
In the case where a person urgently needs to visit one of our offices, we’ll be clarifying prior whether:
- the person has been interstate or overseas in the past 14 days
- the person has been diagnosed or has been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
- the person is displaying any flu-like symptoms
Despite the circumstances, we remain committed to serving those need it most. We’ve encouraged people to contact their case manager or our Homelessness Gateway Service to discuss their individual needs and concerns.
Our emergency assistance services are here to help South Australians in need.
These services include assessment, referrals, financial counselling and material assistance such as food, clothing and other essential items for those in financial crisis.
Working with government and medical advice, our aim is to keep all essential emergency assistance services open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
We’ve adapted the way we’re delivering these services in line with social distancing and hygiene protocols to safeguard the health of our customers, staff and volunteers. This includes:
- conducting emergency relief interviews over the phone;
- and packing up boxes/bags of required food, rather than encouraging people to browse our food rooms.
We’ve already experienced an increase in demand for our emergency assistance services. This demand is expected to grow as people begin to experience extreme difficulties in meeting commitments on the job seeker allowance (formerly Newstart), despite it having been doubled.
We’re currently working towards a mobile emergency assistance service. This will enable the delivery of cold goods and fresh produce, and allow us to expand our service to more people in the community and AnglicareSA customers who access our other programs. More information will be provided as it begins operating.
This will ensure we have appropriate staffing numbers on site to provide safe working environments and ample support to people who need it most. Those who accessed St Mary’s will be covered through our new mobile service, as will the community that was accessing the St Bede’s drop-in centre in Semaphore.
We make these changes in the best interests of all those approaching us in need – their health and safety is our priority as is the health of our staff who provide the dedicated support.
As South Australia’s largest social services provider, the need for our support services is now more important than ever before. We’ll continue to be there for our customers — South Australians who need it most.
If you need support during these uncertain and difficult times, please contact your closest AnglicareSA Emergency Assistance site:
We appreciate there may be community concerns in relation to any financial impact on our casual employees.
Put simply, AnglicareSA’s casual employees will not be financially disadvantaged, should they be directed to self-isolate.
However, each employee’s circumstance is different. We will work with our casual employees to assess their situation on an individual basis.
We value the dedication and hard work of all our employees, particularly during this important time.
While this situation is dynamic, we will continue to safeguard our all employees’ safety and wellbeing as well as support them to offer the best possible care to those we serve.
How you can help keep our community safe
We’ve implemented visitor guidelines to help ensure all AnglicareSA sites are protected from COVID-19.
When visiting any of our sites, please consider the following and help us keep our customers, employees and volunteers healthy and safe.
We have also translated this poster into 5 other languages;
Useful COVID-19 Resources
The official site of the Australian Government is regularly updated with the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from government agencies across the country.
South Australian Government
The official site of the South Australian Government provides state-specific COVID-19 news, updates and advice.
Official ‘Coronavirus Australia’ App
How to use the WhatsApp service:
1) Download WhatsApp onto your phone.
2) Add the government’s WhatsApp number into your WhatsApp contacts (the number is +61 400 253 787)
3) Send the WhatsApp account a message.
4) You will receive a message back.
5) Follow the instructions to get the information you need.
How to apply for the Jobseeker Payment (formerly Newstart)
If you’ve lost your job, been stood down, or suddenly find your business without customers — you might be tackling Centrelink for the first time, or the first time in a long time.
This ABC article gives a step-by-step guide that may help reduce the stress.
Getting financial assistance
Are your financial circumstances changing as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds?
This Australian Banking Association webpage has a wealth of helpful information on what to do and what relief your bank can provide you based on your individual circumstances.
You can also call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 for free and confidential advice from professional financial counsellors. The hotline is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
AnglicareSA fully anticipates that the COVID-19 impact on the community will be significant. Through our 1,800 staff and 600 volunteers, we make a positive difference to the lives of more than 65,000 people each year.
We take our ability to adapt to change very seriously. We’ll continue to respond practically and compassionately to social injustices and public health issues today and well into the future.