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mecwacare

FREECALL 1800 163 292

Coronavirus update – 30 March 2020

mecwacare has had to make some very tough decisions during the past few days to continue protecting residents from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

None of this has been easy and we thank you for the many messages of support we have received for the precautionary measures that have been implemented to ensure all our homes remain coronavirus-free.

We have agonised over these decisions, particularly the recent one to restrict visits to those that are deemed essential, as we are acutely aware of the importance of regular physical and/or social interaction with family and friends.

Regrettably, mecwacare must advise of a further safeguard, effective immediately, regarding residents’ social leave and other outings. This applies to every instance where a resident leaves a mecwacare centre, for any reason, including medical visits.

We ask that you please read this carefully and understand that if these guidelines are not followed, increased social isolation and/or other restrictions may be required in order to continue protecting all of our residents and staff.

• If a resident is absent from the home for more than two (2) hours, for whatever reason, that resident will automatically be socially isolated for seven (7) days upon their return

• We ask that any non-essential leave or outings for residents are, for the time being, avoided

• For essential medical or healthcare appointments, we actively encourage and support telehealth consultations, as recommended by the Australian Government, whether over the phone or via a video link

• If a visit to an outside medical or healthcare facility is necessary, the two-hour rule will still apply.

This additional measure - that resident will automatically be socially isolated for seven (7) days upon their return- applies to any new residents being admitted to the facility and Transition Care Program (TCP) clients. Please note mecwacare will continue to admit people who require full time care and support at this time, in line with the government recommendations.

We understand that residents with essential medical appointments are already vulnerable. We must take every precaution possible to maintain their health. We hope that by being aware of this measure, it will help you to plan such appointments and advise the medical or healthcare providers to facilitate a faster consultation to limit the time spend away from the centre and in waiting rooms.

We feel this is a necessary precaution because we are not able to effectively manage the level of infection risk outside our homes.

mecwacare would like to remind people that additional external carers are no longer able to attend the facilities in line with families not being able to attend.

As promised, we have now set up iPads at all our homes to facilitate face-to-face communication with your loved ones via Skype, Zoom or Facetime.

To take advantage of this, please call the facility and book in a time. These 10-minute sessions will be available between 10am and 12pm and 2pm and 4pm Monday to Friday, and between 2pm and 4pm on Saturdays.

Lifestyle activities are still being run, albeit with different activities and in keeping with the latest advice regarding social distancing. Our Lifestyle team is spending one-on-one time with residents.

Kmart donated a bundle of brand-new games, puzzles and activities for distribution to our centres and the mecwacare community jumped on board our call-out to donate board games and puzzles that might be gathering dust in a cupboard.

It has been heartening to see such generosity and thoughtfulness from others during this very difficult time.

Again, thank you for your understanding and support, and please contact the Facility Manager if you have any questions or concerns.

Coronavirus update – 27 March 2020

mecwacare would like to advise that we will be implementing further restrictions on visitors to protect your loved ones from the coronavirus.

Our residences are currently safe from COVID-19.

It has come to attention that some visitors this week have not been taking the precautionary measures we have introduced seriously, which leaves no alternative but to enact the next level of restrictions.

From Monday, March 30, visits will be restricted to those that are deemed essential, such as specialist care, or palliative care. These will be managed on a case-by-case basis and can be discussed with the General Manager of Residential Services, Ms Loretta Radge, or the Facility Manager. Visits outside the facility will also be limited to essential Medical appointments only.

Staff have been asked to monitor this very closely. Please forward this information to your family and friends so that they are aware of the change.

If you are permitted to visit, you will still need to undertake a temperature check and answer the following questions, truthfully:

• Have you been unwell

• Have you had symptoms of any respiratory illness – fever, sore throat, cough, muscle aches and joint pains, headache, tiredness/exhaustion

• Have you recently returned from overseas travel to any country – self-isolation for 14 days is a mandatory requirement by law

• Have you or people you live with been in contact with a person who has had a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus, or who has declared that they have travelled overseas recently.

If you answer YES to any of these questions, you will be respectfully asked to leave immediately. This is for the protection of all our residents and staff.

We are working to support Facetime, Skype and other channels of communication as we recognise such restrictions can be emotionally painful for our residents and for you. We will provide further information about this early next week, as the doors close.

A reminder also that after May 1, anyone entering the facility must show evidence of having been vaccinated against influenza.

We are sorry it has come to this. Our number one priority is to continue providing a coronavirus-free environment for residents and staff. mecwacare is not prepared to take any chances on these very special people.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Protect our residents by remaining vigilant - 15 March 2020

With new cases of the coronavirus reported every day, we are aware of the concern among the mecwacare community and would like to reassure you that we are following all advice and recommendations of the Department of Health and Chief Medical Officer.

This is a difficult time for everyone but we urge you to remain calm, work together and support each other.

mecwacare is taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our residents, clients and staff.

We all have a responsibility to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our community. We must be extremely vigilant and ensure that:

• Everyone entering our facilities follows strict infection control and hand hygiene practices

• Should anyone advise they have been in contact with a person who has had a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus, or who declare that they have travelled to one of the affected countries, please advise management immediately.

• This extends to any staff and volunteers who have recently returned or are planning to embark on overseas travel. They will be required to follow the 14-day isolation requirements, as recommended by the Australian Government.

If you have recently been ill, have symptoms of any respiratory illness (fever, sore throat, cough, muscle and joint pains, tiredness/exhaustion), have been in contact with someone who is ill or at risk if you become infected yourself, we strongly advise you NOT to visit any of our facilities.

We thank you for your cooperation and ongoing support.

For general information regarding the coronavirus, we recommend you contact the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services hotline on 1800 675 398 or visit Website 

mecwacare Malvern Centre closed - 7 March 2020

As you may know from the media coverage, there is significant concerns regarding the risk to the population of contracting coronavirus.

Last week, a general practitioner briefly visited the mecwacare Malvern Centre on Wednesday, March 4 to see two residents. Following this visit, the doctor was diagnosed with the coronavirus. He had travelled from the United States of America.

We have closed the mecwacare Malvern aged care facility to visitors for 14 days and are working closely with the Victorian Department of Health to monitor the situation, which affects the Malvern facility only.

There is no evidence of coronavirus or any respiratory illnesses at the facility. Neither resident who was visited by the doctor has exhibited any signs or symptoms.

The closure of the facility is a strong precaution but one that is necessary to minimise risk and ensure best practice infection control measures are in place for the ongoing safety of our residents.

As this is a changing issue, we are reassessing our response on a daily basis. Our approach is to remain calm and ensure a coordinated and controlled response.

 


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