COVID-19 update #15

Australia's symbol for mental health awareness
The Flanel Flower – Australia’s symbol for mental health awareness.

This update again reminds staff, friends and family to stay at home if they are unwell. As well as the importance of screening staff and visitors entering aged care facilities, I wanted to add the need to look after our mental health & wellbeing during these difficult times. We’ll finish up this update with a link to some useful information.

Reminder – Stay at Home if You Are Unwell
Even if you are only mildly unwell… It is the best thing we can do for the vulnerable people we care for. And if you have any symptoms at all of COVID-19, get tested and self-isolate until you get your negative result.

Please check this link to help identify the symptoms.

Mental Health
We are in uncharted territory, the coronavirus outbreak and practising self-isolation can be stressful and impact our mental health and wellbeing. It is natural to feel a range of emotions, such as stress, worry, anxiety, boredom, or low mood. Many people feel distressed by the constant news and overwhelming amount of information about the situation. 
Here are some steps to maintaining good mental health as per the Mental Health Foundation Australia:

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

  • Set up a daily routine. Plan activities that are fun (such as reading, watching movies, hobbies) and that give you a sense of achievement (such as cleaning, completing work tasks, learning a new skill).
  • Stay active—create an exercise routine that can be completed at home, to maintain physical fitness and reduce stress.
  • Eat well—plan and eat a variety of nutritious meals.
  • Stay connected with friends and family via phone, chat, email, or video conferencing

Stay informed

  • Getting information from trusted source can help you determine reasonable precautions to take to maintain your health. E.g. health.gov.au or nsw.gov.au

Stay positive

  • This is unpleasant, but it will pass.
  • What you say to yourself is important. Listen to the things you are saying to yourself and change negative comments to be more helpful and realistic.

Access support

  • if you’re feeling overwhelmed, access support, via your local community, area health service, or from your local GP.

On a final note
The national palliative care week is from the 24th May to 30th May. Check out the Palliative Care Website – it is great resource for all of us in the understanding of advance care planning and the palliative processes.

Take Care,
Sophia Markwell
General Manager

COVID-19 update #14

I hope everyone is staying safe and well, and the downward trend in COVID-19 related cases continues in Australia. Thank you again for your ongoing assistance in helping us achieve this.

As mentioned in last week’s update, the “Industry Code for visiting residential Aged Care homes during COVID-19” has been released by 13 Aged Care Peak Bodies and consumer advocacy organisations on the 11th May 2020. The Code creates a nationally consistent approach that ensures residents can receive visitors while minimising the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.

View / download Industry Code

We have had a high compliance rate by our visitors, staff and approved contractors. Again, thank you all. We will be extending our current screening process to all visitors to include temperature checks from the Registered Nurse on arrival from Monday 18th May 2020. They will meet you at the front gate on arrival to check the following:

  • Temperature reading of all visitors and contractors
  •  Confirmation of flu vaccination certificate
  • Declaration of health on day of visit.

As you may be aware, NSW government will be continuing to ease COVID-19 restrictions in sections of the community from this Friday 15h May. This is then a particularly important time for us all to continue to be vigilant regarding our residents’ health and wellbeing at the Abel Tasman Village. As we mix with more people in the general community, we can in turn put our vulnerable residents at risk.

Please ensure you continue to strictly adhere to all social distancing, hand-washing and sanitization guidelines set by NSW Government.
Stay healthy and well.

Sophia Markwell
General Manager

COVID-19 update #13

I would like to again thank you for all your co-operation in providing us with a copy of your flu vaccine certificate. I apologise for any inconvenience caused in the last week and again thank you going forward .

While the current trends in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic are broadly reassuring across Australia, there are still very serious risks for our older Australians. This means we must not relax our current vigilance and become complacent. 

This is particularly true when it comes to the current restrictions relating to visitors to aged care facilities. We are following advice from the Chief Clinical Advisor who recently wrote to providers of residential aged care services recommending the screening for all staff and visitors on entry to the facility. This advice centres on the ongoing safety and wellbeing of our residents at the Abel Tasman Village.

A draft version of the Aged Care Visitor Access code was released by COTA (Council of the Aging) and will by finalised by the 11th May 2020. This document is to ensure a nationally consistent visitation policy to residential aged care homes during the COVID-19 crisis and has been released by aged care peaks bodies and consumer advocacy organisations for consultation with the public.

Myself and Harry Wu (Clinical Manager) have reviewed this document and are happy to confirm that we have been putting measures in place as per the Government’s recommendations since March 2020 to ensure that we find the right balance between protecting our residents from COVID-19 and providing them with vital social connections and support from loved ones.

As a result of the Aged Care Visitor Access Code review, inclusive of the screening process on arrival, we will be checking your temperature prior to you entering the facility. A quick note regarding the flu vaccine requirements: I understand that some people may have a medical condition that may prevent them from receiving a shot. Unfortunately, unless you have Guilla-Barre syndrome or an auto-immune syndrome documented, in addition, we will require a medical certificate from your GP or a specialist to indicate that you have fatal adverse effect if you were to receive the flu vaccine. We appreciate your understanding in helping us keep our residents and staff as safe and health.

And of course Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers!

Sophia Markwell,
General Manager.

COVID-19 update # 12

In the past week, there has been some positive news about COVID-19 around the state, e.g. the curve continues to flatten, we’re seeing increased total test numbers with low percentage of confirmed cases and relaxation of some restrictions to start this weekend.

Here are some updates about Abel Tasman Village. First things first, we would like to sincerely thank all of you for the enormous support and patience in helping us deal with COVID-19 throughout this difficult time. We have encouraged staff to download the COVIDSafe App, as this will help ATV in the early detection and prevention of the COVID-19.

As the relaxation of current restrictions starts this weekend, Abel Tasman would like to slowly resume or increase some of the allied health services. In the middle of May, Hearing Australia will visit ATV and give all their clients’ hearing aids a service, both maintain and repair, on site. However, hearing tests will not be conducted during this visit.

Following the success of our April events, such as outdoor concert, ANZAC day memorial, ANZAC biscuit cooking demonstration and Information Cultural exchange (ICE) programme and our residents via ZOOM, we would like to continue keeping our ATV residents active and enjoying their life by hosting more stimulating events in the coming month.

In meeting the Australian legislation, we are pleased to inform that all our staff at Abel Tasman Village have a 100% influenza vaccination rate. We would like to once again kindly remind you that you will be asked by the RN on duty to present your flu shot certificate before you visit your loved ones. In additional to last week’s update COVID-19 #11, you can also send your flu shot certificate to clinical manager phone 0432 828 981

Sophia Markwell,
General Manager

25 Years Young

morning tea

A new Abel Tasman Village website on the way!

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Abel Tasman Village, we’ve started work on a new website. The site will incorporate a rich collection of photographs taken by photographer Gerrit Fokkema. But we’re not just adding new photos to the website. We’re adding this blog with regular updates from the Village and a repository /directory of useful forms for residents and their family.

Anyway… Welcome!