“The safety and wellbeing of our residents, their families and our staff remains our highest priority. Residents and their families have shown us great understanding and support of this during a challenging time,” MercyCare Chief Executive Officer Anthony Smith said.
“We understand face-to-face contact is important for the wellbeing of both residents and families and that truly excellent care is only possible when it is provided in partnership with families. We are keen to continue that partnership in a safe and controlled manner.
“While visits will look a little different than before, we are determined our residents have quality time with their loved ones.”
MercyCare’s Joondalup, Wembley, Maddington, Kelmscott and Rockingham Aged Care homes have implemented a phased reopening, with all homes accepting in person visits by Friday, May 1.
The Western Australian Government implemented restrictions to ensure the continued safety of aged care home residents (full details here).
To comply with this Government direction and to protect residents, visitors and staff, MercyCare will implement the following safeguards:
- Each resident can receive 1 visit per day with a maximum of 2 people visiting together.
- Visits can be up to a maximum of 2 hours duration.
- All visits need to be booked at least 1 day prior.
- Visits will take place in the resident’s room. Visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing during the visit if possible.
- Visitors must remain at least 1.5 metres away from other residents and staff members at all times.
- Visits may occur between 0930-1200hrs and 1330-1630hrs, 7 days a week.
- Visitors must wash their hands before entering and when leaving a resident’s room.
All visitors must agree to undergo a brief screening process prior to entering the home to ensure they:
- Have not travelled from overseas in the past 14 days.
- Have not come in to contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
- Do not have a temperature higher than 38 degrees.
- Do not have any symptoms of acute respiratory infection.
- Visitors must be aged over 16 years of age, except when providing end of life support.
- In addition, legislation that requires all visitors and staff to have an up to date influenza vaccination will come into effect from May 1, 2020.
For families and friends who would rather connect in other ways, MercyCare will continue to offer its Linking Together program that includes the ability to book video and phone call visits, and most homes will continue to facilitate a visit through glass.
“As life returns to a more normal state, it is very important to remember that the risks from COVID-19 are still very real and while that risk is decreasing, we have not eliminated the virus in WA,” Mr Smith said.
“We have seen in other parts of the world COVID-19 outbreaks in a residential aged care home are catastrophic. This is why MercyCare and the Government are ensuring we have appropriate screening and infection control procedures in place in an attempt to protect your loved ones from this terrible virus.”
There have not been any cases of COVID-19 among residents in MercyCare Aged Care homes to date.
MercyCare will continue to monitor the situation and make further decisions based on changes to the risk to residents.