Updated Restricted Access to all Hardi Aged Care homes effective as of 1st May 2020
We refer to the notice we issue dated 1 April 2020 (Issue No: 5) which set out the further restrictions placed on visitors entering aged care facilities as announced by the Prime Minister as a consequence of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Influenza Vaccination Requirements
As previously detailed, from 1st May 2020, all visitors must have had an influenza vaccination in order to visit an Aged Care Facility, accordingly, we ask that you speak to you GP as soon as possible to arrange for your vaccination to ensure that you have received your vaccination by 1st May 2020.
Does everyone entering a residential aged care service need to be vaccinated?
Yes. This applies to staff, visitors, health practitioners, volunteers and others (for example, family or friends, cleaners, tradesman, gardeners, maintenance staff).
What are aged care providers’ obligations regarding persons entering the service?
Under the state and territory directions, aged care providers are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that a person does not enter or remain on the premises if they do not meet the influenza vaccination (and other) requirements set out in the relevant state and territory directions.
How will aged care providers know whether persons seeking to enter a service on an ad hoc basis (e.g. tradesmen) have been vaccinated?
Approved providers should seek appropriate evidence of immunisation status from individuals seeking to enter the service. Appropriate evidence may be a statement or record from a health practitioner, or an immunisation history statement available from Medicare online or the Express Plus Medicare mobile app.
Will aged care providers need to substantiate that a visitor has been vaccinated and keep records?
Approved providers should seek appropriate evidence of immunisation status from individuals seeking to enter the service. Appropriate evidence may be a statement or record from a health practitioner; or an immunisation history statement available from Medicare online or the Express plus Medicare mobile app. Approved providers may also consider maintaining records to support effective administration and to substantiate their compliance with this requirement.
How will compliance with these requirements be assessed?
State and territory law enforcement agencies will enforce these directions. Persons who fail to comply with any of the directions could face penalties including fines for individuals and for bodies corporate.
Will residents still have the right to refuse vaccination?
While vaccination for all residents is important to protect themselves and others against influenza, residents have the right to refuse vaccinations.
Who can administer an influenza vaccination?
Influenza vaccinations prescribed by an authorised prescriber can be administered by the prescriber or a number of other health professionals including nurses, doctors or Aboriginal health professionals. In some circumstances flu vaccinations can also be administered by pharmacists where they have undertaken the appropriate education and training and are authorised to do so. All health professionals are required to practice in accordance with state/territory legislation and relevant policy.
As we all work together for a final outcome dealing with this virus, we thank you in advance for your co-operation with the above to keep each other safe. Should you require any additional information, a Department of Health Fact sheet is available at www.health.gov.au
Should you have any queries, as always, please contact your Facility Management Team.
Updated Restricted Access to all Hardi Aged Care homes effective as of 1st April 2
In light of the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus across NSW, the Australian Government has had to take new measures to further protect the health and wellbeing of all Australians by placing additional restrictions on visitor access to Residential Aged Care Facilities across the country.
Accordingly, we have made the decision that we can only allow visitors to enter to our facilities for exceptional circumstances which includes, visits to residents who have become unwell or are requiring end of life care, and any compassionate exceptions. We request that you contact the Facility Manager and / or Assistant Facility Manager to arrange the visit.
Please note that if a visit to one of our facilities is arranged, the COVID-19 protocols set out in the notices that we have previously issued (Issues No: 3 and No: 4) must be followed at all times. On entry to one of our facilities, staff will instruct you on the COVID-19 protocols that must be adhered to which includes taking your temperature. All staff and contractors are being screened for their health and wellbeing at the beginning of every shift or on entry to a facility.
Whilst we understand how important visits are to our residents and families, this decision may be hard to understand, our residents are the most vulnerable in the community so we must be extremely vigilant in our response to keeping them safe and we ask for your understanding during these difficult times.
Our Residents Wellbeing
During this time of restricted access, our resident’s wellbeing and mental health is of the utmost importance to Hardi Aged Care. We already have a variety of activities in place that our residents can use to engage with family and friends, including using technology for socialisation. We encourage all family and friends to stay in contact with loved ones and we can organise phone, FaceTime or Skype calls so that you can speak with one another directly.
Lifestyle and outings
All out Hardi Aged Care homes have a robust lifestyle calendar all year round, during this time we have had to put some activities on hold that include:
- Visits by external groups, including school children and preschools
- Events where community visitors come into the home
- Visits from external performers, entertainers or other social groups
- All resident outings have been postponed until further notice. This includes individual day trips with family members or allied health workers.
Other lifestyle activities are being reviewed in line with social distancing considerations. We are focusing on small groups, online, technology-enabled and 1:1 activities, as well as utilising outdoor spaces within the care home as much as possible.
Updated Restricted Access to all Hardi Aged Care homes effective as of 24th March 2020
We refer to the below summary posted on the 18th March 2020 which set out the restrictions placed on visitors entering aged care facilities as a consequence of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis as announced by the Prime Minister.
