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Aged Care residences – COVID-19 updates

There is a lot of work being done across our Aged Care residences to ensure we are taking all necessary precautions and putting plans in place to maintain our residents, their loved ones and our employee’s wellbeing. 

We acknowledge how important maintaining connection is to everyone's wellbeing and we are doing as much as possible to limit the disruption to usual routines for our residents, whilst enhancing their level of protection.

Please continue to monitor this site for changes to our residences.

Important updates

COVID-19 NSW Update

Constitution Hill Aged Care Home

With the continued risk of COVID-19 infections in the community, the NSW Government has announced a two-week extension to the stay-at-home orders until 11.59pm Friday, 30 July across all of Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

Unfortunately, this means the home will remain in lockdown for a further two weeks. Visitors will not be able to enter unless they have an essential reason for visiting. All exceptional visits will enter the home through our screening procedure and will be required to wear masks and limit visits to the resident’s room unless visiting to assist with care needs. Residents will also not be able to leave the home for social visits during this period. Residents will be able to leave for essential medical reasons.

The welfare and safety of residents is our priority. While we remain in this lockdown period, residents continue to enjoy their usual meals and are encouraged to take part in daily activities, which will be conducted in a COVID safe manner. We’re supporting residents’ mental and physical wellbeing with the continuation of many of our weekly lifestyle programs such as creative art workshops, memory support programs, board games, physical exercise, and the facilitation of virtual visits.

COVID-19 NSW Update

Constitution Hill Aged Care Home
The NSW Government has announced an extension to the stay-at-home orders across all of Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour until 11.59pm Friday, 16 July.
All exceptional visitors will enter the home through our screening procedure and will be required to wear face masks and limit visits to the resident’s room, unless visiting to assist with care needs. Residents will also not be able to leave the home for social visits during this period and will only be able to leave for essential medical reasons.

The welfare of residents is our priority and all residents will continue to enjoy their usual meals and are encouraged to take part in daily activities. Please be assured that we’re reinforcing all our existing measures and protocols and we are prepared to manage any outbreaks should they occur. We are strongly encouraging and supporting all residents and employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.

Last week, the Federal Government announced that the COVID-19 vaccine would be mandated for the aged care workforce. We will be following Government guidelines to support this roll out and communicating with our employees once we have more information from the State and Federal health authorities.

COVID-19 Victoria Update

The Victorian Government has announced further easing of restrictions in Melbourne and across the State from 11.59pm Thursday 8 July, which will remain in place until further notice.

However, the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s visitor restrictions at residential aged care remain in place, with two visitors allowed at a time up to a maximum of five visitors per day per resident. All visitors will be required to wear masks. Residents may leave the home to attend social gatherings outside the home (within current restrictions) and will be screened upon their return.

Last week, the Federal Government announced that the COVID-19 vaccine would be mandated for the aged care workforce. We will be following Government guidelines to support this roll out and communicating with our employees once we have more information from the Victorian Chief Health Officer.

Victorian Government QR Code at Residential Aged Care Facilities

All Victorian businesses are now required to use the Victorian Government QR Code Service. This means that all residential aged care facilities must also have the Victorian QR Code Service in place from 11.59pm on 1 July 2021. The QR Code check in will simplify and expedite Department of Health contact tracing in the event of an outbreak. It is mandated across Victoria and will work along our existing check-in procedures.

Every person attending our aged care homes must check-in with the QR code no matter how long they are on the premises. This includes all employees (including contractors, volunteers and students) and visitors. Residents are not required to check-in.

COVID-19 NSW Update

Constitution Hill Aged Care Home
The NSW Government has directed stay-at-home orders across all Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong from 6pm, 26 June until 11.59pm Friday, 9 July. This means visitors will not be able to enter Constitution Hill aged care home unless there is an exceptional reason for visiting. We are encouraging family and friends to stay connected to loved ones and are facilitating virtual visits via telephone or video calls.

All exceptional visitors will enter the home through our screening procedure and will be required to wear face masks and limit visits to the resident’s room, unless visiting to assist with care needs. Residents will also not be able to leave the home for social visits during this period and will only be able to leave for essential medical reasons.

The welfare of residents is our priority and all residents will continue to enjoy their usual meals and are encouraged to take part in daily activities. Residents’ mental and physical wellbeing is being supported through the continuation of many of our weekly lifestyle programs such as creative art workshops, memory support programs, board games and physical exercise.

The safety of residents and employees remains our top priority. Please be assured that we’re reinforcing all our existing measures and protocols and we are prepared to manage any outbreaks should they occur.

Sienna Grange Aged Care Home
Due to the NSW Government’s stay-at-home orders for Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong (from 6pm, 26 June until 11.59pm Friday, 9 July) there will be additional screening, personal protective equipment will be initiated and visitor restrictions will apply for Sienna Grange aged care home.

  • COVID-19 safety measures will include:
  • Only two visitors are allowed each day
  • Visits should be in the resident's room
  • All staff and visitors must wear a surgical mask
  • Residents may leave the home to attend social gatherings outside the home (within current restrictions) and will be screened upon their return.

We are encouraging family and friends to stay connected to loved ones and are continuing to facilitate virtual visits via telephone or video calls. The safety of residents and employees remains our top priority. Please be assured that we’re reinforcing all our existing measures and protocols and we are prepared to manage any outbreaks should they occur.

COVID-19 Victoria Update

The Victorian Government has announced further easing of restrictions in Melbourne and regional Victoria from midnight, Thursday 24 June. Visitor restrictions at residential aged care have been eased to allow two visitors at a time up to a maximum of five visitors per day per resident. All visitors will be required to wear masks.

Residents may leave the home to attend social gatherings outside the home (within current restrictions) and will be screened upon their return.

COVID-19 Victoria Update

The Victorian Government has announced further easing of restrictions in Melbourne from midnight Thursday 17 June. However, the current visitor restrictions remain for aged care homes. This means that until further notice, visitors will not be able to enter our homes, unless there is an essential reason for visiting. We are encouraging family and friends to stay connected to loved ones and are continuing to facilitate virtual visits via telephone or video calls.

The welfare of residents is our priority and all residents continue to enjoy their usual meals and are encouraged to take part in daily activities. Residents’ mental and physical wellbeing is being supported through the continuation of many of our weekly lifestyle programs such as creative art workshops, memory support programs, board games and physical exercise.

