31 July 2020 – UPDATE FROM THE ALEXANDER PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS COMMITTEE

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RE: Update from The Alexander Pandemic Preparedness Committee

 

Dear Residents, Staff, Families & Friends of The Alexander Aged Care Centre,

Another week on and we remain COVID free.

As the seriousness of the current COVID-19 situation in Victoria evolves and we acknowledge the challenges the virus poses to Aged Care in particular, we continue to revise and update our practices to ensure every effort is made to keep our residents and staff safe.

We would like to acknowledge what a difficult week this has been for Victorians and especially those with a connection to the Aged Care Sector during this crisis. Political comments and the media have created stress within our industry and for our residents, staff and all the families and friends of the people who live or work in Aged Care Facilities.

All Aged Care staff are part of the front-line defence against COVID-19. Our team continues to work tirelessly to protect our residents. We are honoured to be looking after the elderly. Everyone here deserves commendation for their skill and dedication to the residents.

As Victoria is in a State of Emergency, we are continuing to review both State and Federal requirements and undertaking recommended actions to meet all sector specific health and care requirements. This week, we have temporarily ceased communal dining and have focussed more on individual and small group (limited to 5 residents with social distancing in place) activities. This has been a difficult week for our residents with changes to their regular activities and staff now covered up and all dressed the same.

On Tuesday, we further increased our mandated minimum PPE for all staff and essential contractors that must be worn in all resident areas. Once again, we are overwhelmed by our staff and contractors who continue to show great strength, dedication, and care to our residents through such challenging circumstances.

Our Pandemic Preparedness Committee has been thoroughly screening all staff sick leave since March and continue to do so daily. Staff are sent for COVID-19 testing for even the mildest of any symptom identified that matches the COVID-19 criteria. Our staff have demonstrated honesty and transparency with any potential connection to COVID-19 and have promptly gone for COVID-19 testing without question. We will continue to do this to ensure every risk, no matter how small, is managed correctly.

We would like to remind you at this time of the Aged Care Emergency Leave option that has been made available by the Australian Department of Health. Information is available at https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-permanent-aged-care-residents-emergency-leave If you would like to discuss this option or have any questions, please contact Jim Saisanas or Vicki Liaskos on 9548 7366.

If you would like to book in a Zoom appointment, please do not hesitate to contact Jenny at reception.  Zoom conferencing is operating Monday to Friday from 9.30 to 12.30pm. As always, you can phone and speak to your family member anytime by phoning 9548 7366. Some families have also been enjoying social interaction with their loved one through the windows of the facility. If you would like to meet with your loved one this way, we can arrange a meeting time, please contact reception or email jenny@thealexanderagedcare.com.au

Please contact us if you would like more information regarding any of our COVID-19 preparedness or management practices and we will be happy to discuss them.

Should you have concerns or are feeling distressed regarding the coronavirus outbreak, the Department of Health has an assistance page to help you maintain your mental health.  Please access  https://headtohealth.gov.au/covid-19-support

We will continue to update you regularly whilst we all make our way through these restrictions together. Please remember to call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 24 hours a day, seven days a week for information. We must continue to protect others and help stop the spread by practising good hygiene, continue social distancing, self-isolate if needed and only leave home if you must as described by the State Government.

 

 

Yours Sincerely,

The Alexander Aged Care Centre
Pandemic Preparedness Committee

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