Hardi Aged Care has now implemented tougher restrictions for anyone wishing to enter one of our aged care facilities. We have done this to ensure that we all comply with the requirements of the Commonwealth Government and importantly, to protect our residents and staff from the risk of infection.
To help better protect our residents, family, loved ones and staff members from COVID-19, Hardi Aged Care has implemented that all people visiting our homes are required to complete a new process for entry to all Hardi Aged Care homes. We will have a sign-in station at the entry to each facility, you will need to ring the bell and wait for the Registered Nurse on duty to come to reception to greet you and complete your health check that will include having your temperature checked.
- If a visitor’s temperature is above >37.5; AND
- If a visitor exhibits symptoms of an acute respiratory infection (e.g. shortness of breath, cough, sore throat).
This means you will not meet the criteria for entry to a Hardi Aged Care home and staff will ask you to leave the facility straight away. You will need to call your GP for further examination, and you will not be able to re-enter a facility without clearance from your GP in writing.
Hardi Aged Care is as asking you to take practical steps to prevent COVID-19 from entering our homes.
- As most of you are already aware each night the facility goes into a security lockdown situation and the only access to the facility is ringing the intercom. This will commence on Tuesday 24th March 2020 at the close of business being 5pm
- If you don’t absolutely have to go to support a resident in care, please don’t. It’s best to keep in touch via phone and video calls, send postcards, photos or artwork, or film short videos to share. This will limit your exposure to COVID-19 and your chances of accidentally spreading it to the other older people in your life. If you regularly visit someone living with a cognitive impairment, considering other ways of maintaining social contact will help reassure individuals who may feel anxious about possible changes to their day to day life.
- It is important to follow the infection control guidelines as per the sign-in station upon entry
- Limit your visit as set out below
- Avoid spreading illnesses by washing your hands well with liquid soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub before and after visiting and after coughing or sneezing will help reduce the spread of disease. Cover your mouth with a tissue or your elbow (not your bare hand) when coughing or sneezing and dispose of used tissues immediately and wash your hands
- Stay away if you’re unwell If you have recently been unwell, been in contact with someone who is unwell or you have symptoms of respiratory illness (e.g. fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle, and joint pain, or tiredness/exhaustion) please do not visit the facility until your symptoms have resolved. If you have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 you must stay away until you are released from self-isolation.
Restricted Access to all Hardi Aged Care Homes is effective as of 18th March 2020
As of Wednesday 18th March, Hardi Aged Care will be implementing Restricted Access to all our homes as per the Prime Minister’s announcement and the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases, it is our priority to protect and support our residents, their family members and/or friends and staff. These changes will be put into effect immediately until further notice. While the majority of people who have contracted the virus around the world have recovered, it is our elders who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Therefore we must be hyper-vigilant in our actions to protect all of those we care for against the spread of the virus. Hardi Aged Care would like to thank you in advance for helping us make our homes the safest place possible for our residents and team.
Please be assured that we will manage these restrictions together with each resident and their loved ones with the utmost care and compassion
Restrictions on entry into our facilities are as follows:
The following visitors and staff are not be permitted to enter the facility if any of the following applies
- Those who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
- Those who have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
- Those with fever or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath); and
- Those who have not been vaccinated against influenza (after 1 May 2020).
As a reminder the government has set clear guidelines around mandatory quarantine periods and as such penalties for breaching this can include but are not limited to $11,000 fine for individuals and or 6 months imprisonment for anyone who does not adhere to the self-isolation for 14 days should you be returning from another country.
Restrictions for family members and/ or friends:
Any family member and/ or friend attending a facility should follow the below
- Your visits are important; however, we must limit the duration of each visit to no longer than 1 hour.
- Each visit should be a maximum of two visitors at any one time. However, we encourage phone, video calls, and other social communication apps as appropriate to be utilised to make contact with the residents, to enable more regular communication with all.
- All visits should be conducted in a resident’s room or in the Facility outdoor areas rather than communal areas i.e. lounge, dining and or sitting areas where the risk of transmission to residents is greater.
- Large group visits i.e. resident and relative meetings will not be conducted until further notice, therefore any information we need to communicate with you will be sent out in a publication.
- Children under the age of 16 years or less will not be permitted to enter the Facility.
We understand these boundaries may seem harsh and the Prime Minister has acknowledged this. He has made concessions for us to lift this one criterion in a case by case situation in the event a resident is in a palliative care scenario and we ask you to speak to the Facility Management who will put into place concessions for you.
Managing illness in visitors
We ask all who visit the ·facility to be vigilant for illness and to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, specifically fever and acute respiratory illness and should stay away if unwell.
As previously advised:
IF YOU HAVE a cough, OR fever, OR shortness of breath AND have been overseas in the last 14 days or have been in contact with anyone who has been overseas in the last 14 days please contact your GP by phone, stay indoors and visit www.health.gov.au for advice.
Please contact your GP by phone, stay indoors and call your manager, EVEN IF YOU DO NOT HAVE SYMPTOMS to advise of where you have been or who you have been in contact with.
Visit www.health.gov.au for further information.
As we all work together for a final outcome dealing with this virus, we thank you in advance for your co-operation with the above.