COVID-19 Victoria Update

All residents have been given the choice to have the COVID-19 vaccine and the vast majority have taken up this opportunity. More than 88% of residents across Australian Unity’s aged care homes have been vaccinated. Consenting residents at all seven of our homes are fully vaccinated and have received both doses. The resident vaccinations were undertaken by the Federal Department of Health’s on-site vaccination provider teams and facilitated by the State public health network.

All our employees are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination as part of Phase 1a of the Federal Government’s COVID-19 vaccination program. It is Australian Unity’s policy to strongly encourage employees to get their COVID-19 vaccine for their safety and the community.

NSW Update - Evidence of influenza vaccination for all visitors and employees

From 1 June to 30 September 2021, all visitors and employees entering our NSW aged care homes are required to provide evidence they’ve received a dose of the 2021 influenza vaccination. Where a person has a medical certificate indicating a contraindication to influenza vaccination or there are other special circumstances, visits may be permitted provided additional precautions are applied.

COVID-19 VICTORIAN UPDATE

Following reports today of positive COVID-19 cases in Victorian aged care homes, Australian Unity advises that more than 88 percent of residents across our aged care homes have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Residents at six of our seven homes have also received their second dose, while residents at the remaining home are scheduled to receive their second dose today (Monday, 31 May 2021).

All Australian Unity employees are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination as part of Phase 1a of the Federal Government’s COVID-19 vaccination program and we continue to strongly encourage them to get vaccinated.

The safety of residents and employees remains our top priority. While we are under lockdown in Victoria, visitors cannot enter our aged care homes. We are reinforcing all existing safety measures and protocols and are prepared to manage any outbreaks should they occur.  
7-day Victorian lockdown restrictions

With the Acting Premier’s announcement today of a State-wide lockdown in Victoria from 11.59pm tonight until 11:59pm on Thursday, 3 June 2021 following the escalating cases of COVID-19 community transmission, we are temporarily cancelling all scheduled visits to the home from today until further notice.
NSW COVID-19 Update – Constitution Hill

Given the latest cases of community transmission and updated health advice from the Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant, COVID-19 restrictions will be temporarily tightened across Greater Sydney. The measures will be effective from midday today, 6 May 2021 (enforceable from 5pm) until 12.01am Monday, 10 May for the Greater Sydney region (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains).

As such, we have made the following operational changes to our Constitution Hill aged care home, including:

  • Only two visitors to the home are permitted per resident;
  • All visitors to the home are required to wear a face mask; and
  • Screening procedures for all visitors, contractors and employees against the known exposure sites in Greater Sydney.
Victoria Grange – COVID-19 Vaccination

Administration of first and second COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination doses

We are pleased to advise that the COVID-19 vaccination provider, Aspen Medical, attended the home on 18 March 2021 and vaccinated residents with the second vaccine dose. In addition, new residents who consented received their first vaccine dose.

What’s next?

All consenting residents who received the second vaccine dose on 17 March 2021 are eligible to receive their influenza vaccination from 1 April 2021 and can contact their medical practitioner to schedule this.

For new residents who received the first COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine dose, we anticipate the second dose will be given three weeks after the first dose.

The Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccination program is commencing in February 2021.

Identified priority groups will get the first available doses as part of the program. These priority groups include people at high risk in our community such as aged care residents and frontline health care workers.

We have been advised that aged care resident vaccinations will commence from Monday 22nd February 2021 and that each aged care home will be contacted with the dates for their vaccinations.

Australian Unity will follow all Federal and State Government guidelines to roll out the vaccine and has a dedicated team to support the vaccination program.

The Australian Government is strongly encouraging residents and employees in the aged care sector, as well as people visiting aged care homes, to receive the vaccine.

Sienna Grange Aged Care

Delay to Covid-19 Vaccination Day for residents at Sienna Grange

Our COVID-19 vaccination provider for our Sienna Grange aged care home, Health Care Australia, advised us on Tuesday that due to distribution issues with the vaccine, the proposed COVID-19 vaccination date of Wednesday, 24 February had to be delayed.

Health Care Australia indicated that they will inform us of their updated schedule. We will notify you immediately when we know the new vaccination date.


Victoria Grange Aged Care

Administration of first COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination dose at Victoria Grange

We are pleased to advise that the COVID-19 vaccination provider, Aspen Medical, attended our Victoria Grange aged care home on Wednesday, 24 February and vaccinated all consenting residents with the first vaccine dose.

We thank all residents, representatives and trusted persons for promptly responding to participate in the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

What’s next?

The COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine requires 2 doses and we anticipate the second dose will be given 3 weeks after the first dose

Constitution Hill Aged Care & Sienna Grange Aged Care


COVID-19 Update for Residents, Representatives, Families and Friends

Visits to the home

Residents at Constitution Hill Aged Care and Sienna Grange Aged Care are now permitted a maximum of two visitors each day provided they are not from the Northern Area of the Northern Beaches, City of Wollongong, Cumberland City Council or the Canterbury Ward of Canterbury Bankstown Council.

Please note visitors will not be able to visit the home if they:

  • live in a household with a person who is currently self-isolating,
  • have been to any of the latest COVID-19 locations in NSW at the times and dates listed,
  • have a fever (37.5°C or higher) or symptoms of COVID-19, or
  • are a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period.

The safety of our residents and employees is our highest priority and we’ll continue to reinforce all our existing COVIDSafe measures and protocols to protect our home.

All employees are wearing masks, and visitors to the home are provided with masks when they arrive.


Visits and outings

Residents may leave the home to attend family gatherings of fewer than five people, provided nobody present at the event has been during the last 14 days:

  • A resident of the Northern Area of the Northern Beaches, City of Wollongong, Cumberland City Council or the Canterbury Ward of Canterbury Bankstown Council.
  • a close contact of a person confirmed with COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period
  • in any of the locations listed on the latest COVID-19 locations in NSW at the times and dates listed, excluding the monitor for symptoms list
  • living in a household with a person who is a close contact or otherwise currently self-isolating.

Keep connected and COVIDSafe

We encourage you to consider whether visiting in person is the safest option for you and your loved one right now. You can stay connected in other ways, as we’re continuing to facilitate virtual visits via telephone or video calls, and window visits. A member of our team can help to arrange this for you.

We’ll continue to keep you updated if there are any further changes.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has released updated advice about visitor restrictions at residential aged care facilities.

What this means for the home

The safety of our residents and employees remains our top priority and we’re implementing the following measures and protocols to protect residents and employees.

