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. We know that older people are at risk of contracting coronavirus and having a serious illness as a result.
Uniting AgeWell is doing everything it possibly can to reduce the risk of infection.
We have in place a COVID-19 taskforce comprising senior executives and managers, and a highly skilled risk and response team, to ensure we are well prepared and resourced and our pandemic plan is implemented to reduce and contain any risk of COVID-19 across our services.
We have implemented a range of additional precautionary measures to support our existing, robust infection management and control protocols.
Uniting AgeWell’s COVID-19 response includes:
- Active screening of all staff and visitors to sites, including the signing of a declaration regarding health and COVID-19 risk and temperature checking every time they present to the site
- Daily monitoring of residents for symptoms consistent with COVID-19
- Securing additional supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and the wearing of masks
- Additional staff training and monitoring around infection control and hygiene practices, including increased cleaning of touch points
- Visitor access restrictions across all aged care residences and services. Pre-arranged visits within strict visitation guidelines, screening requirements and ongoing precautionary measures are in place
- Additional staffing and augmented lifestyle programs at residential sites to assist with social engagement and interaction, including the provision of more communications devices to facilitate contact via Skype, FaceTime and Zoom
- Increased communication and information flows with residents, clients and families
- Additional wellbeing services including mental health, chaplaincy and pastoral care
- The introduction of telehealth for GP and specialist consultations to further reduce the risk of spread of infection or the need to attend external appointments
- The continued delivery of all home care services, with additional hygiene and social distancing precautions in place as well as developing augmented services for people affected by COVID-19 restrictions. These include regular welfare checks, telehealth options, smart home devices for those living alone to provide greater security, shopping services and in-home allied health services, including physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
Uniting AgeWell communicates regularly with clients, families, staff and the general public. Review the Uniting AgeWell COVID-19 Communications Archive here.
There has been significant media coverage and political debate over the outbreaks in residential aged care and whether aged care providers are adequately prepared.
The Uniting AgeWell Board and Executive made a decision very early in the pandemic to invest heavily in our infection management and control protocols, in additional staffing and training, and in technology to keep the people in our care safe and connected with family and friends. We have taken an uncompromising approach to resident health, safety and wellbeing and have invested well over and above the funding allocation received from Government to ensure this outcome. We will continue to do whatever is needed to keep everyone safe.
Click here to read the full message from CEO Andrew Kinnersly.
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