Stanthorpe Aged Care Service urges against complacency as restrictions ease

Not-for-profit provider Churches of Christ in Queensland has demonstrated its steadfast commitment to ensuring the health and wellbeing of its aged care residents during this COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Chief Executive Officer Gary Edwards said the large aged care provider has been following the advice from Queensland Health during the pandemic in the management of their 31 services, including their Stanthorpe Aged Care Service.
“This has been a truly unprecedented event and we have been unwavering in our commitment to ensuring the health and safety of our vulnerable residents by following the latest health guidelines,” Mr Edwards said.
At the height of the pandemic, Churches of Christ in Queensland restricted visitors into their aged care services. From 30 April, the aged care service provider eased restrictions and welcomed families once again.
“To maintain the health and safety of our residents we made the difficult decision at the time to restrict visitors, except on compassionate grounds, to our services. We have now welcomed visitors back to our services, albeit with a number of directed safety requirements and limitations to continue to protect residents.”
Visitors entering aged care services must abide by a number of legal and health directives in line with the Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19. These mandated requirements include:
  • All visits must be pre-booked with the service
  • All visitors be immunised with the 2020 influenza vaccination and provide evidence (or documentation of medical exemption)
  • Visits are limited to short duration, normally 30 minutes
  • Maximum 1 visit per day (subject to visitor capacity at the service)
  • Maximum of 2 visitors per visit
  • Visits to be conducted in a resident’s room only
  • No more than 2 visitors at one time in the resident’s room (this includes family/friends and health professionals)
  • Visitors are required to adhere to social distancing practices, including maintaining a distance of 1.5 meters from others
  • Children aged 16 years and under are not permitted at this time, except on compassionate grounds
  • Visitors must not be displaying any signs of illness, been recently ill or in contact with one who has been ill or been in contact with someone that is a suspected (being tested) or confirmed COVID-19 case in the last 14 days
  • Visitors are required to complete a screening tool before entering, including temperature recording and hand hygiene performed.
The service provider continues to encourage families to find alternative ways to connect with their loved ones in aged care while social distancing requirements remain in place and visitation is limited.
“At the onset of the pandemic we swiftly distributed iPads to our services to allow families to connect with their loved ones through Skype and FaceTime, and these devices remain in place. We also recommend families send letters, artworks and photos, and to call their loved ones regularly. Our staff are available to facilitate this connection and to keep you updated on their condition.
“We understand it has been a particularly difficult time to be physically distant. We sincerely thank our families for their support and understanding. This support has been essential to assisting us protect our vulnerable residents.”
Churches of Christ in Queensland aged care teams have implemented new and adjusted activities to ensure the wellbeing of their residents, and many members of the community have sent in letters and pictures for residents to enjoy.
“There has been a heart-warming response from our communities and the wellbeing of residents has been front and centre as always and especially during this time. We remain committed to responding to government guidelines and medical advice when it is released and will continue to do so in the best interest of those we care for.”
“We have seen in the past week that there is still the ongoing threat of COVID-19 entering our aged care services and we must all remain vigilant. We will continue to work with our residents and families to enforce our strict visitor guidelines and that our staff must remain home at the slightest sign of illness in order to protect our residents.”
Additional measures in place include stringent cleaning and infection control, availability of hand sanitisation throughout the service, promotion of physical distancing, and staff screening for illness prior to commencement of each shift.

Churches of Christ in Queensland has recorded no positive COVID-19 cases across any of its services, but Mr Edwards warns it is no time to be complacent.

With over 90 years’ experience, Churches of Christ in Queensland is a leading not-for-profit provider of seniors care, including retirement living, home and community care and residential aged care across Queensland and Melbourne, Victoria.

  Posted 21 May, 2020 in News