Department of Human Services

Information for families and friends of the people we support 18 March 2020

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.

Page last updated : 31 Mar 2020

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