Department of Human Services

Accommodation Services Family Update

Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at Friday 5 June 2020

Thank you again to the families and friends of those we support who joined us on Monday for our live online forum.

There were several questions around the latest easing of some COVID-19 restrictions in South Australia and what this means for your family member or friend.

Please note the below information, which we have also shared with our staff:

What the people we support can do

We know that the people we support may wish to get back to community activities, and we will support them to do this where it is safe and sensible:

This includes:

  • Visiting the shops, a café or hairdresser (and church, pool, sport, gym)
  • Maintaining suitable appointments
  • Welcoming visitors to their home
  • Having visits or overnight stays with family or friends

All of these activities still require:

  • Social distancing (1.5 metres distance or 1 person per 4 square metres indoors)
  • Good hygiene
  • No more than 20 people per room in hospitality venues, and safe distancing
  • Tracing (via the Visitor Survey and recording outings)
  • Good health (if someone is unwell, they should not be going out or expecting their family member or friend can safely visit them)

We are committed to responsible care and support and our staff will approach these activities cautiously, for example not having lots of visitors in a home at once, or choosing a quieter time to go to the shops.

Other points

  • Transport is still subject to social distancing requirements in vehicles
  • Exemptions are still required to record that people we support have had any risks and safety needs explained to them
  • Our Visitor Survey is still required because we must be able to respond quickly if there is a case of COVID-19

Day options and employment

As some providers resume offering day options or employment, we too can negotiate for each of the people we support to safely return to these activities.

We are working with providers around how they plan to meet safety requirements before anyone we support returns to activities. This will ideally consider social distancing requirements, tracing arrangements, continued handwashing and good hygiene as well as expectations that if anyone is sick or has flu like symptoms, they stay home.

In some cases, providers are now offering day activities and people are starting to attend. For other providers, it is about working to be ready to welcome people back to activities in coming weeks or months.

Where it is safe and appropriate, providers can visit a house to offer one-to-one support for a person.

How to contact us and stay informed

  • For specific matters about your family member or friend, please contact your Service Coordinator or Team Leader
  • You can also phone 1800 952 962 and press 3 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm excluding public holidays), or email AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au
  • The latest information for family members and friends is available on this webpage

DHS Accommodation Services Family and Friends Forums

Update as at Tuesday 2 June 2020

Watch the Family and Friends Forum from 1 June 2020

On Monday 1 June 2020, we held a third online forum to share information with families and friends about a number of service updates and our continuing response to COVID-19.

Read a summary of discussion topics from the forum - Accommodation Services Notes from the Family and Friends Forum held on 1 June 2020

We are also working to finalise an organisational chart for families and our Accommodation Services Customer Charter, which will be sent to families and friends soon.

We intend to continue to connect with you online, and engage again in person when it is safe and appropriate to do so, and will keep you informed around some possible timeframes.

How to contact us and stay informed

If you have specific queries about your family member or friend, please speak to your Service Coordinator or Team Leader.

If you have any feedback about how we are engaging online including if you prefer this or have other ideas or suggestions, please let us know. You can contact us by emailing AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au or phoning 1800 952 962 and press 3 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm excluding public holidays).


Update as at Tuesday 5 May 2020

Thank you to the families and friends of those we support in DHS Accommodation Services for your understanding around our continuing necessary response to the COVID-19 situation.

Watch the Family and Friends Forum from 4 May 2020

On Monday 4 May 2020, we held a second online forum to share information with families and friends about the response of our service to the COVID-19 situation and other activities, and answer questions.

We would like to continue with these online forums to engage and connect with as many families and friends as possible. Another live online forum will be held in early June, and full details will be provided soon.

How to contact us and stay informed

If you have any specific queries about your family member or friend, please speak to your Service Coordinator or Team Leader.

You can also contact us by emailing AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au or phoning 1800 952 962 and press 3 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm excluding public holidays).


Update as at Wednesday 8 April 2020

Thank you to the families and friends of those we support in DHS Accommodation Services for your understanding around our continuing necessary response to the COVID-19 situation.

Watch the Family and Friends Forum from 6 April 2020

On Monday 6 April 2020, we held an online forum to share information with families and friends about the response of our service to the COVID-19 situation, and answer your questions.

You can continue to stay in touch

You can still stay in contact with your family member or friend over the phone or by using technology like FaceTime or video calls. Houses have iPads so people living there can use this technology to connect with you.

Restrictions are still in place for non-essential visitors to the homes. If someone does visit a house, the staff will ask them some questions, including:

  • their contact details
  • any recent travel
  • contact with any confirmed COVID-19 cases, and
  • any symptoms they may have.

