Carer Support Group

Dear Abel Tasman Friends,

I’m reaching out to inform you of a new initiative by the Swinburne Wellbeing Clinic for Older Adults: Our Carer Support Group.

This support group program is free and open to anyone who has family member or significant other living in residential aged care. Please see attached for a flyer.

We hope this service might be useful for people in your community.

A bit about us at the Swinburne Wellbeing Clinic for Older Adults:

We are Australia’s largest university based mental health service for older adults living in residential care. We have been operating for 11 years (since 2011) and provide free mental health services to older adults living in aged care, their families/significant others and their professional carers. We are based in Hawthorn in Victoria, but operate nationally. Currently we provide a range of services including face to face counselling, telehealth counselling, befriending and digital story services, education webinars and student placements as well as a range of group programs (reminiscence, life writing and carer support). Our website is here. We do not charge for any of our services and rely on philanthropic, research and industry grants. If we can be of service to your ageing community, please feel free to contact us.

Best regards,

Sofie Dunkerley
Swinburne University of Technology

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

Booster Shots Update: 25th November

Hello to you all.

This morning we received notification that the in-house booster shot clinic for residents and staff who were vaccinated over 6 months ago, will be held on Thursday 25th November. Please make sure you return the consent form (download it here) for your loved one as soon as possible to make sure we are ready for the vaccination team.

Unfortunately, family members of residents will not be vaccinated at the in-house clinic. Booster shots are available for family members through your GP or local pharmacy. If your 2nd shot of vaccine was over 6 months ago, please contact your GP or local pharmacy to obtain advice on receiving your booster immunisation.

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to assist you.

Kind Regards,
Margaret Russell

Booster Shots

Hello to you all.

We have had a few queries from family members regarding booster shots for our residents. Due to the age of residents, and because they were prioritised for early vaccination, many are now due for their booster dose. Residents who were vaccinated in our first vaccination clinic earlier in the year are now in the timeframe for a booster shot. We are waiting on advice from the provider of the in house clinic (which we anticipate shortly). In the meantime, it would be helpful for the consent forms for the shot to be completed and in place as we may not get lots of notice for the clinic. Please download a copy of the consent form and we request it be returned to us as soon as possible.

We would also suggest to family members who received their 2nd dose of vaccine over 6 months ago, to contact their GP or other provider to book in for their booster vaccination. It has been made very obvious that vaccination is the only way to combat COVID 19.

Thank you everyone for your patience and compliance over the last few weeks. We are hoping that, if numbers, continue to stabilise, we may be able to review some of our requirements in December. We are looking forward to having a joyous Christmas season with residents, staff and family members able to enjoy each other’s company.

Warm regards,
Margaret Russell

Visiting Abel Tasman – November 2021

Hello to you all.

The news on vaccination rates in NSW has been excellent. This has enabled the Chief Health Officer and NSW Health to make some changes to visiting requirements for aged care facilities.

From 1st November, visitation restrictions will change to allow 2 fully vaccinated people aged 12 years and over plus 2 children aged under 12 to visit a resident in a 24-hour period.  Where visits include a child under 12 it is strongly recommended, where possible:

  • the visit is in an outdoor area
  • the child should wear a mask
  • arrange Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT)  or a PCR test prior to a visit (if the child is unable to obtain a test result, you will need to book your visit as an outing and the visit will need to take place outside the Village)

Visits should not be in any inside communal areas. All visitors must wear a surgical mask while visiting indoors. 

Up to two unvaccinated people may visit a resident for an end of life visit. They must always wear a surgical mask and the visit must be solely inside the resident’s room. 

  • Fully vaccinated staff and visitors are not permitted to enter an aged care facility if they have returned from overseas in the last 7 days. They must have had a negative COVID-19 test taken on or after day 7 following their arrival.  Any other person who has returned from overseas is not permitted to enter an aged care facility until 14 days have passed since their arrival. 

From 1 November 2021, visitors must not visit an aged care facility if they:

  • are a fully vaccinated person who has been overseas in the last 7 days. Additionally, they must show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken on or after day 7 following their arrival. 
  • are any other person who has been overseas in the last 14 days. 

The booking page on our website and the check in QR code have both been amended in line with the new requirements.

Warm regards

Margaret Russell
General Manager

Resident Family Outings

Abel Tasman is happy to announce that in addition to opening up for visits to our residents recently, our system for residents attending small family gatherings and social outings is ready to go! We have added the link to our existing booking page here.

As per our last update there is a strong framework around social leave that will assist us to keep you and your loved ones safe. The booking system has the capacity for you to input important information about your gathering for us to assist you.

Please note:

Vaccinated residents in areas that are not under stay at home orders attending family gatherings must abide by the current Public Health (COVID-19 General) Order 2021 (the Order).

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 are advised to wear masks on the outing, 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. 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.

For all of our residents’ and staff safety, again, we ask you to be very cautious and assist is in this next step into further freedoms going forward. We are hoping that these structured arrangements will not have to last any longer than they need to.

We also wish you a wonderful, safe and happy time with your loved ones!


Margaret Russell
General Manager