CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

What is an ‘Essential’ Visit?

Essential visits are permitted for residents’ nominated representative and defined as those required to be conducted for residents:

  • Undergoing end of life care
  • Experiencing extreme emotional and/or mental stress
  • Who have a clearly established pattern of involvement from a visitor in providing their care and support as an essential part of their care plan

What are the conditions of Entry for an Essential Visit?

All nominated representatives will be required to:

  1. Report to reception and complete and pass the health screening assessment
  2. Undertake a temperature check
  3. Provide evidence of having received 2020 Influenza Vaccination
  4. Proceed directly to the resident’s room or designated meeting area in the Home
  5. Not come into contact with other residents, staff or family members
  6. Maintain 1.5m physical distancing rules at all times
  7. Practice hand hygiene upon entry to the Home and before entering and leaving a resident’s room
  8. Follow respiratory hygiene practices
  9. Only visit during visitor hours Monday to Friday – 10:00am-6.00pm (last entry at 4:00pm)
  10. Limit visits to ideally no more than 30 minutes with a maximum of 2 hours

We ask that you monitor your own health status over this critical time and if you feel mildly unwell, please do not come into the Home, even if the visit is considered essential.

We also ask for your cooperation in adhering to the ‘essential’ visit definition above and not put pressure on the staff in our Homes for a face to face visits at this time, but rather use the options that are in place - that being window and courtyard visits, phone calls, 10-4 Well-being calls and Zoom.

In addition to the conditions above, we strongly encourage families to wear a face mask during the visit.

What is the difference between a Social Visit and and Essential Visit?

Social visits are check-ins with residents facilitated through courtyard visits, window visits, zoom calls, phone calls and 10-4 Wellbeing video calls.

Essential visits are defined as those that specifically relate to residents:

  • Undergoing end of life care;
  • Experiencing extreme emotional and/or mental stress;
  • Who have a clearly established pattern of involvement from a visitor in providing their care and support as an essential part of their care plan.

What is the process for conducting an Essential Visit?

It is important that we are able to support and manage family visits in our Homes. To help us make everyone’s visit as safe and enjoyable as possible, there are few things visitors should organise in advance, including:

  • Completing a once-off Essential Visit Request Form – this form determines eligibility for essential visits
  • Calling the home in advance to book your visit during the published visiting hours

We believe the time is right to reintroduce progressive but tightly controlled visitor access policies that are in line with Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) advice in minimising the impact of COVID-19. We must remain cautious and as such reserve the right to change our visitor policy at any time.

What is Allity doing to prevent the Homes from being infected with COVID-19?

Our COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan outlines a proactive 3-tier system that introduces different restrictions during each phase. Movements become more limited as we escalate which is key to minimising the risk of transmission.

This system is designed specifically with the aim of, (a) initially preventing entry of the virus, and, (b) should the virus come into the home then containing the spread.

Our policies and procedures are continually updated to reflect the latest guidelines from the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA), around managing COVID-19. We have confidence in our ability to manage any form of outbreaks in our Homes, consistent with our Infection Prevention and Control Policies and Practices.

What if I / my mother wants to go out to the shops on her own as she usually does?

We are strongly encouraging all residents to remain in their Homes. Residents choosing to go out into the community are potentially risking the health of others in our Homes, not just their own.

Residents should only leave the Home for Essential reasons only such as hospital or medical appointments. Upon return to the Home, individuals will be screened in line with Allity’s health screening process to determine any further actions required. This is to ensure there are no symptoms of infection that can be spread to the Home’s resident community.

Allity's primary objective is to do everything we can to protect our entire community of residents. This requires us to focus on the actions we need to take to prevent the possibility of transmission both from external visitors and/or exposure between residents and/or staff in our Homes.

What if I want to bring in a package for my loved one?

Coronavirus be transmitted through contact with surfaces where it can have a lifespan lasting several days. To ensure we are able to maintain a high level of hygiene and prevent risk of infection, any packages brought into the Home should be essential items that can be wiped down easily with anti-bacterial wipes.

Essential items are defined as those that support and enable communication with families and that are important in acknowledging milestones and special occasions. Examples include iPads, mobile phones, chargers, pre-packaged chocolates i.e. all items that can be wiped down with disinfectant.

Non-essential items include things such as home cooked meals, laundry, perishables, any items requiring refrigeration or that presents food safety issues and will not be permitted.

The following process should be followed to maintain effective infection prevention and control:

Families:

  • Will be provided with a plastic bag for the care package by the home;
  • Should place the items in the bag and label it with the resident’s name, neighbourhood and room number;
  • Must ring ahead and agree when the bag will be dropped off at the front door of the Home.

The Home will:

  • Collect and take the bag to the quarantine area for 48 hours;
  • Post quarantine, wipe down items and take them to the resident.

If you have any questions relating to care packages, please contact the General Manager of your Home.

I visit my loved one every day. How do I know that my loved one’s care needs are being met?

The care needs of our residents are determined through collaborative consultation with the family and health practitioners. We encourage families to work with the General Manager or Care Manager at the home to ensure we have appropriately captured your loved one’s care needs within their care plan.

Is Allity admitting new residents?

Yes, all Allity Homes are admitting new residents. A thorough screening process is in place to ensure new residents have the necessary health clearances from relevant health practitioners and/or hospitals prior to moving into the Home.

Our aim is to support all new residents in settling into a new home, particularly during these challenging times.

Allity has introduced our ‘Better Together’ program to support new residents during the settling in period where they will have a dedicated staff Buddy to assist with moving in, keeping the family connected and reassured, ensuring all dining preferences, lifestyle activities and care needs are put in place.