This step is being rolled out to help protect the people we support and our staff.

How to contact us and stay informed

We are available by phone and email.

Phone 1800 952 962 and press 3 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm excluding public holidays)

Email AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au

If you have specific queries about your family member or friend, please contact your Service Coordinator.

Alerts and advice regarding COVID-19 are available on the SA Health website and Australian Government website


Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at Friday 27 March 2020

Thank you to the families and friends of those we support in DHS Accommodation Services for your understanding around our necessary response to the COVID-19 situation.

We will hold an online forum electronically with families and friends shortly and will contact you with details and a link to join in.

Here is an update on the impacts of the current situation for those we support.

The current situation

  • Social distancing measures now underway will be in place indefinitely
  • These measures are to help protect the health of the people we support, our staff and you, and keep everyone safe
  • We will continue to review the requirements across Accommodation Services and provide updates on this page if things change

Our staff response

  • Staff have protocols around COVID-19 to follow if they or the people they support are potentially exposed to the virus
  • There is also a process around social distancing to follow in the houses which details what is okay to do, and what is not okay to do
  • We know some people we support will still pursue their own choices, so Area Managers are recording their alternate choices and the efforts made to explain the situation to the person, and offer alternative activities or outings

You can continue to stay in touch

  • Staying in contact with your family member or friend is important for both them and you
  • We know that some of you are connecting with them by phone or using technology like FaceTime or video calls which is terrific and we encourage this to continue (each house has an iPad)

How to contact us and stay informed

  • If you need to get in touch with us, please phone 1800 952 962 and press 3 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm excluding public holidays)
  • You can also email us at AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au
  • The latest information for family members and friends is available on this Accommodation Services family update webpage
  • Alerts and advice regarding COVID-19 are available on the SA Health website and Australian Government website

Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at Wednesday 18 March 2020

As the situation around Coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to rapidly evolve, we would like to update you about some of the changes Accommodation Services is making.

These changes are in place to help protect the health of the people we support and our staff, and keep them and you safe.

The main focus is on social distancing, which is designed to help minimise the spread of infection of Coronavirus in our community.

Visitor and activity restrictions are now in place

  • Non-essential visitors are not able to enter the homes within our service and the Northgate Aged Care facility
  • Non-essential activities outside the homes are also stopping, including group day activities
  • These social distancing arrangements are in place from Wednesday 18 March 2020 until Tuesday 31 March 2020 but will be reviewed and possibly updated
  • This is in line with Australian Government advice to protect vulnerable Australians by reducing visitors to all residential aged care facilities and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

There are some exceptions

  • We want life to continue as normally as possible for those we support during this time, while still trying to maintain social distancing measures to help prevent the risk of spread and keep everyone safe
  • To stay in contact, we are requiring that you make arrangements with the Area Manager to help us manage safety for the people we support (this may include some checks to make sure you are well)
  • You may also like to phone your family member or friend during this time, or have a chat using technology like FaceTime or other video calls (each house has an iPad)

Work arrangements and other key visitors

  • Our Area Managers will respond to specialist needs such as unique arrangements for emergency visits if a client is ill
  • We will also assist with challenging behaviours by looking at individual outings where safe and appropriate in open, unpopulated spaces
  • Each house has particular needs, and we are working through how these arrangements may change from house to house
  • There may be exceptions for people living in the houses who work, and we will liaise closely with employers to ensure they are providing a safe and hygienic workplace
  • Guidelines are being developed that involve recording client needs, sharing Positive Behaviour Support Team strategies to address anxieties, and measures to try and maintain lifestyle opportunities and stimulating activities within homes
  • We are also implementing initiatives to help improve understanding around hand hygiene, prevention of spread and importance of social distancing from the wider community

What else you can do

  • If you have any suggestions or ideas about in-house activities that could assist, please let us know by phoning 1800 952 962 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm)

Thank you for your understanding during this time.

While there are many unknowns and the situation does present challenges for everyone, we are working to ensure there is flexibility where there needs to be.

Please rest assured that we are doing all we can to keep serving those we support, our staff and you as safely as possible.

Helpful information:

Frequently Asked Questions for family members and friends (updated 18 March 2020) (PDF 114.6 KB)

Frequently Asked Questions for family members and friends (updated 18 March 2020) - plain text version

Australian Government Social Distancing Guidance (PDF 180.6 KB)

Australian Government Social Distancing Guidance (DOCX 144.7 KB)

Useful information / contacts

Australian Government

SA Health

Accommodation Services

NDIS

South Australian Government

  • South Australia COVID-19 Information Line: Phone 1800 253 787 (8.00 am to 8.00 pm daily)
Page last updated : 05 Jun 2020

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