These are unprecedented times and we’re very aware of the huge impact that visiting restrictions, despite being eased, are having on residents, families, employees and the wider community.
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 controlling the spread of COVID-19. But we can’t afford to be complacent and risk the health and safety of those in our residential care homes.
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.
Emergency Management Directives
The South Australian Commissioner of Police, in his role as State Coordinator for South Australia, has released new Emergency Management Directives. Under the new Directives, it is now a legal requirement that:
- all employees, contractors and volunteers notify us of any additional employers they may;
- personal care workers at residential care homes cannot work at more than one site without waiting a period of 14 days between We have put plans in place for our employees working across our own sites, and are now implementing changes to our rosters for those personal care workers that work with another residential aged care provider;
- anyone who provides personal care or nursing care must have completed COVID-19 infection control training determined by the Department;
- anyone who provides nursing, medical, allied health or personal care services to a resident must wear appropriate personal protective equipment at any time that they are providing those services and cannot maintain a distance of more than 1.5 meters from the resident.
In addition to the above requirements, we continue to protect our residents’ safety by ensuring that:
- 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 have been overwhelmed by positive support and feedback from residents and families throughout the pandemic.
Request for all visitors to wear masks
As of Thursday 27 August, all visitors to AnglicareSA residential aged care homes must wear a face mask to protect the health of our residents and employees. This includes all contractors and service providers, as well as anyone visiting a relative or friend in one of our homes.
The decision follows the government directive that all people providing personal care and health services to aged care residents must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when closer than 1.5 metres to a resident.
As we have seen interstate and overseas, if COVID-19 makes its way into a residential aged care facility the consequences can be devastating. The wearing of face masks has been shown to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
We encourage anyone coming to an AnglicareSA residential aged care site for any purpose, to arrive prepared with their own facemask. We’ll supply a disposable mask to anyone who does not bring their own.
In June, the State Government released a new Direction for Residential Aged Care Facilities, which further eases restrictions on visits. The Code’s objective is to provide an agreed industry approach so that aged care residents have the opportunity to receive visitors during the pandemic, while minimising the risk of introducing or spreading COVID-19 within a residential care home.
Please find a summary of our updated visitation protocols below:
- All visitors are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask.
- Standard visiting hours are Monday to Saturday (10am to 4.30pm).
- If you are unable to visit during these times, please speak to the staff and they will assist with making alternate arrangements.
- Visits will be limited to one per day with a maximum of two visitors.
- Visits can be undertaken for up to two hours
- Visitors will be required to complete a COVID-19 checklist and temperature testing on arrival.
- All visitors must also provide evidence of 2020 Flu vaccination or medical exemption.
- Residents may now leave the facility and return for any reason.
- Visitors will be requested to maintain social distancing recommendations – within residents’ rooms, we ask that you ensure distancing between you and your loved one is maintained.
- We are still accommodating visits in the front communal areas, and window visits can also be booked to enable grandchildren to visit.
- Visits for compassionate and palliative care will be arranged separately with the clinical team.
- No large group visits or gatherings, including social activities, are permitted at this time.
- Children under the age of 16 years are now permitted to visit, provided that they have had their flu vaccination and can provide evidence.
All visitors must be willing to undergo an screening process prior to entry. This process is important to ensure we keep our aged care homes protected from the virus and because AnglicareSA is required to provide specific visitor details to an authorised officer for the process of contact tracing in the event of any COVID-19 outbreak.
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.
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.