  • Visits to the home are now to limited to situations where the visit is to provide emotional, cultural, spiritual or social support to the resident that cannot reasonably be provided via electronic or other non-contact means. These visits are now limited to 1 visitor at a time, once per day for maximum of 2 hours. Visitors who are affected by this change have been notified by text message.
  • Please note that essential care, and end of life care, visits have not changed.
  • All employees and visitors must wear masks. In addition, we’ve increased our personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees who will use face shields or goggles in addition to surgical masks.
  • We have enhanced screening procedures for all visitors, contractors and employees to screen against the known NSW and Victorian exposure sites. This means anyone who has been in an exposure location will not be able to enter the home.

These changes are occurring quickly and we appreciate that it may be unsettling for residents and loved ones, however it is important that all steps are taken to comply with these health directives.

Staying Connected

We encourage you to stay connected with your loved ones through our virtual visit options:

  • we can facilitate virtual visits via telephone or video calls, and
  • we offer is ‘window visits’ to enable you and your loved one to see each other.

We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated.


Constitution Hill Aged Care & Sienna Grange Aged Care 30 December update


Constitution Hill Aged Care

What this means for visits to Constitution Hill Aged Care for the New Year period

Until at least 11.59pm on Wednesday 6 January 2021 visitors are not permitted at the Constitution Hill Aged Care except those performing essential caring functions.

Visitors performing essential caring functions and where there are exceptional circumstances must wear a mask, be escorted to and from the resident’s room by an employee, and remain within the room during the visit. In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible for exempt visitors to be allowed to visit on compassionate grounds or for essential care purposes.

  • An essential care purpose and includes people visiting their loved ones who are receiving end-of-life care, or a resident with a serious mental illness (including advanced dementia), where the resident requires a trusted carer to support and maintain social and emotional wellbeing.
  • An essential care person is someone who has frequently and regularly visited a resident to provide aspects of care and companionship to that person.
  • A decision to admit otherwise exempt visitors will be based on an assessment of the risk posed and the ability to manage the visit.

We understand these changes may impact residents and loved ones. However, due to the changing situation, it is important that steps are taken to comply with these health directives.

The safety of our residents and employees remains our top priority. Please be assured that we are reinforcing all our existing measures and protocols to protect residents and employees. All employees are wearing masks while at work and visitors to the home will also be provided with masks when they arrive

Visits and outings outside Constitution Hill Aged Care

Until at least 11.59pm on Wednesday 6 January 2021, residents should not leave the home to attend family gatherings and group excursions unless the visit is essential (such as a medical appointment).

If a resident decides to leave the home to attend a family gathering or excursion, it may be appropriate from a risk perspective that on return they may be required to go into 14-day self-isolation.

Staying Connected

Unfortunately, this means that all visits that have been booked through the online booking system will be cancelled and all exceptional visitation reassessed by the General Manager. We will contact all visitors affected by these changes.

In the meantime, we encourage you to consider whether visiting in person is the safest option for you and your loved one at this time. There are other ways to stay connected;

  • we’re continuing to facilitate virtual visits via telephone or video calls and a member of our team can help to arrange this for you, and
  • the other option we are able to offer is ‘window visits’ to enable you and your loved one to see each other.

Sienna Grange Aged Care

What this means for visits to Sienna Grange Aged Care for the New Year period

Until at least 11.59pm on Wednesday 6 January 2021 no visitors from Greater Sydney are permitted to visit residents at Sienna Grange Aged Care.

There are no restrictions on people from regional NSW visiting residents.

Visitors performing essential caring functions and exempt visitors where there are exceptional circumstances must wear a mask, be escorted to and from the resident’s room by an employee, and remain within the room during the visit. In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible for exempt visitors to be allowed to visit on compassionate grounds or for essential care purposes.

  • An essential care purpose and includes people visiting their loved ones who are receiving end-of-life care, or a resident with a serious mental illness (including advanced dementia), where the resident requires a trusted carer to support and maintain social and emotional wellbeing.
  • An essential care person is someone who has frequently and regularly visited a resident to provide aspects of care and companionship to that person.
  • A decision to admit otherwise exempt visitors will be based on an assessment of the risk posed and the ability to manage the visit.

We understand these changes may impact residents and loved ones. However, due to the changing situation, it is important that steps are taken to comply with these health directives.

The safety of residents and employees remains our top priority. Please be assured that we’re reinforcing all our existing measures and protocols to protect residents and employees. All employees are wearing masks, and visitors to the home are provided with masks when they arrive.

Visits and outings outside Sienna Grange Aged Care

Residents are able to leave Sienna Grange Aged Care to attend family gatherings or group excursions outside Greater Sydney, if there will be no persons at the event that during the last 14 days have been:

  • a close contact of a person confirmed with COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period
  • in any of the locations listed on the ‘self-isolate and get tested immediately’ NSW Health website page, at the times and dates listed
  • in any of the locations listed on the ‘monitor for symptoms’ page NSW Health website page at the times and dates listed, except where noted otherwise.

Residents who leave our home for a social visit and meet these requirements will not be required to self-isolate when they return.

Staying Connected

In the meantime, we encourage you to consider whether visiting in person is the safest option for you and your loved one at this time. You can stay connected in other ways, as we’re continuing to facilitate virtual visits via telephone or video calls and a member of our team can help to arrange this for you.


Constitution Hill Aged Care

What this means for visits to Constitution Hill Aged Care for the Christmas and New Year period

Until at least 11.59pm on Wednesday 30 December 2020, up to two visitors per day are permitted to visit residents at Constitution Hill Aged Care. No visitors are allowed from the Northern Beaches Local Government Area. All other visitors will be screened before entry, as has been the case throughout the year. NSW Health recommends that, if possible, visits should be delayed.

We understand the update may impact residents and loved ones during this period, and your plans for your Christmas celebrations. However, due to the escalating situation, it is important that steps are taken to comply with these health directives.

The safety of our residents and employees remains our top priority. Please be assured that we are reinforcing all our existing measures and protocols to protect residents and employees. All employees are wearing masks while at work and visitors to the home will also be provided with masks when they arrive

Visits and outings outside Constitution Hill Aged Care

Until at least 11.59pm on Wednesday 30 December 2020, residents should not attend outings or excursions, unless the visit is essential (such as a medical appointment). If a resident makes a decision to attend a family gathering or excursion, it may be appropriate from a risk perspective that on return the resident is in isolation for 14 days.


