Visitation Review Menora Gardens Residential Aged Care Facility

28 April 2020

 

Dear Residents, Families, and Visitors,

At the outset, the Acacia Living Group Board, senior management team and staff wish to thank you for your ongoing patience, understanding, and co-operation with our residential aged care facilities visit restrictions and infectious disease protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you will appreciate, in the absence of a vaccine for COVID-19, preventing exposure is the single most important step that we can take to protect ourselves and others from contracting this virus.  In light of evidence that older people are more susceptible to contracting and being seriously affected by COVID-19, A highly precautionary approach has been adopted across the aged care sector in responding to the pandemic, based on the latest and best medical advice.  This approach includes restricting visitors’ access to residential aged care facilities, and also involves screening visitors and staff on entry to these  facilities to minimise the risk of viral transmission to aged care residents. 

Given recent announcements by the Prime Minister, Chief Medical Officer, and State Premier we have reluctantly decided to ease visitor restrictions to our residential care facilities adopting a trial staged visit regime.   In doing so, we are placing our trust in all visitors to fully comply with the measures detailed below.   As we begin to experience cooler weather and move closer to winter, now is not the time for complacency and indifference to the possibility of both the COVID-19 virus and the usual influenza season being present simultaneously.

Trial staged visits will be able to be undertaken Monday to Friday, commencing Wednesday 29th April 2020, during the following times.  Mother’s Day, Sunday 10th May 2020 will be the exception during the trial staged visits regime.

 

Area

Time

Location

Ground Floor

9:30 am to 10:30 am 

Weather permitting - Ground floor patio area or resident’s room

First Floor

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Residents room or ground floor patio area

Second Floor

10:00 am to 11:00 am

Residents room

Howes Centre & House 1

2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Residents room or garden areas – not in the lounge or dining areas

In relation to these visits the following measures are in place until further notice:

Visitors and staff may not enter residential care facilities, if they have:

  • Returned from overseas or interstate in the last 14 days;
  • Been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days;
  • A fever or any (even mild) symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath).

Visitors entering our residential care facilities must:

  • Use hand sanitiser provided upon entering the facility and take their temperature which must be within the recommended guidelines and no more than 37.5 and recorded on the sheet provided;
  • From 1 May 2020, provide staff with documentary evidence of their influenza vaccination prior to entry;
  • Conduct visits in the resident’s room, outdoors, or in a specific designated area (not a communal space where the risk of transmission to residents is greater);
  • Ensure residents have no more than one visitor at a time;
  • Practise social distancing practices, including maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres;
  • Not visit or attempt to enter our facilities if you are unwell or have not received an influenza vaccination.

In addition, and in accordance with Government advice:

  • No group visits or gatherings, including social activities or entertainment, and external excursions are permitted at this time;
  • Visits by children aged 16 years or less are not permitted except in exceptional circumstances.

It is important to also note that:

  • A recent negative COVID-19 test does not guarantee that the person is still negative; and
  • A person with very mild symptoms, or even no symptoms, can be infected or transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

Where possible and within our finite resources, residents will continue to be supported to stay connected with family and friends by phone and video calls.     Where necessary, families may wish to consider providing their loved ones with a personal electronic device (IPAD, Iphone, Tablet etc) to assist in this regard.

Separately, the health of staff will be closely monitored, new and returning residents will be screened before entry, and signage and other forms of communication will be used to explain the steps being taken to protect the health of our residents.

Despite our best efforts, please understand it may be necessary for further restrictions to be placed on visitor access in exceptional circumstances, such as our facilities experiencing an influenza and/or COVID-19 outbreak, an influenza and/or COVID-19 outbreak in the area in which a particular facility is located or an increase in infections in the broader region.

Thank you for your continued co-operation and please be assured our primary concern is that of our residents, their families and staff.   In this regard we will continue to closely monitor and be guided by Government and independent advice on how to operate during this challenging period. 

Yours Sincerely

Kevin Davidson MVO, OAM

Chief Executive Officer