COVID-19 Virus
2 April Update

02 Apr 2020 | Anne Nohra

Now that we have moved into a full lock down of all of our facilities, what will this mean for residents and families going forward?

Client Advocacy Roles

BCAC recognises that separation from loved ones and friends will affect both residents and their families in different ways.

It is our goal to help minimise the impact of the lock down on both groups, by expanding on our existing client support and advocacy roles.  This will involve additional roles in all villages, dedicated to supporting residents and their families at this time, and making sure resident voices are heard, in the absence of face to face family support.

Our client advocacy roles will start early next week and further contact details will be included in our next newsletter.

Shopping for residents during lockdown and dropping off goods

Wherever possible during the lock down, friends, family or loved ones are encouraged to purchase and drop off any items that our residents need, during this time.

Care packages or gifts can be dropped off at any of our homes twice a week during the following….

Tuesday           10.00am – 12.00pm

Thursday          5.00pm – 7.00pm

These will be collected at the gates by staff, and labelled straight away with the residents name and room number.

We cannot accept perishable food items due to the infection control risks.

For residents who do not have this option, BCAC will be purchasing small items and goods through our head office, on their behalf, and charging this cost directly on their statements.

Residents and families will be asked to give authority to spend up to a certain $$ amount, and our lifestyle teams will coordinate the list of goods with residents every fortnight.

Our aim is to ensure that all residents still have access to the items and goods they are used to.  Sometimes the simple things, like receiving a packet of favourite biscuits, can make someone’s day.

Assisted communication for next of kin

Over the next week, our staff will be contacting each resident and their families, and developing a schedule for anyone who needs assistance communicating with their families during this period.

The easiest methods of communication are to use the landline phones available in each resident’s room.

Any resident who currently has a BCAC landline phone in their room, will not be charged any telephone fees until further notice.  Residents who do not currently have BCAC phones in their rooms will be offered one, where available, free of charge.

Other options available during this time depend on whether a resident has their own mobile phone, their own iPad, their own tablet, or their own laptop.

Our staff will work with residents and their families to find an individual solution that suits each person, and this will include us assisting with setting up options like Facetime, Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, Zoom or Google Duo, depending on the device being used.

If a resident does not have their own device, BCAC has iPads available in house, and time can be booked using these devices, to have video calls with loved ones.  This will be coordinated by our staff.

We will also be setting up an email address where you can send messages to your relative which we will print and give to them, or where appropriate, read it out to them.

Further details on how all the communication options will work will be issued early next week.

Home laundry and clothes washing

Many families like to take home delicates and woollen items, so that they are not washed in our in-house laundries.  During this lockdown phase, you will be unable to take home dirty laundry to wash.  Passing dirty laundry to people to take home presents many possible infection control risks.

If we were to have an outbreak within the facility, because of the nature of the virus, we may not be aware of this until symptoms begin.  This means that dirty laundry becomes a possible source of infection outside of the village.

There are several alternative options available for you:

Allow us to label the items, and we will wash them internally. Please note that handwashing of items is not possible.

or

Ask staff to bag or box up specific items for you, and keep them in the wardrobes, clearly marked NOT FOR USE.   These items will not be used, and will not require washing.

It is for that reason that we ask families to please make contact with the village, if staff have not already spoken with you about this, to select one of the available options above.

Requirement for vaccination for visitors

We encourage you to proceed with getting your flu vaccination by May 1 2020. As you know, visitors to aged care facilities will not be permitted entry to facilities from that date without a 2020 vaccination.

To ensure that you can immediately access the facility if current lock down circumstances change, or on compassionate grounds, we urge you to have your flu vaccination completed as soon as possible and before May 1, 2020.

Could you please send us a copy of your vaccination certificate for our facility register to either:-

Email:    enquiries@bcac.com.au

Mail:      Bankstown City Aged Care,  PO Box 82,    Georges Hall   NSW  2198

 PLEASE DO NOT SEND TO THE FACILITY

Warm regards

Deborah Key
CEO