Sienna Grange

What this means for visits to Sienna Grange Aged Care for the Christmas and New Year period

The updated direction means that until at least 11.59pm on Wednesday 30 December 2020, up to two visitors per day are allowed to visit Sienna Grange from the Greater Sydney area, excluding residents from the Northern Beaches Local Government Area. There are no restrictions on people from regional NSW visiting residents.

All visitors will be screened before entry, including additional screening relating specifically to the Northern Beaches outbreak and locations of interest.

We understand the update may impact residents and loved ones during this period, and your plans for your Christmas celebrations. However, due to the escalating situation, it is important that steps are taken to comply with all NSW Health directives.

The safety of residents and employees remains our top priority. Please be assured that we are reinforcing all our existing measures and protocols to protect residents and employees in our aged care homes. All our employees are wearing masks while at work and visitors to the home will also be provided with masks when they arrive.

Visits and outings outside Sienna Grange

As Sienna Grange is outside Greater Sydney, residents are welcome to leave the home to attend family gatherings or group excursions as long as no persons at the event during the last 14 days have been:

  • a close contact of a person confirmed with COVID-19 and are within their self-isolation period
  • in any of the locations listed on the ‘self-isolate and get tested immediately’ NSW Health website page, at the times and dates listed
  • in any of the locations listed on the ‘monitor for symptoms’ page NSW Health website page at the times and dates listed, except where noted otherwise.

Residents who leave our home for a social visit and meet these requirements will not be required to self-isolate when they return. For information on latest case locations go to: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates#self-isolate-and-get-tested-immediately-if-youve-been-to-these-locations


Victorian Residential Aged Care Update

As we’re all getting ready to enjoy our COVIDSafe summer and planning for our Christmas holiday period, the recent outbreak in New South Wales is a reminder of how we need to stay vigilant when it comes to this virus.

As you’d be aware, due to an escalating Covid-19 outbreak in the Sydney suburb of Avalon, there have been ‘stay at home’ orders in place for those who live in the Northern Beaches local government area, and restrictions on movements for people living in the Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong areas. These restrictions have been updated today with some modest changes to home gathering limits over the Christmas period of 24th, 25th and 26th December. The existing restrictions will remain in place, until further advice by the NSW government. For more information please visit the NSW Covid-19 website: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19

What we are doing to keep you safe

We are continuing to take all necessary precautions to maintain the wellbeing of residents, their loved ones and our employees. We are monitoring the situation and will keep you updated with regular communications. Your health and safety remain our top priority.

Following the outbreak, Victoria has introduced a permit system for entry of all persons travelling from NSW (including returning Victorians). You can find more information on the DHHS website: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/victorian-border-crossing-permit#red-zone-and-hot-zone

In line with the Victorian Government guidelines, we have made some changes to our visitor screening process by screening for all visitors and employees who have been in the designated NSW areas since 11 December 2020. This additional measure means we can continue to keep residents and employees safe.

Planning for a safe holiday period

A number of practical guidelines remain in place, and we thank you in advance for your support with implementing these. We acknowledge how important maintaining connection is to everyone's wellbeing and we are doing as much as possible to limit the disruption to usual routines for residents, whilst enhancing their level of protection.

With the escalating COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, we have needed to make some changes to the visitor program for our Constitution Hill and Sienna Grange homes in NSW.

The NSW Government has recommended people from the Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Illawarra-Shoalhaven, and Nepean Blue Mountains areas do not visit aged care facilities until 11:59pm on Wednesday 23 December, unless it is critical. Stay at home orders are also in place for residents of the Northern Beaches local government area until 11:59pm on Wednesday, 23 December.

Sienna Grange

At this stage, visits to the home can generally continue as scheduled. However, visitors from the Northern Beaches area will not be permitted. All other visitors will be screened before entry, as has been the case throughout the year.   

Constitution Hill

We are temporarily cancelling all scheduled visits to the homes until at least 11:59pm on Wednesday 23 December. This means visitors will not be able to enter our home until Thursday morning, unless you have a critical reason for visiting. All visitors who do enter will need to complete a screening process that includes an acknowledgement they have not visited any location where a known COVID-19 case has recently visited (please check the NSW Health website for the latest updates) or been to an impacted area (ie the Northern Beaches LGA). 

Residents will also not be able to leave the home for social visits during this period.

We understand this impacts residents and loved ones, particularly at this time of year. However, we remain committed to the safety of our residents and employees as our top priority. We hope to be able to resume normal visits again on Thursday 24 December.

We continue to encourage virtual visiting as the most COVIDSafe way to connect via telephone or video calls during this time.

As restrictions ease, we’re excited to welcome visitors back to our homes. We’re launching our new online visitor booking system to make it easier and safer to visit. However virtual visiting is still the most COVIDSafe way to connect with your loved one.

The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line provides information and support to senior Australians, their families and carers. It’s a joint initiative of COTA Australia, Dementia Australia, National Seniors and the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) and is supported by funding from the Australian Government. 

Older Australians, their families, friends and carers can call the support line for free on 1800 171 866, Monday to Friday 8.30am - 6pm AEST if they:   

  • Want to talk with someone about the COVID-19 restrictions and its impact on them.   
  • Are feeling lonely or concerned about a loved one.   
  • Care for someone and need some information or someone to talk to.   
  • Need advice or access to services.   
  • Want to arrange a one-off or regular wellbeing check for themselves, or someone else.   
As case numbers of community transmission reduce throughout Victoria and New South Wales, we’re planning our journey towards a ‘COVID normal’ for all of our homes’ residents and representatives, family and friends.

Throughout the pandemic we have held the health and safety of residents at the centre of everything we do. This has included requesting that in-person visitation occur less frequently, and focusing on virtual visits.

We appreciate the support that representatives and residents’ loved ones have shown us during this time. These restrictions allowed our homes to remain as normal as possible for residents, and minimise the risk of transmission.

We’ll soon be introducing a range of initiatives to increase visits between residents and their loved ones in a COVIDSafe way. This will be for both in-person visits as well as virtual visits.

As always, exceptions may be made for loved ones of residents with special needs (for example, complex dementia) and those who are receiving end of life care (palliating). These visits will be approved by the General Manager prior to entry, and additional infection control precautions may need to be taken.

We continue to encourage virtual visiting as the most COVIDSafe way to connect.

