Eldercare's response to COVID-19 (coronavirus)
Last updated Monday 26 October 2020 2:45pm ACDT
Eldercare is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our residents and staff, as well as the family and friends of our residents.
Older people, and people with medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, appear to be more at risk of developing severe disease so Eldercare has applied additional precautions to limit the exposure of residents to COVID-19.
The format of our site tours has been adjusted to minimise risk in relation to the pandemic. Those who wish to tour a site in person will need to provide evidence of seasonal influenza (flu) vaccination for 2020 and meet additional screening requirements.
The Eldercare COVID-19 hotline
0477 995 542
is available on business days from 9:30am to 4pm.
Message from Chief Executive Jane Pickering to residents and relatives on COVID-19 - 27 August 2020
Current visiting precautions
Family and friends are currently able to visit their loved one at Eldercare's aged care homes provided they meet the following revised visiting restrictions:
- one (1) visit per resident per day
- up to two (2) people for that one (1) visit
- up to one (1) hour for that one (1) visit
- subject to appropriate physical distancing being observed
- in the resident's room, in gardens or in large dining or lounge areas in our memory support units
- open six (6) days per week from Monday to Saturday between the times of 1:30pm to 3:30pm; as well as Tuesday and Thursday evenings between the times of 6:00pm to 8:00pm
- subject to visitors being screened prior to entry to the facility and if visitors do not meet all criteria, they will be turned away
- subject to only the main doors being used as an entry point
- subject to visitors entering in a controlled manner – visitors will be required to wait outside until the staff are ready to screen them
- subject to visitors providing evidence of seasonal influenza (flu) vaccination for 2020 – visitors will not be allowed to enter if this is not provided
- subject to visitors not having returned from overseas (excluding New Zealand) or interstate travel from VIC in the last 14 days (note: this does not apply to interstate visitors for the purposes of end of life, but a mask and escort will be provided).
Eldercare reserves the right to tighten restrictions if visitors do not comply and/or individuals will be prevented from entering if they breach these requirements.
Residents may also leave an aged care home and return for any reason, subject to screening upon return to the home.
How staff are keeping residents safe
- All staff and essential contractors have their temperature checked before beginning work and will be sent home if their temperature exceeds 38C.
- All staff returning from leave are screened to ensure those returning from overseas and interstate are appropriately isolated.
- All staff who are feeling unwell are instructed to stay away, seek medical advice and are not to return until medical clearance has been provided.
- All staff are receiving additional training and resources about infection control.
- All sites are monitoring residents and staff for any symptoms of the virus - this vigilance will be our best defense in containing the spread of the virus at our facilities.
- Good levels of personal protective equipment have been secured and all our sites have well stocked 'outbreak' kits.
- An ongoing supply of other consumables, including but not limited to handwash, soaps, hand sanitizer gels, toilet paper and food, has been secured.
Other precautions in place to keep residents and staff safe
- Staff, residents and all visitors have been educated about the importance of hand hygiene and physical distancing.
- Hand sanitiser stations are placed in locations around our sites and we encourage residents and staff to use the gels as frequently as possible.
- All staff members are screened prior to commencing each shift and make a declaration that they are not presenting a risk to our residents or their co-workers.
- Key staff have undertaken hands-on infection control training over and above the e-learning modules offered by the Department of Health.
- Our managers are being provided with regular updates on COVID-19 and have direct access to an infection control clinical expert.
- Volunteers are welcome back at sites with some restrictions.
- Our outbreak management plan will be activated if required.