Uniting AgeWell's response to COVID-19
Our priority is to keep people safe across our aged care residences and our community services and programs.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Uniting AgeWell implemented a range of safety measures and protocols in line with government and public health advice and infection management best-practice, to protect vulnerable clients and staff according to the level of risk of community transmission or in response to outbreaks.
Today, the COVID-19 risk is considered low. Restrictions have eased and people are able to go about their business in an environment in which COVID-19 still exists but can be well managed.
We have stronger levels of defence available to us including high levels of immunisation, access to viral testing onsite, access to anti-viral treatments and well established infection prevention and control strategies.
In line with public health guidance, assessed risk and balancing our responsibilities to reduce the risk of COVID 19 with our responsibility to meet the physical, social and emotional needs of residents, we have reviewed our mandated requirement for staff and visitors to wear facemasks in residential care settings.
From 6 October 2023, the following guidelines apply:
- The wearing of facemasks (surgical or N95) in residential care is optional, noting this is based on the assessed level of COVID-19 or influenza risk in the local community remaining low.
- Where a facemask is worn, it must be worn correctly and discarded appropriately within a waste receptacle.
- Mask wearing will continue to be a requirement as part of Infection Prevention and Control guiding practice during any respiratory or gastroenteritis outbreak management or for the care of individuals at high risk.
- During periods of high risk with escalating cases in surrounding communities, the requirement to wear facemasks, other PPE or to implement infection control measures, may be enforced by the Residential Services Manager in conjunction with their General Manager.
- Screening via Rapid Antigen Test will continue to be performed twice weekly (72 hours) for staff, and upon each entry to the facility by visitors. Visitors who enter the facility frequently to support the care needs of a resident, will be screened every 72 hours as per staff.
- No person should enter the facility if they have symptoms of respiratory infection, even if their Rapid Antigen Test is negative.
- Sanitise your hands upon entry for screening, prior to entering the resident’s room and again on exit.
- No person should enter a residential care facility if they feel unwell with respiratory or gastroenteritis viral signs and symptoms.
- These guidelines are subject to change based on assessed COVID-19 or influenza risk in the local community.
Rest assured the health, safety and wellbeing of residents remains our highest priority and that we will continue to monitor and ensure the highest standard of infection prevention and control strategies are in place.
Our home care team have taken the following precautions to help keep our home care clients safe:
- Mandatory COVID-19 and flu vaccination for all Uniting AgeWell staff
- Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Staff will always wear appropriate PPE in line with our policies and current public health advice.
- Hygiene and infection management protocols
AgeWell Centres - Allied Health, Social Support, Carer Respite
Centre-based services have returned, with some modified services continuing to be available to individuals in their own homes. Please get in touch with your local AgeWell Centre for further information.
All staff facilitating our wellbeing programs take the following precautions:
- Staff wearing masks at all time
- Physical distancing in all sessions
- Wiping down of all equipment in-between customers and sessions
- Hand hygiene routinely
Independent Retirement Living
Our aim is to support you to remain safe, to maintain your independence and wellbeing at home and assist you should you contract COVID-19.
Things you can do to minimise risk of infection:
- If you or someone in your household is unwell, or has returned a positive PCR or RAT result, please notify your Uniting AgeWell Housing Officer or Concierge
- Remain fully vaccinated
- Follow government/public health advice
- Wear a mask, where required
- Wash your hands often
Get in touch
We have offices across metropolitan and regional Victoria and Tasmania.Find your local office