Campbell Place

Campbell Place has completed its 14-day period of 'active surveillance', which was implemented in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Health and Human Services' Public Health Unit. This means we can declare Campbell Place no longer has 'outbreak' status. While we’re no longer required to apply the heightened controls associated with an outbreak, we still remain, along with the rest of metropolitan Melbourne, under the Victorian Government's Stage 4 restrictions. This means that, among other measures, entry to the home remains limited to those with a direct connection to essential service delivery. As always, exceptions may be made for loved ones of residents with special needs (for example, complex dementia) and those receiving end-of-life care (palliating). These visits will be approved by the General Manager prior to entry, and additional infection control precautions may be required (for example, use of PPE).

Rathdowne Place

Rathdowne Place has now completed its 14-day period of 'active surveillance', which had been in place in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Health and Human Services' Public Health Unit. This means we're now able to declare Rathdowne Place is out of 'outbreak' status.While we're no longer required to apply the heightened controls associated with an outbreak, we still remain, along with the rest of metropolitan Melbourne, under the Victorian Government's Stage 4 restrictions. This means, among other measures, entry to the home remains limited to those with a direct connection to essential service delivery. As always, exceptions may be made for loved ones of residents with special needs (for example, complex dementia) and those who are receiving end of life care (palliating) - these visits will be approved by the General Manager prior to entry, and additional infection control precautions may need to be taken (for example, use of PPE).

Campbell Place

We're now halfway through our 14-day 'active surveillance' period at Campbell Place, under the direction of the Public Health Unit. Although heightened measures remain in place, life at Campbell Place is slowly returning to near-normal for our residents. Employees continue to follow our entry and exit program - including temperature checking and symptom screening. They're also all wearing face masks and face shields or eye goggles, while maintaining appropriate infection prevention and control precautions.

Australian Unity is committed to regularly updating our aged care residents, families, friends and the community about how we’re doing our utmost to protect residents and employees against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Campbell Place 

The COVID-19 outbreak declared at Campbell Place thankfully did not directly impact any residents. The two impacted employees are safely quarantining at home with regular contact and supports from us. From 10 August 2020, the home started a 14-day period of ‘active surveillance’ in accordance with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services’ Public Health Unit’s requirements. During this time, heightened restrictions, including those applying to visitors, will be maintained. However, residents are being encouraged to enjoy activities and meals within their household, while maintaining physical distancing and using a face mask if they choose to do so. 

Rathdowne Place

We are now over halfway through the 14-day ‘active surveillance’ period at Rathdowne Place. There are no active resident cases of COVID-19 and only one remaining active employee cases, which we understand was acquired as a close contact in the community, not at Rathdowne Place. That employee also remains safely in quarantine at home with our support.

Rathdowne Place Aged Care

As of 6 August 2020, we have six employees and one resident connected to Rathdowne Place who have returned a positive result for COVID-19. All positive team members and their close contacts have completed or are currently completing their period of quarantine/self-isolation at home with our support and under the direction of the Public Health Unit. With respect to the positive resident, since their first positive result, this resident subsequently tested negative to COVID-19 four times (including twice while in hospital after being initially being transferred as a precaution)—they have now been cleared from isolation. 

At this stage, we're not aware of any clear link between these cases and it's highly possible the employee cases were all community acquired. Regular testing occurred on site at Rathdowne Place following notification of the first positive case to us, to ensure there wasn't any subsequent transmission within the home. Following the most recent round of repeat testing last week, we were advised of negative test results for all employees and residents. The PHU then confirmed that the ‘outbreak’ at Rathdowne Place has been stood down to a further period of ‘active surveillance’ for 14 days. Visitor restrictions remain in place and all employees are continuing to wear full PPE and are following appropriate infection prevention and control precautions.

Campbell Place Aged Care

At Campbell Place, we have two employees who have returned a positive result for COVID-19. A full round of precautionary/surveillance testing for Campbell Place employees and residents took place last week and all returned negative for COVID-19. A further round of testing will be completed this week. Again, there is no evidence that transmission of COVID-19 to these employees occurred within the home.

All residents and employees, along with resident representatives, have been kept informed of the situation at Rathdowne Place and Campbell Place through regular written communications, outbound phone calls and via our dedicated hotline.

Australian Unity was informed yesterday that an employee who last worked at Campbell Place Aged Care on Thursday, 23 July 2020 has tested positive for COVID-19. The affected employee was not showing any symptoms when they were last at work and they still don’t have any symptoms - they are now isolating at home and we are supporting them as needed.

All residents and employees, along with resident representatives and treating GPs, were informed of the situation yesterday and we will keep them well advised regarding next steps. All employees and all residents who can be will be tested this week for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure.

We continue to closely monitor the health of our residents - no residents or other employees at Campbell Place are currently displaying any COVID-19 symptoms.

We are doing everything possible to prevent the spread of this virus in our home. A deep clean was completed today and infection prevention and control measures are in place, including the implementation of full PPE throughout the home. Existing processes to screen and temperature check all employees and anyone else entering the home also remain in place.

What we're doing

The situation in Victoria understandably makes many of us feel concerned about how the coronavirus may impact on our families or loved ones. 

As media coverage about the impact of coronavirus on aged care homes has increased over the last few days, we’ve received several enquiries from residents and families about what we’re doing at our homes, and more broadly within Australian Unity, to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of residents and employees. To keep everyone informed and as up to date as possible, we’ve pulled together some frequently asked questions for your reference.

These are unprecedented times, and we deeply appreciate your ongoing support and patience.

Following community testing, an employee at our Rathdowne Place Aged Care home notified Australian Unity of a positive COVID-19 result last Thursday, 9 July 2020. Subsequently, over 200 of our employees and a number of residents were tested over the weekend. We were informed yesterday, 13 July 2020, that two further employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

None of the three employees were showing symptoms when they were last at work and they are now isolating at home with our support. Their close contacts are being managed in accordance with the Department of Health and Human Services' Public Health Unit's requirements.

All residents and employees, along with resident representatives, have been kept well advised of the situation. Remaining residents at the home will be tested—commencing this afternoon—as a precautionary measure.

We are following standard precaution infection control protocols, undertaking a deep clean of the home and using personal protective equipment as directed by the Public Health Unit.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our customers and our people remains our highest priority. We will continue to engage with health and other regulatory authorities as needed in relation to the management of this matter.

