17th September – Lockdown update

Hello to everyone from all of us at ATV,

Great to get some warmer weather to enjoy being outside, even though we are in lockdown.

Just an update for you all regarding the delivery driver incident. Our staff member has continued to test negative and has now passed the 14 days isolation required. The staff member will return to work next week and will continue to be tested regularly as per our current protocols.

I do need to advise that a nursing home staff member has tested positive to COVID 19. However, we have had confirmation from the Public Health Unit that this person was not infectious at the time they worked in the facility and ATV is therefore in the clear. The staff member has been in isolation since 7th September and tested negative up until yesterday, 16th September, when she tested positive. We are thankful that our screening processes and COVID management plans are robust and are protecting our residents.

I am available to discuss anything you are concerned about so please do not hesitate to contact me. Please be assured we continue to place the health and safety of our residents as our number one priority.

Margaret Russell
General Manager

10th September – Lockdown update

Hello to you all.

Just a quick update on the situation I reported to you earlier this week, where a staff member was exposed to a delivery driver who subsequently tested positive to COVID 19. Our staff member continues to test negative, which is very good news. The isolation period will finish mid next week. This incident highlights just how easy it can be to be exposed to the virus, even when doing the most simple activities. We are truly thankful that on this occasion we seem to be in the clear. However, we must remain vigilant and keep to our robust processes which are serving us well.

The announcement by the Premier yesterday gives us some hope of considering arrangements for visiting once vaccination rates hit a certain level. The management team is working on a plan regarding a visiting schedule for when we hit the magic number. 

I can now report that 100% of staff have received a vaccination (95% have been fully vaccinated). This is a great result and well ahead of the deadline for residential aged care workers of 17th September. We must give a huge vote of thanks to the staff for rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated to not only protect themselves, but also their community and of course our precious residents.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like any further information or just to have a chat.
Stay safe everyone.

Best wishes,

Margaret Russell
General Manager

7th September – Lockdown update

Hello to you all.

In the interest of transparency, I wanted to let you know the following:

We have been advised that a delivery driver to ATV on Monday 30th August has tested positive to COVID 19. The delivery was to the kitchen very early in the morning. ATV has COVID safe delivery protocols in place and we do not anticipate any issue.

However, a staff member in the kitchen has been identified as a close contact and is now in isolation. Please note that the staff member has tested negative on all occasions and we will continue to follow the NSW Health advice.

If there is anything further for us to let you know we will immediately be in contact. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Margaret Russell,
General Manager

3 September – Lockdown update

Hello to everyone

The warmer weather has brought some cheer to our residents, but of course the real celebration of opening for visiting seems to be out of our reach at the moment. The NSW Health advice still directs us to exclude visitors at this time. Please note that Abel Tasman Village is involved in discussions with our peak body and Government authorities weekly and as soon as we have any update we will communicate it immediately. Our residents are managing well and keeping busy with activities. If any resident shows any signs of emotional stress or anxiety we will of course contact family.

NSW Health has imposed a new public health order which requires all authorised workers who live in LGAs of concern to have received a first dose of vaccine by Monday 6th September. Our rate of immunisation for our staff is excellent and we will be totally compliant with this new requirement.

In anticipation of opening up for visiting, it would be useful for us to have a record of your vaccination status. If you have been vaccinated, please send through to us your immunization record or Digital COVID certificate (please send to the office on office.mgr@abeltasman.com.au).

You may have read in the most recent newsletter that Abel Tasman Village has achieved an A rating in the Food Authority Audit. Congratulations to Mark and his team on this great result.

As some of you may know, Janina recently retired. A great loss to ATV and when lockdown is over we will be inviting her back for a formal farewell. We have a new lifestyle officer commencing in mid October. An exciting addition to the team!

A number of families currently use the alternative methods of communication we have available. Please contact us if we can further assist you in this regard.

We hope you are all staying well and safe in these difficult times. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns.

Margaret Russell,
General Manager

13 August – Update

Hello to everyone,

I hope you are all staying safe and well. Of course, the 11am briefing today did not bring us the miracle we are all hoping for. Given our location in Chester Hill, I’m sure you can appreciate that we are right in the middle of the COVID hotstpot of Canterbury-Bankstown. We absolutely acknowledge the toll that the current restrictions are having on family members. I can reassure you that if we notice your loved one showing any signs of emotional distress, we will be contacting you immediately.

Unfortunately, the restrictions on visiting will need to be in place for some time longer. I am giving you a link to the NSW Health advice to residential aged care facilities:  https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/racf-latest-advice.aspx.
The situation is changing every day and we will not stay closed for visiting for any moment longer than we are directed to. Please note in the advice the link to the Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes During COVID 19. I can also give you the number for the Seniors Rights Service 1800 700 600. If you feel that you would like to talk to them to advocate on your behalf, please feel free to call them. They are very helpful.

