Coronavirus up to Date Information for Residents, Friends and Family

Last Updated: 3 August 1358hrs

Please use this page for the most up to date information regarding the Coronavirus and Respect Aged Care. This page will be updated regularly.

It has become exceedingly apparent that traditional methods of communication are failing during the recent outbreak of Coronavirus. Respect Aged Care has created this page as a single source of truth for residents, friends, and family regarding the Coronavirus and steps Respect Aged Care are taking to minimise the risk to our residents.

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Contact

Brett Menzies 0408 562 498 or brett.menzies@respect.com.au.

Current Status

TASMANIA
Visitations Update – Further Easing of Restrictions in Tasmania

The Tasmanian Director of Public Health on Monday released Public Health Directive number eight which has removed further restrictions in relation to aged care facilities in Tasmania. We are pleased to advise of further easing of visitation restrictions at all Tasmanian Respect aged care homes and have updated our booking system to reflect these changes, which essentially include;

No person may enter the premises of a Respect site if they;
  • are unwell with flu-like symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, or fever
  • have had known contact in the last 14 days with a person who was a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • have a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees
Regardless of the above restrictions, no person is allowed to be on or remain on the premises if they have not had an up to date flu vaccination.

The above new restrictions only apply to our Tasmanian facilities

VICTORIA
Lockdown Extended for Victorian Homes

Due to the escalating Coronavirus risk in Victoria, as from Monday 27th July all Respect homes in Victoria will remain in precautionary lockdown with no visitations allowed except on compassionate grounds.

We understand this may cause frustration in some instances, however we believe this is the best method of mitigating the risk to our residents. We know the Coronavirus is particularly dangerous to older people, so it is critical we take every possible step to avoid exposure in Victoria, where we have deemed the risk too high to allow visitations.

Loved ones can be contacted by telephone and video chat facilities if they wish to do so. If you would like to speak with your loved one by video chat please don’t hesitate to contact the home your loved one resides in so this can be arranged.

We do not currently have any cases of Coronavirus at any home, and the lockdown is only precautionary due to the increasing risk in Victoria. This difficult decision will be reviewed on Monday 10th August, where we will provide further updates. This does not affect our homes in other states.

Victoria has now declared a state of disaster with strict restricitions now in place. Respect staff in our Victorian facilities are now working every shift with face masks and face shields to protect themselves and consumers. Respect is implementing every measure possible to prevent coronavirus entering one of our sites.

BOOKING SYSTEM

Please be aware that the booking system shuts off at 4pm on a Friday and comes back up at 9am Monday. This means you will not be able to make a booking in between these times for that weekend. You are still able to book for other times in the future, just not for that particluar weekend. This is so that visitors numbers can be planned for that weekend where admin resources are less.

The first step when booking a visit is to contact the home of your loved one and you will be given a code and instructions on how to make a booking through the website.

We will continue to manage visits using our online booking system https://cov.respect.com.au/. Once in the booking system you will be taken through a series of educational videos and you will also be asked to declare that you have had an up to date influenza vaccination.

Visitors, once on site, will be asked to:
• complete a risk-based questionnaire regarding recent travel and activities;
• have their temperature taken;
• be supervised on entry to ensure proper hand sanitisation;
• maintain social distancing from their loved one of 1.5 meters throughout the duration of their visit;
• only visit their loved one in their room and with no access to public or communal areas, or to visit other residents; and
• wear personal protective equipment if deemed necessary in the future depending on the circumstances.

There are currently no suspected or active cases in any of our aged care homes.

There are 17, 746 confirmed cases in Australia with two hundred and eight recorded deaths.

 


What is the Coronavirus?

The Coronavirus is a new virus, distinctively different from existing viruses such as Influenza or Gastroenteritis.

Despite reports to the contrary, the Coronavirus is not just like Influenza. Humans have not had previous exposure and therefore have no pre-existing immunity to the virus.

How can I see or talk to my love one?

Loved ones can still always be contacted by telephone, and during this time we have setup video chat facilities so friends and family can see and talk to their loved one face to face if they wish to do so. If you would like to speak with your loved one by video chat please don’t hesitate to contact the home your loved one resides in so this can be arranged.

We have seen ingenious ideas such as this in other countries where lock downs are occurring:

As a progressive aged care organisation, Respect will investigate all types of ways to keep our residents engaged with their loved ones. Next to their personal safety, their emotional well-being is paramount to us and we encourage family and friends to stay in contact as much as possible during this time.

What are the extenuating circumstances where I can see my loved in the home?

If your loved one is passing away, please contact the aged care home where your loved one resides so we can ensure you see them if you do not pose a risk to other residents. Other extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

If the visit is deemed necessary then you will be met at the front entrance, and;

Tasmanian sites only – What should I do if I am currently on the mainland or plan to travel out of Tasmania in the near future?

The Tasmanian Government has declared that from midnight on Friday, 20 March 2020, anyone arriving into Tasmania will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This includes Tasmanian residents returning home to Tasmania.

Whilst the self-isolation will not apply to essential travelers, including health care workers, at this stage, we believe it will apply to all other non-essential visitors to the state including family of residents.

Are all elderly in general at risk?

It appears as people age so does their chance of having pre-existing conditions, and less fitness to “fight off” the Coronavirus which puts them at higher risk.

What pre-existing condition puts someone at higher risk?

Pre-existing conditions which currently appear to put people at higher risk than others include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, hypertension, and cancer.

Should I be personally worried?

More than 80% of cases experience mild symptoms only.

The mortality rate of persons with no pre-existing conditions appears to be less than 1%, however this may include undiagnosed pre-existing conditions.

People most at risk are those with pre-existing conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition, we recommend considering self-isolation.

How can I help?

The best thing family and friends can do is keep in contact with your loved ones so they do not feel socially isolated. Please remember to reassure them the lock down is precautionary.

You can also follow hygiene instructions from trusted sources, including the the Department of Health and World Health Organization (WHO), to do your part in the community.

Hand Hygiene

Please see the following video for proper hand hygiene using the WHO method.

Cough and Sneeze Etiquette

Please see the following poster for proper cough and sneeze etiquette.

Social Distancing

Social distancing is an important way to mitigate the risks of the virus in the community.