In light of the evidence that older people are more susceptible to contracting and being seriously affected by COVID-19, a highly precautionary approach has been adopted across the aged care sector in responding to the pandemic, based on the latest and best medical advice.
This approach has included restricting visitors’ access to residential aged care services, and screening visitors and staff on entry to residential facilities.
Our decision at Ballan District Health & Care (BDHC) to restrict visitation is not taken lightly and, at all times, the safety and wellbeing of residents is key to our response.
Latest update: 27 May 2021
Dear residents and families
The Acting Victorian Premier has today announced a seven-day snap lockdown, due to a COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria.
We must respect the highly contagious nature of this virus and protect the health and wellbeing of our residents, patients and staff – as they are the most vulnerable during this COVID-19 pandemic.
So, from 11:59pm tonight – Thursday 27 May 2021, we are required to restrict visitors to our facility. This restriction will be in place until further notice.
This means we are closed to all visitors, and our residents are restricted from leaving the facility for outings, except if it’s for an exceptional reason. The restrictions exclude essential healthcare appointments, emergencies and end-of-life situations. If a resident does need to leave the facility, they must wear a mask.
In the event of special circumstances, we can make arrangements for a visit on a case-by-case basis. To discuss this option, please contact:
- Tracey Shirreff, Director of Clinical Services – 5366 7922 or email@example.com
- Sue Chapple and Jane Mullane, Nurse Unit Managers – 5366 7958 or firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
- Nurse in Charge via 5368 1100
Note, the following criteria will apply:
- Visitors approved for access due to special circumstances must be cleared by a screening process
- You will be required to wear full personal protective equipment (PPE), including a gown, mask and gloves. These will be supplied
- A maximum of two people are allowed to visit at any one time
- No children under the age of 16 are allowed to visit. Visits can be made under exceptional circumstances only
- Ensure visits are away from communal areas to avoid risk of potential virus spread
- Family gatherings are prohibited
These latest visitor restrictions will help reduce the risk of any community transmission of COVID-19 to our residents and staff, and we encourage family members and loved ones to look to alternative forms of communication, such as phone, Zoom/Skype or FaceTime. It is important at this time for all of us to stay as connected as possible to our loved ones and the outside world. See ‘Keeping in touch – a reminder’ on the following page.
It is still vital for everyone to follow the latest advice from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus) to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
REMEMBER – wash your hands, practise social distancing, and cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your arm.
Visit this DHHS webpage for the latest COVID-19 case locations and outbreaks: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites
If you have visited any of the locations listed during the date and time indicated, you must get tested immediately and quarantine for 14 days from the exposure.
Thank you for your patience and for working together with us to keep BDHC COVID-free.
Chief Executive Officer (Interim)
Keeping in touch – a reminder
An important part of anyone’s wellbeing is the ability to stay connected with loved ones and the outside world. Outlined below are the various telephone and video options we have available – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to use these options. We’re more than happy to help.
The best time to call or Skype is between 10am and 6pm, but please be aware of meal times (lunch is at 12 noon, dinner is at 5pm).
Please be reassured that you can still contact your loved ones. Please do phone them. We have a mobile phone dedicated to this purpose (for Hostel residents only). If you would like to use the phone, please ask a staff member. If a loved one needs to reach one of our residents in this way, please call 0447 579 334.
Or, if you have an electronic device that enables video calling capabilities, please keep in touch through your device. If one of our staff members is required to assist you with a video call, we’re only too happy to help. Please contact us to coordinate this.
If you do not have your own electronic device, we have a BDHC computer with Skype capabilities set up in the Hostel. Again, our staff members can assist you to make video calls, including coordinating a specific day and time.
Memory Support Unit
The MSU has its own dedicated mobile number and landline – call 5368 1100 and follow the prompts to be connected to the RN in charge and they will put you through.
There is also a roving BDHC iPad that we can use for video calls in MSU.
Calls for people in Acute can be transferred to their rooms, which have a dedicated landline.