Visitor Update

As COVID restrictions are being carefully relaxed, it is now possible to visit residents on selected days.

Next days available: Saturday 10th and Wednesday 14th October between 1.00 pm and 5.00pm.

To book: call 0401 472 926 between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm only on any day with your preferred time, alternatively send an SMS to this number. We will respond in a timely fashion to confirm or offer an alternative time.

Subject to NSW Health Dept advice, next week’s visiting will be on Sunday 18th and Thursday 22nd October.

August Newsletter

Starring in our August Newsletter for one last time is Virginia Mills. She has been with us for 25 years and we’re finally letting her go! Thank you, Virginia.

Download the August Newsletter, not only to read a message from our General Manager about the unfortunate, but necessary lockdown of our facility, but also about our Home Care efforts and activities which we’ve got scheduled, no matter what happens in the outside world! And read the letter from the Dutch Consul General…

Oh yes, and don’t forget to forward your “thank you” message to staff to
( business.mgr@abeltasman.com.au ), in time for this Friday’s Employee Day (see earlier post). We rely on Abel Tasman Village staff to look after our elderly relatives. Send them a message that we appreciate their efforts…

COVID-19 – the Long Weekend

I am pleased to say that it has been a very calm week this week. In this week’s edition, I would like to provide a quick reminder that this weekend falls on a long weekend and there will be limited staff on duty. We seek your patience and your understanding if the gate may not be answered as quickly as during a regular weekend.

In other news in the Aged Care sector, the Commission has seen a significant increase in complaints over recent months including complaints and concerns related to COVID-19 issues. Key issues raised associated with the COVID-19 pandemic include:

  • visitor restrictions, including where they exceed jurisdictional legal directions
  • concerns about preparedness and prevention
  • impact on the quality of care
  • concerns about flu vaccinations
  • concerns about social isolation
  • concerns about possible confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • impact on staff numbers and safety.

If you have any concerns or complaints regarding the restrictions or the access to ATV, please come and have a chat with Harry (Clinical Care Manager) or I during business hours. In our absence, or after hours, the Registered Nurse on Duty will be available to assist you.

If you have not seen the “industry code of visiting residential care home during COVID-19” please check out the item linked here.

To our Homecare clients, I understand that there are times when you may feel be lonely of you may need additional services or equipment that may assist you with your day to day task during this pandemic. Please make sure you reach out to your Homecare coordinators, Elizabett and Nina to discuss your needs and what assistance we can provide for you.

Have a happy Queen’s Birthday weekend!
Regards,
Sophia Markwell

General Manager

COVID-19 update # 11

The last few weeks have been a huge challenge for everyone, and the aged care sector has been right at the forefront of that challenge. Abel Tasman would like to thank you for your support and patience with helping us deal with COVID-19 so far. While it has been difficult and hasn’t always been perfect, the numbers show that Australia’s aged care sector has done a much better job than many other jurisdictions around the world.

However, we know that recent comments made by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy have created confusion and concern about visitation restrictions in many Residential Aged Care Homes across Australia. I would like to confirm that visiting hours remain from 1pm to 5pm daily, thus avoiding the lunch service and ensuring that we maintain social distancing to prevent unnecessary contact between residents and other visitors.

The Zoom sessions with Katja and Janina are working very well. If you would like to schedule in a session, please email them at activities@abeltasman.com.au. We are on track to re-commence our Activities programme with Information Cultural exchange (ICE) programme and our residents via ZOOM. We had our first successful trial session with one of our residents on Monday 20th April 2020, more details on our Facebook page.

We are continuing to review our processes and provide essential training regarding COVID-19, including the following:

  • maintaining infection control protocols
  • activating their facility’s COVID-19 emergency response plan
  • finalising arrangements for seasonal flu vaccinations
  • regularly communicating with aged care consumers and families.

A friendly reminder that all residential aged care staff and visitors should be vaccinated with the 2020 Flu Vaccine by 1 May 2020 as you will be asked by the RN on duty to present your certificate. As per last week’s update COVID-19 #10, please send your certificate to fluvax@abeltasman.org.au or alternately give a copy to the RN on duty.

Sophia Markwell,
Acting General Manager

COVID-19 update # 10

Following  last week’s update (Advice No.9), I am very pleased to advise that we continue to have a steady calm throughout the Village and with our Home Care clients.  Perhaps our biggest hurdle has been the acquisition of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  The team has managed to procure a new delivery of digital thermometers that will be issued to all Home Care staff as well as within the Village.  We had several deliveries of face masks and hand sanitiser which means we are very well placed to deal with any contingency.  We have a supply issue with gloves however we are utilising alternate supply chain sources so I do not anticipate any problems.