In the meantime, I can report that our vaccination rate is excellent – well over 93% for staff and residents. At the current time, there are 13 nursing homes with COVID outbreaks. Our hearts go out to the residents and staff of those homes. It is numbers like this that reinforce the difficult decisions we have to make in relation to visitation. The last thing we want is a COVID case at ATV.

Can I pass on our thanks to those families who have sent messages of support to us during this difficult time. The staff, management and Board of ATV are very appreciative.

Please take care of yourselves. We here at ATV are keeping a smile on our faces and hoping we can see you all again soon.

Margaret Russell,
General Manager

August 2021 Newsletter

Sydney’s disruptive lock-down? Our residents are leading a pretty close to normal life. They follow the Olympic games and make up their own non-olympic games. Lots of excellent photos in our facebook feed and in the monthly newsletter, which you can download now.

And a quick reminder about Employee Day this week. Send a message to our staff. Encouragement goes a long way during this strange and unpredictable time.

Employee Day

Hello everyone.
I hope you are all staying safe during this very challenging time, particularly those who live in the affected local government areas. The situation with the Sydney outbreak is alarming. However, be assured ATV is taking all the precautions to ensure our residents are safe and well.

Our staff are undertaking 3 day testing as required and we have not seen any positive cases. I can also report that our staff vaccination rate is very high, sitting at approximately 92% which is a fabulous result and shows our staff’s commitment to keep not only themselves, but all their contacts safe. I cannot be more proud of them all.

The individual people who make up our team of staff all have a valuable and essential role to play in caring for all our residents. We will be celebrating Aged Care Employee Day on Friday 6th August 2021 and it is a time to recognise all our staff for the difference they make to our residents, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aged Care Employee Day puts these everyday heroes in the spotlight, celebrates them, and highlights the many different roles of those involved in the aged care journey. We are asking residents to write messages to staff and would like to give families the opportunity to do so too.

Please download the postcard below for you to write a personal message to staff which we will display in our staff room. Please send it with your message to info@abeltasman.org.au by  Wednesday 4th August. We hope to get as many messages as possible to show our staff how much we appreciate their role in caring for our residents.

Thank you for your ongoing support and patience. We hope that we will be open for visiting as soon as it is safe to do so.

Stay safe,

Margaret Russell
General Manager

Download the postcard: Word format or PDF

17 July – Lockdown update

Hello to you all,

I hope you are staying safe and well during the lockdown. I’m sure most of you would have been watching the Premier’s press conference this morning and will now know that further dramatic restrictions are coming in to place from midnight tonight.

Given the prevalence of numbers of infections in our area of SW Sydney, I’m sure you will all be supportive of ATV taking whatever action it needs to protect our residents.  In that light, the management team has decided that we need to limit items being dropped off at ATV by resident family members.

From Monday 19th July, only essential items will be allowed to be dropped off for residents. This will mean that dropping off anything that can be provided by ATV will not be permitted. There will also be a limitation of a drop off once per week and only Monday to Friday during office hours. Items will need to be dropped off at the Admin office and they will then be fully sanitized prior to giving to residents. Essential items do not include biscuits, chocolate, takeaway food etc. These types of items will not be permitted to be left for residents.

Please note we have made this decision to also ensure family members are not placing themselves at risk of breaching the current restrictions (particularly those in relation to movement between the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool Local Government Areas). If you are in any doubt as to whether an item is allowed to be dropped off please contact our office for further information.

Thank you again for your support and collaboration in keeping our residents safe. Also be assured that we are doing our best to keep residents motivated in a challenging environment, as per our earlier post today.

Margaret Russell,
General Manager

14 July – Lockdown update

Dear ATV friends and relatives,

I wanted to let you know that the Abel Tasman Village staff have been very responsive in their uptake of the COVID vaccine. We were fortunate to be approached by the Department of Health to host a vaccination hub, which was held here at ATV for residents and staff yesterday (Tuesday 13th).

The staff came out in droves and we are happy to let you know that as at today’s date, we have 87% of our staff in residential care and 73% of staff in homecare vaccinated (either 1 or 2 doses). There are also a number of staff who already had appointments booked for a vaccination, so we are expecting that percentage to rise. We can also report that 96% of residents have been vaccinated (either 1 or 2 doses). This is a tremendous effort in the current climate and all ATV staff and residents should be congratulated.

Unfortunately, the NSW Government has extended the lockdown for another 2 weeks to 30th July. This will mean, unfortunately, that ATV will have to exclude visitors until the COVID numbers look more positive. We thank you for your patience and support in what is such a challenging time for us all.

Margaret Russell,
General Manager