Residential Aged Care
Residential Aged Care safety measures for the Christmas season
It is that time of the year when we all start preparing for festivities to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus. To help ensure that our residents, staff and communities as a whole can enjoy these celebrations safely, Anglicare is undertaking careful and detailed planning for COVID management during this time.
The current NSW Health advice for residential aged care settings is targeted at ensuring that our residents are placed at minimal risk of exposure to COVID-19 whilst enjoying the Christmas season and celebrating with family and friends.
How can you help us to keep our residents and care homes safe over December and January?
Be fully vaccinated
We are asking residents and their families/visitors to ensure that they have had all of their COVID-19 booster vaccinations for maximum protection. More information is available at: COVID-19 vaccination in NSW | NSW Government
Don’t visit if you have COVID-19
NSW Health guidance for aged care visitors requires that all persons who have COVID-19 do not visit for at least 7days from time the result is received.
Stay home if you are a close contact
If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive you should not visit for 7 days. If you or a person with whom you’re in close contact test positive following a visit, please let us know. This will ensure we can test and monitor our staff and residents after the exposure.
More information is available here- Advice to residential aged care facilities (RACFs) - COVID-19 (Coronavirus) (nsw.gov.au).
What is Anglicare doing to keep our residents and care homes safe over December and January?
Keeping our homes free of exposure to COVID-19 is the best way to keep our residents safe. The following measures have been implemented and we ask for your support and full cooperation:
Staff are undertaking Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) on each shift, continuing to wear P2/N95 masks, re-commencing the wearing of eye wear and are required to maintain strict hand hygiene and infection control practices at all times. Our staff have been doing an excellent job of limiting the spread of COVID-19 in our homes for many months now, and whilst the community is not required to wear masks whilst we go about our daily routines, spare a thought for our staff who have been wearing masks while at work for 33 months now without a break.
Testing and masks for visitors. We request that as you undertake a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) every time you visit our homes, and that you wear a surgical mask throughout your visit. These are important measures to help keep everyone in the home safe.
Limited visiting numbers throughout December. The number of visitors in the home at any one time will be limited. This is to ensure that all visitors can be checked in safely, all entry protocols strictly adhered to, and social distancing properly observed. We are using a booking system to ensure that all visits can be supported, and that overcrowding can be avoided. Specific details are available from each home.
Planning for safe celebrations. Anglicare has created a comprehensive plan to support safe Christmas celebrations in all our homes. This includes managing physical distancing and the number of people within venue spaces, ventilation and use of air purifiers, maintaining cleanliness and food safety. Updates to this plan will be made as required in response to any change in circumstances.
Continuing connection for residents. In the event of an outbreak, visiting under our Partnerships in Care program will continue. More information about Partnerships in care can be found here. If you, or someone nominated by your loved one, has not yet signed up we encourage you to speak to the Residential Manager. Please note: online training and a competency assessment by the home’s Workplace Trainer must be completed prior to an outbreak.
Tips for when you are taking your loved one on a social visit or outing
- Refer to the following site for some COVID safe measures- Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 | Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care
- Ensure that where you are uncertain of potential exposure to COVID-19 in the community that you do a RAT and health declaration before coming to the home so that you do not unnecessarily expose your loved one to COVID-19. Please talk to a team member about any concerns you have.
- Ensure you have at least 2 masks (surgical) for the resident to use in enclosed spaces such as shopping centres, medical appointments, hospital visits and hospitals, and a spare in case one gets dirty.
- Avoid overcrowding where possible, ensure your loved one wears a mask as much as possible where this cannot be avoided.
- Try to select outdoor spaces whenever its practical to do so.
- Practice good hand hygiene by carrying some hand wipes or pocket-sized alcohol-based hand rub and use frequently.
- Keep up to date with what is happening in the community and keep your family and loved ones safe.
- If you develop symptoms or feel unwell, please do not visit until all symptoms are clear and COVID testing is negative.
- As an additional measure to safeguard other residents, your loved one will require a RAT on day 2 and day 6 following their outing and this will be explained by the care home team.
These measures have been put in place for the safety and wellbeing of all. Our aim is to prevent the spread of COVID in our homes and to avoid distress to our residents, staff and families. If you have any questions or concerns about the arrangements in place at your home, please talk to the Manager.
What better way to share the spirit of Christmas than by working together to ensure that everyone can join in the celebrations!
Visitation at our residential care homes in NSW
As COVID-19 cases continue to affect the community, Anglicare is following the advice of NSW Health and taking precautionary measures to keep your loved ones safe. This includes screening visitors upon entry.
For updated information on visitation in residential aged care homes, visit Advice to residential aged care facilities - COVID-19 (Coronavirus) (nsw.gov.au).
Residents are permitted to have two fully vaccinated visitors aged 12 years and over, plus two children aged under 12 years per day.
- Visitors aged 12 years and over must have received a second dose of a COVID vaccination at least 14 days prior to their visit.
- Visitors are strongly encouraged to get a booster vaccine if they are eligible for one, and to have a negative Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) prior to each visit
- Up to 2 children under 12 years are permitted to visit provided they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated person.
- All visitors must wear a surgical mask over their nose and mouth while visiting indoors. For reasons when masks can be removed please see Additional Advice – Mandatory mask wearing.
- Wherever possible, the visit should be in an outdoor area. Visits should not be in any inside communal areas.
- People who are providing a service to the resident (including a health or other professional service) are not counted as a visitor.
- Existing requirements in the Public Health (COVID-19 Care Services) Order 2022 on visiting residents who are at end of life remain in place.
Read the Fact Sheet for visiting our residential care homes if you have further questions.
Bookings for in-person and online visits
To help manage visits to our homes, visitors will need to pre-book their visit. For visitors who are unable to visit in person, we can assist you to connect with your loved one by video calls. Please book these through the online booking system or call the residential care home.
Book your next visit
If you have any questions or concerns about these changes, please contact the Residential Manager of your home, email us at [email protected], or call us on 1300 111 278.
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