How The Salvation Army Aged Care is Managing the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Salvation Army Aged Care began communicating with our residents and their representatives, our clients and our staff members and contractors regarding COVID-19 in early 2020. We continue to be guided by the various State and Territory health departments, as well as Federal Government directives, around what safeguarding measures are put in place and the relevant impact these measures have on aged care.
Changes to these directives are communicated to our stakeholders and an internal risk analysis is conducted in reference to a matrix for COVID-19 Outbreak Prevention and Risk Management which is shared as well. Our risk levels are determined by information published on various State and Territory health department websites and whether a Local Government Area is deemed a hotspot or an area of increased testing and surveillance.
Infection Prevention and Control Measures and Training
Increased infection, prevention and control measures continue to be utilised in all of our residential aged care centres, retirement villages and by our home care workforce to mitigate the risks of COVID-19. We also have a comprehensive outbreak management plan in place at each of our residential aged care centres to facilitate a swift response to any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. All of our staff members have been supported with training programs, such as the Government-mandated Infection Prevention and Control (“IPC”) Lead course for nominated residential aged care centre nurses.
On 12 May 2020, the Visitors Access Code was released outlining 13 key principles to ensure a nationally consistent visitation policy across all residential aged care facilities. The Salvation Army Aged Care continues to be consistent with the Code.
We introduced our WindowConnect program which facilitates connection between our residents and their representatives during periods of reduced visitation as directed by the various State and Territory Governments and to ensure safety and wellbeing.
In addition, we facilitated training for our staff members to connect our residents with their representatives through video conferencing platforms such as VSee. Video calls have also enabled connection with representatives who live far, and otherwise would not have been able to visit regularly, to connect in meaningful ways.
Our intergenerational program, GrandPals, invites students to exchange letters and drawings with our residents.
The Salvation Army Aged Care continues to be guided by the State, Territory and Federal governments in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Australia. Information as it relates to our residents and staff is communicated as required. Further information about the COVID-19 vaccines can be found on the Federal Government’s COVID-19 website: https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines
How You Can Help
- Practise good hand hygiene
- Remain 1.5 metres aware from others
- If you are unwell, get tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate as directed