VISITING RESTRICTIONS FROM 27 JUNE
Families were advised on Sunday 27 June of the new visiting restrictions in residential aged care homes in Greater Sydney. NSW Health have limited visiting to all visitors except under the following circumstances:
- Residents who are dying (often referred to as end of life care or actively dying). This is where death is imminent and likely to occur within hours or days, or occasionally weeks.
- Visitors who provide an essential caring function, including feeding or behavior support for someone living with dementia
- Residents with a clear mental health issue who need the support of their loved ones to relieve their distress
Please contact the Facility Manager for approval to visit if you meet any of the 3 criteria listed above.
All visits must occur in the resident’s room.
COMMUNICATION WITH RESIDENTS DURING VISITING RESTRICTIONS
During previous periods of visiting restrictions, we introduced alternate means of communicating with loved ones, and this will continue to be available to you. Attached is a form for you to complete (if you have not already completed one) to allow permission for our staff to enter your details into our phones or iPads.
You can return the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org
The lifestyle team can schedule a regular time that you can connect with your relative during the next few weeks.
You can also email messages for our team to print and deliver to residents and the email address for this form of communication is email@example.com
CHANGES TO ALLIED HEALTH AND CONTRACTOR SERVICES
Services which can be offered to residents via telehealth is the preferred option of the Public Health Units, however if the service needs to be provided in person then this is permissible provided the contractor meets the entry screening requirements.
Music therapy will be offered to residents via iPad and the Elder Clown Program has been suspended until the restrictions are lifted.
Hairdressing will continue with additional COVID precaution in place.
Hospital outreach services will be offered in person so an assessment can occur.
Dietician visits will occur via zoom.
Speech therapy reviews will be accessed on a case by case basis and will depend on the level of physical observation required by the practitioner.
Physiotherapists engaged by BCAC will continue as normal. Approval is required for private physiotherapists to visit and permission should be sought from the Facility manager before they occur.
Podiatry visits will occur as normal.
As at 26 June the advice from NSW Health is that residents from facilities in Greater Sydney should avoid leaving the facility except for essential reasons (eg medical appointments). If you need to take a resident out of the facility, we are required to keep a record of the location for the purposes of advising NSW Health in the event of an outbreak.
We ask you to advise the Facility Manager as soon as you become aware of an external appointment and discuss the risk vs benefit of postponing the appointment.
If a resident does have to leave the facility we will provide them with a mask and remind them of the important infection control precautions eg social distancing, hand hygiene, wearing a mask etc.
No isolation is required on return to the facility from any outing or hospital admission.
COVID VACCINATION UPDATE
We have been verbally advised today by the local Public Health Unit that there is a strategy to offer the COVID vaccination to residents in two phases:
- To new residents who were admitted AFTER the onsite vaccination clinics were held. These residents will be able to receive a vaccination from a roving nurse team from Liverpool hospital
- Residents who did not want the vaccination in the first round of vaccination clinics will be offered another opportunity through the South West Sydney Primary Health Network who will be coming onsite to facilities in coming weeks.
When we receive more information about these programs we will update you.
Staff will also be offered on site vaccinations by the Primary Health Network team.
We will keep our residents and families informed of any changes as they occur and appreciate your support and understanding during this time.
Thank you for your support and patience during these restrictions.