Our flu vaccination program is now back on track – all ATV residents have received their vaccinations and we have now secured vaccine for all staff and volunteers.  Anyone who requires assistance please contact Sophia or the RN on duty.  Our home care team will also speak to their clients to provide any assistance or support in obtaining their vaccinations.

During these past weeks,  the shopping service for our home care consumers has been adversely impacted with shortages in essential groceries. In consultation with consumers, service times were changed to 6:30 am, and we had a outstanding outcome with satisfied consumers. Our carers effectively adapted to this change with ease so many thanks to the care team to take this challenge head on.

We will soon require all visitors to have had a recent flu vaccination. You will be asked to produce a certificate when entering the village. Alternatively, you might like to place a certificate on file by emailing a copy to fluvax@abeltasman.org.au

I again want to pass on my thanks to our Activities team who have been working hard with the residents and external providers for a wide range of stimulating activities and contacting families through Zoom…well done.  Next week we will be starting a new initiative with our friends from Information and Cultural Exchange…more of this in next week’s update.  Until then, stay safe and the next scheduled update will be provided next Friday 24 April.  As always, you can email me at gen.mgr@abeltasman.com.au or call during business hours on 9645 3388.

Glenn Kirkman
General Manager

COVID-19 update # 9

Following  Monday’s update (Advice No.8), we are now well into our new routine and the restrictions that residents, families and staff are now working under appears to be working well. There has been a plateauing of COVID-19 numbers resulting in no further changes to the Government imposed restrictions.  This being the case we will now scale back our updates to a weekly update with review either at the end of the month or whenever there is any significant message/change to the situation.

The flu vaccination program is going well for residents, however we have a problem with getting the vaccine for staff due to a national shortage.  It would appear that aged care staff have not been afforded any priority and there is no indication when this will be resolved.  Sophia is continuing to chase up our pharmacy in the hope that we can get this done as a large collective.  In the meantime, I have instructed Home Care staff, as a matter of priority, to seek their vaccination visas via their local doctor/pharmacy.  Can I also strongly urge our home care consumers to do likewise as a matter of urgency. As a demonstration of commitment I was able to have my vaccination this morning…I hope you enjoy the photo!  If we are unable to source the vaccine by next week, I will instruct the ATV staff to similarly get this done via their local GP/pharmacy.

A vote of thanks to our Activities team who have been working hard with the residents and external providers for a wide range of stimulating activities and contacting families through Zoom… well done.

Wishing you all a safe, restful Easter and the next update will be provided next Friday 17 April.  As always, you can email me at gen.mgr@abeltasman.com.au or call during business hours on 9645 3388.
Glenn Kirkman
General Manager

COVID-19 update # 8

Dear Residents, consumers, families, friends and staff

Following last week’s update (Advice No.7), we continue to see a good level of compliance with our control strategies however staff report there was an increase in families wanting to go outside the timings or restrictions.  I need to reinforce that these restrictions have been imposed for the protection of all residents/consumers and it is essential that we follow them to avoid the need to put in place even more controls as sadly we have seen fatalities within aged care facilities. As with the initial advice provided, the Government has mandated that visits are limited to a maximum of two visitors per day for a maximum of two hours and that the visits are to take place in the person’s room or open space.  There are to be no visits done in communal areas.  Effective from tomorrow (Tuesday 07 April 2020) the hours of visits is to be adjusted to the hours of 1pm to 5pm daily thus avoiding the lunch service and ensuring that we maintain social distancing to prevent unnecessary contact between residents and other visitors.

The zoom video contact system has been tested and is now in place.  If you want to arrange for this service, you need to contact the activities staff to set it up and arrange a mutually agreeable time.  Contact details are:
Units 1A to 25 – Janina (mailto:janina@abeltasman.org.au)
Units 101 to 140 – Katja (mailto:katja@abeltasman.org.au)

Please send an email with your contact details to  activities@abeltasman.com.au and in the subject line indicate Zoom Contact for your relative and room number.  Either Katja or Janina will then communicate with you on getting this in place.  I am also pleased to advise that the flu vaccination program for residents has commenced.  We are still waiting on supplies to be provided for staff which we hope to commence prior to Easter.  Please keep following the Government updates on the virus and measures to keep safe. 

For your convenience, the following links may assist you:
Australian Government Department of Health – https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
NSW Health Department – https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission – https://www.agedcarequality.gov.au/covid-19-coronavirus-information

With Easter coming up this weekend, the next update will be provided this coming Thursday 09 April.  Thank you for all your support during this time.  As always, you can email me at gen.mgr@abeltasman.com.au or call during business hours on 9645 3388.

Glenn Kirkman
General Manager