Victorian Residences

Due to increasing COVID-19 cases in Victoria, and the reinstated ‘Stage 3 Stay at Home’ restrictions announced by Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday afternoon, we will be temporarily restricting visitors from entering our Victorian homes unless they have a direct connection to essential service delivery. This temporary closure will commence at 11.59pm on Wednesday 8 July 2020 and will be reviewed in line with the community restrictions on Wednesday 19 August 2020.

As always, exceptions may be made for loved ones of residents with special needs (for example, complex dementia) and those who are receiving end of life care (palliating). These visits will be approved by the General Manager prior to entry, and additional infection control precautions may need to be taken.

The threat of COVID-19 remains very high to vulnerable people in the community, and by keeping visitors who enter the home to a minimum, we believe we’re able to provide the safest possible environment for our residents and the staff who care for them.

We understand this decision may be difficult and upsetting. Please be assured Australian Unity has made a considered assessment regarding the risk to our homes located in the Melbourne metropolitan region and we have decided this is the safest approach to take at this time.

We also ask that residents refrain from leaving the home during this time unless it is absolutely necessary (for example, for medical treatment that cannot be provided within the home).

We are seeking your support to ensure the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is minimised in our home. The steps above will allow residents within the home to continue to live their lives as normally as possible.

Thank you to our residents and families who have expressed their support and those who have already reconsidered their visits as the Melbourne area experiences a spike in positive cases.

Keep visiting, virtually

We encourage residents and families to stay connected via virtual visits, either by telephone or video calls. If you would like to arrange a facilitated call, please contact us at site to arrange a time.

Thank you again for your continued support and understanding.

 

Victorian Residences

Australian Unity has had stringent infection control procedures and restrictions in place at our aged care homes to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. As indicated in yesterday’s communication, we will be restricting visits by people who live, work, visit (for example, for care or caregiving) or have children attending schools in the ‘hot spot’ suburbs. We will be updating our pre-entry screening questions (visitor declaration) to cover these matters.

You can expect to see changes to the way visitor appointments are made and non-essential services such as hairdressers and beauticians will also close temporarily. These changes will commence at midnight tonight and will be reviewed in two weeks’ time.

The recent increases in community transmissions of COVID-19 in Victoria represents a significant risk to vulnerable, older people. For the safety of all residents and our employees, regardless of where you reside, we strongly urge you to consider whether this is the right time to visit your loved one in person. We strongly encourage you to stay connected in other ways. We are continuing to waive telephone call charges and are facilitating virtual visits via telephone and video calls, including via CheckedIn Care.

We understand this decision may be upsetting, and sincerely thank you for your continued support to manage these risk factors.

Victorian Residences

We’re currently experiencing a higher number of active cases in Victoria than we’ve seen in more than two months. We can’t ease up on looking after ourselves and our families. Whatever you do and wherever you go, please be mindful of the risks of either acquiring or inadvertently transmitting this virus. Be aware that others may be carrying the virus and always practice physical distancing around anyone outside of your immediate household.

We’re asking all residents to reconsider if it’s necessary to leave the home at this time. Where possible, we strongly recommend that any movement into the community be limited to accessing essential services such as seeing a medical practitioner. Current evidence suggests that the rise in case numbers in Victoria is primarily being driven by families having get-togethers at home and likely not following advice around physical distancing (ie no hugging or kissing) and hygiene (ie not hand washing as often as necessary and sharing items that other people have touched). These are important messages, considering there is still community transmission occurring.

We request that families and loved ones of our residents consider whether visiting the home at this time is necessary, or whether it could be delayed for the time being. You’re encouraged to stay connected with your loved one's in other ways through virtual visits via telephone or video calls, with telephone call charges still waived.

This is particularly relevant for any potential visitors who reside in the identified Victorian ‘hot spot’ suburbs of Keilor Downs, Broadmeadows, Maidstone, Albanvale, Sunshine West, Hallam, Brunswick West, Fawkner, Reservoir and Pakenham.

We also wanted to let you know in advance that Australian Unity’s position is that if the Victorian Chief Health Officer puts a ‘stay at home’ direction in place for any specific suburb or local government area, then we intend to restrict entry by visitors from those suburbs into the home. This is to provide the best possible protection for our vulnerable residents.

NSW Residences

As you may be aware, Victoria is currently experiencing a higher number of active cases than has been seen in more than two months. As a result, on 25 June 2020, the Chief Health Officer NSW, Dr Kerry Chant, advised that until further notice, employees and visitors who have travelled to Melbourne in the previous 14 days are to be denied entry into any aged care facility in New South Wales. We have updated our visitor and employee declaration to reflect this new requirement.

Access restrictions to aged care facilities in NSW have also been eased and there is no longer a requirement to exclude children under 16 years of age from visiting.

Influenza vaccination continues to be required for all visitors and employees.  For those who are exempt from vaccination, there is now a requirement for a specific certificate to be provided. Exemption certificates provided to date are not required to be reissued in the new format.

Stay safe

In line with the government’s public health messaging, this is a reminder of how each and every one of us can help:

  • Stay safe while out in the community.
  • Stay safe at home. And that means only seeing those you need to. Don’t have big family gatherings and remember to keep your distance and maintain good hand and respiratory hygiene.
  • If you, or anyone in your family is feeling unwell – stay at home.
  • If anyone in your family has any of the symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, they should stay at home, seek advice and get tested.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together.

While government directives restricting access to Residential Aged Care homes remain in place, during May we welcomed 5,012 visitors into our homes. We’re grateful for your cooperation as we work to provide everyone an opportunity to visit their loved ones while still maintaining appropriate infection control measures to protect the health and wellbeing of all residents and employees.

We are screening all visitors and employees through temperature and symptom checking, and entry declarations. Working within these restrictions we will continue to increase the availability of visitor appointments. Please contact us to book a time and talk to us about the new times available.

Visits must occur within a resident’s room and are limited to two visitors during any appointment for a maximum visit of two hours. We are engaging with residents and their families to provide tailored arrangements at times of care, comfort and special needs.

It is a government requirement that any person entering an aged care home must have an up-to-date vaccination against influenza, unless medically exempt. We require you to bring proof that you have received the vaccination, or proof that you have a medical exemption when visiting for the first time and a copy will be securely retained by us.

