Stay Safe at Christmas II

Hello to you all.

This will be my last update for the year (hopefully!). With Christmas almost upon us, I urge you all to remain vigilant regarding the COVID situation. If you are taking residents out for Christmas, please ensure COVID safe precautions are in place (masks to be worn, no unvaccinated guests, functions to be preferably held outside, maintain social distancing etc).

We have previously communicated that home Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) are now acceptable, given the difficulties in obtaining a PCR test. A PCR test is still the preference but we understand the problems with clinics being overrun due to the Christmas season. Any resident returning from an outing will be tested on site. Please note that home rapid antigen tests are not to be conducted on the ATV site.

2021 has been a year of many challenges, not least the COVID situation, which of course we all thought could not get any worse. We finish the year with the hope that 2022 will be better for us all. I take this opportunity to give grateful thanks to all the staff and management team of ATV. My role as Acting General Manager has certainly been a rollercoaster but the support from the team has been amazing. Whichever way you choose to spend the festive season, the Board, Management, and Staff of ATV wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and bright 2022. Thank you again.

Margaret Russell
Acting General Manager

Stay Safe at Christmas

Hello to you all,

The staff who have been isolating continue to test negative which is very good news indeed. If they still test negative on Thursday they can return to work from Sunday 19th December. Consequently, the decision has been made to postpone the Resident Christmas Party to Thursday 23rd December. This will enable the full kitchen team to be on deck and ready to create a wonderful Christmas lunch for everyone. Thank you for your understanding.

NSW Health has sent out an advice for arrangements over the Christmas period. Unfortunately, they have not relaxed any of the current restrictions so visiting numbers remain the same. Masks are also still a requirement for staff and visitors within the Village. The restrictions also mean that, sadly, we will be unable to accommodate visitors at the Resident Christmas Party. We do apologise that you won’t be able to attend.

In relation to resident outings over Christmas, the same framework will apply. We would ask all families who are considering taking residents to family functions, that they ensure COVID safe practices are in place – ie. Social distancing, no unvaccinated people etc. We would also strongly suggest that all family members at a function obtain a test prior to the function. Testing will be undertaken for any resident returning from a family gathering.

Lastly, thank you everyone for your patience and understanding over what has been a very challenging year. As the Acting General Manager, I have been heartened to receive many messages of support and encouragement.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from the Board, Management and Staff of Abel Tasman Village.

Margaret Russell,
Acting General MAnager

Visiting and Outings

Hello to you all,

Well, it’s been over a week since we opened up and it’s been great to see visitors coming through the gates to visit their loved ones. Just a reminder of the requirements for visiting – you must have a booking, have been double vaccinated (with the 2nd dose being administered a minimum of 14 days prior), and provide a negative COVID result on entry (testing must be done maximum 72 hours before visiting). Please note that you will receive a confirming email of your booking day and time. If you need to change your appointment you can do so through that email. Please schedule your appointments carefully to avoid last minute changes and cancellations.

We have had a few questions regarding residents attending family gatherings. The NSW Health directions on this are quite clear. There are specific requirements for unvaccinated residents leaving the facility (please speak with the Care Manager or myself for further information).

Vaccinated residents are permitted to leave the facility and attend family gatherings but must abide by the current Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 (the Order). Abel Tasman Village has developed a framework in relation to the requirements for residents attending outside events.

Residents in areas that are not under stay at home orders, are permitted to leave Abel Tasman Village to attend external appointments and small family gatherings but must abide by the Public Health Orders.

It is strongly recommended that all people attending any gathering are fully vaccinated.
You must ensure no one at the event:

  • has, in the past 14 days, been to any NSW, Interstate or New Zealand locations at the dates and times listed in the latest COVID-19 case locations
  • have been in a stay at home area in the last 14 days
  • has been a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • lives in a household with a person who is currently self-isolating
  • is waiting for a COVID-19 test result.

Residents must not go into an area that is currently under a stay at home order.

Residents must wear masks on the outing and practice hand hygiene and social distancing.

All residents (or their representatives) going on social leave or external appointments must advise Abel Tasman Village in plenty of time. There will be a system available from early next week for family members to communicate outings information. Residents may be subject to monitoring, testing or quarantine upon return to the Village depending upon the length of absence and area visited.

If you are visiting a venue that requires evidence of COVID-19 vaccination, you will need to organise this for your loved one. We are unable to access residents’ Medicare records to produce this for you.

We ask you to be very mindful when attending gatherings with residents. Families and staff have all worked very hard over the last 18 months to limit our residents’ and staff exposure to COVID-19. For the next few weeks there will be a lot of uncertainty with case numbers, lockdown requirements in aged care and hospital capacity. So, now the onus is on you to do the right thing when arranging gatherings with residents. For all our residents’ and staff safety, we ask you to be very cautious.

In relation to PCR COVID 19 testing, Abel Tasman Village will be continuing to require visitors to provide a negative COVID result upon entry to the Village. This requirement is also still in place for staff and contractors. This may be reviewed at some time in the future.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding regarding the visiting protocols. We have been heartened by some of the lovely comments and encouragement we have received.

Regards

Margaret Russell
General Manager

October Freedom (kind of)

We’re all looking forward to meeting old and new friends, as the end of the Sydney lock-down is in sight. To celebrate we’re having a Barbie, as you can see in this month’s ATV newsletter!

In other news, the Rembrandt Club is also keen to resume its activities, as you can read in its September newsletter.

We’re currently finalising the details for visiting the Village and will update you as soon as the NSW government and practicalities allow…

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

Australia Day Update

We are happy to announce that NSW Health has advised that we are now able to offer residents an outing in the ATV bus. Obviously, there need to be a number of COVID safeguards in place which we will comply with. We are in the process of formulating a COVID safe plan for these outings to take place. Please note that numbers will be limited for these trips and may need to be allocated in terms of care needs.

There are still some restrictions and exclusions for visiting. Please refer to the suburb listing on our booking page. If you have visited any of these locations unfortunately you will be excluded from visiting. Of course, we have alternative methods for you to keep in contact with your loved one. There are also exemptions on compassionate grounds or for essential care purposes. Visiting days are detailed here.

Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding. Can I wish you all a very happy and safe Australia Day. This year more than ever we should be grateful to be living in such a great country!

Sophia Markwell,
General Manager