As restrictions ease and the community begins spending more time at shopping centres, cafes, in small gatherings at home and enjoying the return of footy, there is an increasing desire to leave our home for excursions. Until a vaccine is readily available, older Australians remain highly vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19 and we are still recommending that if you don’t absolutely have to leave the home, please consider whether this is the right time to do so.  If leaving our home for any reason, we remind everyone of what you can do to stay safe. This includes: 

  • covering your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze with your elbow or a tissue  
  • disposing of tissues immediately after they are used, into a dedicated waste bin and washing your hands  
  • frequently practising hand hygiene 
  • avoiding touching your face and eyes  
  • using alcohol-based hand rub (sanitiser), where available  
  • where possible, staying 1.5 metres away from other people  
  • if you are sick, avoiding contact with others 
  • downloading the COVIDSafe app to assist with tracking and tracing 

In addition, we have masks available to residents who are engaging in activities outside of our home and would encourage their use particularly if visiting places where social distancing will be difficult to maintain or where in contact with children or groups of unfamiliar people. For all residents who leave our home, we will initiate 72 hours of temperature monitoring on their return. 

We will review our current visitor restrictions on 30 June, in line with State Government directives.

Thank you to the many representatives, families and friends who have expressed support for our visitor program. Your support, whether it be by staying away or following our current visitor guidelines, is greatly appreciated.

While the easing of community restrictions has now commenced, we must remain vigilant as increased public movement means an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 to visitors, residents and our employees.

Continued suppression of COVID-19 is about collective action. Success depends on maintaining our new community norms – physical distancing, good hygiene practices and downloading the COVIDSafe app to keep us all safe while we’re out and about.

Please be mindful that while we’re working hard to provide visitation access via appointments, for the safety of all residents and our employees, we are still recommending that if you don’t absolutely have to visit, consider whether this is the right time to do so.

We also strongly recommend that residents remain on site, except when they’re attending essential medical appointments. Residents leaving our home and mingling in the community means they are exposed to a greater risk of transmission and, in turn, they create an increased risk to other residents and our employees.

If it’s necessary for a resident to leave and go out into the community, we’re asking that an acknowledgment form be completed by the resident or their representative and that names and phone numbers of anyone the resident comes into contact with be retained. This will assist with any COVID-19 contact tracing, should that be required by the state government Public Health Unit.

Stage 3 restrictions remain in place across Australia to stop the spread of COVID-19. These restrictions include a ‘stay at home’ order only permitting people to leave home to shop for food and other necessary goods and services, access medical services or provide caregiving, attend work or education where you can’t do those things from home, and exercise. In addition, gatherings have been limited to no more than 2 people, and social distancing practices have become commonplace in our everyday lives.

Under the current state government directives in NSW and Victoria, access to residential aged care facilities is limited to people who meet the following criteria:

  • an employee or contractor of the home,
  • a person who is providing goods, services or providing health, medical or pharmaceutical services,
  • a person who is providing care and support visits,
  • a person who is present for the purpose of end of life support for a resident, or
  • any person who is required to be present on the premises for the purposes of emergency management or law enforcement.

Of those people who are eligible to enter residential aged care facilities, if any of the following applies to them, then the state government directives prohibit them from entering:

  • during the 14 days immediately before the proposed entry, the person arrived in Australia from a place outside Australia,
  • during the 14 days immediately before the proposed entry, the person had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19,
  • the person has a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees or symptoms of acute respiratory infection,
  • the person does not have an up-to-date vaccination against influenza, if the vaccination is available to the person, or
  • the person is aged under 16 years (other than for the purposes of providing end-of-life support for a resident of the home).

Enabling the safe return of visitors

Australian Unity has had stronger restrictions in place at our homes, to continue to mitigate the risk of transmission from the community and to protect the health and wellbeing of all residents and employees.

While we must continue to be vigilant, thankfully the rate of transmission of COVID-19 has slowed in the community and we can now look to increase face to face access for visitors and return some services for residents from Monday, 4 May 2020.

From Friday, 1 May 2020, hairdressing services will recommence with the salon set up to facilitate social distancing. We know this service has been greatly missed by residents and will be warmly welcomed back.

To enable residents to meet with their loved ones, while ensuring residents are still able to move freely within their home, we will be implementing strict visitor guidelines. Our residences are home to many residents and as such, we need to carefully manage how many visitors are coming into the home at any one time to enable us to limit the risk of exposure to infection including COVID-19 as much as possible.

How visits will be different

In order for you to visit safely, you will need to meet certain screening requirements and we will need evidence of certain aspects.

To support safe access for visitors, we will initially be re-opening for visits on an appointment basis.

It is a government requirement that any person entering must have an up-to-date vaccination against influenza, unless medically exempt. We will require you bring proof that you have received the vaccination, or proof that you have a medical exemption, when you come to visit. 

All visitors will also need to have their temperature taken on entry, will be asked about symptoms of acute respiratory infection, and will need to complete a visitor declaration form. This same process applies to all employees and contractors.

Under the state government directives, visits are limited to two people per resident per day and for a maximum of two hours. Visits must be held in the resident’s room, unless you have permission from us to access another area of the home. Visitors are also reminded to practice good hand hygiene and social distancing throughout their visit.

While we are very pleased to be able to offer limited visitation access, for the safety of all residents, we are still recommending that if you don’t absolutely have to visit, please consider whether this is the right time to do so. You’re encouraged to stay connected to residents in other ways. To support this, we’ve:

  • increased the bandwidth for wifi,
  • waived telephone call charges, and
  • facilitated virtual visits via telephone or video calls.

We would like to thank you again for your ongoing support during this difficult time.

You may have seen the Prime Minister’s address on Tuesday 21 April 2020, in which he discussed current state government restrictions on visitors to aged care facilities.  

Australian Unity has heightened our restrictions to ensure the protection of all residents and employees at each of our homes. We will be maintaining the current visitor restrictions until at least 4 May 2020.  

The threat of COVID-19 remains very high to vulnerable people in the community, and by keeping visitors who enter the home to a minimum, we believe we’re able to provide the safest possible environment for residents and our employees who care for them. 

During the heightened restrictions, daily routines are being maintained and residents can move freely throughout the home without having to manage risks associated with having visitors present who may be strangers to our residents. For many of our residents who have cognition issues, their ability to practice social distancing poses a particular risk. If visitors are provided access into all areas of the home (which would be the case if they need to walk through the home to get to a particular resident’s room), it reduces this ability for free movement.

While we’re currently preparing and putting in place additional protocols to enable us to roll back our restrictions and allow the safe return of visitors to our homes, we don’t believe we can do that just yet. In the meantime, you’re encouraged to stay connected to your loved one in other ways. We’ve waived telephone call charges and are continuing facilitate virtual visits via telephone or video calls, including via our new app, CheckedIn Care. 

Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the national peak body representing a significant number of aged care providers including Australian Unity, continues to advocate for a precautionary approach to visitor restrictions in residential aged care, on a home-by-home basis, with the protection of residents and staff from COVID-19 a critical priority. Click here to read more.

The vulnerability of residents in aged care to COVID-19 remains high despite the positive impact that Level 3 restrictions and social distancing has had on COVID-19 transmissions within Australia.

Australian Unity believes it is essential that we continue to maintain heightened restrictions until at least 4 May 2020 to ensure the continued protection of residents and employees.

A key element of our Better Together philosophy is connection. To support connectedness between you and your loved one during this time, we have waived telephone call charges since 1 March 2020. We are pleased to also be introducing two new initiatives: virtual visits through the CheckedIn Care app and the Better Together challenge.

For more information on Better Together challenge view the ‘How you can help our residents stay connected’ tab.

The risk of exposure to COVID-19 remains extremely high for our residents. For that reason, we have made the decision to maintain the current Australian Unity visitor restrictions for a further 14 days, until at least 20 April 2020.

These heightened restrictions were originally put in place based on representative feedback and to reduce the known risk of community transmission. We understand the implications of this decision, and the ongoing distress this may cause, however we must continue to do all we can to protect residents, as well as our employees.

Despite the restrictions, we do welcome families dropping Easter cards, gifts and eggs to our teams at Reception and we will ensure their timely delivery to residents.

We also encourage exploring other methods of maintaining connection with your loved ones. To better enable this, we are waiving telephone charges, backdated to 1 March 2020, to support residents to communicate with family and friends more frequently. Families have been utilising phone calls, Skype or Facetime, letters, postcards or pictures.

Our team are facilitating these activities, which have so far been very much enjoyed by everyone.

In the last week, residents across our homes have celebrated birthdays and anniversaries, enjoyed a pen pal program with some local kindergartens and were treated to some special meals. We will continue to share photographs of these special events with families.

Based on feedback we have received, and the heightened community restrictions announced by both the Australian and State Governments over the weekend we will now be restricting all visitors from entering our Aged Care sites unless they have a direct connection to essential service delivery.

These restrictions will commence at 8pm on Monday 23 March and will be reviewed in two weeks’ time.

Exceptions may be made for loved ones of those residents with special needs (i.e. complex dementia) and those who are palliating.

Residents within the home will continue to live their lives as normally as possible. However, non-essential services such as cafés, hairdressers and beauticians will also close temporarily, and lifestyle activities will be revised to smaller group or one-to-one activities to allow for appropriate social distancing.

We understand this decision will be very difficult and upsetting for our residents and their loved ones. However, due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the community, we need to take all possible measures to protect those who are most vulnerable.

We’re introducing a range of initiatives to enable visits in a COVIDsafe way in person and virtually. This allows for better connection between residents and their loved ones.

To manage density limitations and ensure all residents have access to visitation, each resident can have a maximum of two visitors plus children each day.

Visitation is managed through our online booking system

To allow for full utilisation of the communal lounge, dining and activity areas in the home, visitations are held in residents rooms. 

If larger family group visits are required please contact the home directly.

Outdoor visitations can be organised, weather permitting, and need to be pre-arranged through reception so we can manage density requirements of our outdoor areas.

All visitors must present at reception and undertake the wellness screening including temperature checking and sign in to the home.  Children are screened and signed in under the guardians declaration.

Visitors should wear their identification sticker at all times. This assists staff recognise that the entry requirements have been met.

Visitors may be required to wear masks in line with any Government directions for mask wearing.  The home will have masks available if this is required

During the visit, it is important to maintain social distancing (1.5m) at all times, perform hand hygiene before entering and after leaving a resident’s room. Visitors should refrain from any physical contact such as hugging, kissing or shaking hands.

If you are visiting to  assist with essential care and support and palliative care, please contact the General Manager of the home.

It is essential that you pre-book each visit at least 48 hours beforehand.

How to book a virtual visit

To arrange a virtual visit: Contact the home to arrange a time that is convenient for you.

Nominate your preference (phone or video) so we can set up the appropriate device for your loved one.

Provide your contact details so we can get in touch if there are any issues.

If you would like a facilitated call with your loved one, please contact the home to arrange a time when our team can assist you to visit virtually.

What does this mean for Australian Unity Aged Care Residences?


What do these new restrictions mean?

We request that all visitors follow our site entry procedure. This procedure has been put in place to ensure:

  • We have full visibility on who is accessing the site and when
  • We minimise the number people visiting a resident at any one time
  • Hand hygiene practices are being followed prior to entering areas where residents are present
  • Visitor contact information and declarations are completed through the ‘Tell Us About You’ forms.

What other precautions and steps are we taking? 

  • We are following the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) National Guidelines for the Prevention, Control and Public Health Management of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Residential Care Facilities in Australia issued by the Commonwealth Government on 13 March 2020, following the infectious disease management protocols and taking actions to control the current situation with onsite and head office teams coordinating our planning and management
  • We have increased our cleaning schedule—each aged care residence will have completed an initial deep clean by Wednesday 25 March, including every resident room and all common areas using specialist equipment. Hospital-grade products that eliminate pathogens are being used daily in all regular cleaning including mopping, this includes using Steri7 wipes on all touchpoints such as handrails, which remains active for up to 7 days
  • Additional training on infection control for all employees has been conducted and will continue throughout this COVID-19 public health situation.
  • We are exercising social distancing practices including limiting group gatherings—cancelling group events and activities—and keeping a distance between people
  • We have ceased all non-critical contractor works on site, ceased corporate and school visits, implemented additional visitor requirements (outlined above) and limited access to a single sign-in point, with all visitors required to enter via reception
  • We continue to closely monitor government advice and are taking all actions as required.

What you can do to help us

  • Knowing the symptoms: these include fever, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat
  • Focusing on good hand hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, before and after eating, and after going to the bathroom
  • Be vaccinated against influenza: Having the flu vaccine helps protect yourself and those around you especially those who are too sick, or too young to be vaccinated as well as other people including, people over 65 years of age and pregnant women. The flu vaccine won’t protect against COVID-19, however it may help to reduce the severity and spread of seasonal influenza, which can lower a person’s immunity and make them more susceptible to other illnesses.
  • If you are unwell, we ask that you avoid contact with others and do not visit our residence until you are better.

Resources

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