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

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

What they’re doing…

With Sydney in lock-down because of the COVID outbreak, here is a peek at what our residents are doing… 

Well… actually, life is pretty normal in the ATV ‘bubble”. While staff wear masks and observe strict protocols, residents experience an environment that is more “normal” than might be expected. Katja Jeffries manages an Activities team which doesn’t just entertain, but provides company and encourages fitness routines.

While, traditionally, resident activities were just held in the Main Hall, now the coffee shop and the media room in the new wing provide additional venues to engage residents, and special sessions are held for residents in dementia care where appropriate.

And one-on-one counselling for individual residents who can’t participate in broader activities is provided by Effie Burgoyne. Yes, we are missing our trusty band of volunteers who supplement our regular staff of Katja, Janina, Nadia & Effie.. However, for a modest size facility like Abel Tasman Village, resident activities are remarkably well resourced.

You can follow Abel Tasman Village on Facebook to connect with activities (or regularly check the Abel Tasman Village social media page for non-Facebook fans).

And as  for our residents… they’re putting COVID aside and are getting behind the Olympics!

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

12 July – Lockdown update

Dear ATV friends and relatives,

The latest press conference, held by the Premier and the Chief Health Officer this morning has not brought good news. The number of people infectious in the community has risen and may rise again. Unfortunately, the majority of these are in the Fairfield and Canterbury-Bankstown local government areas. The Premier has been extremely clear in saying that people should not be leaving their homes.

Consequently, Abel Tasman Village will be remaining in full lockdown until NSW Health advises differently. The situation is reviewed daily by the management team, in consultation with the Board and our Infection Prevention Control Lead RN. I know that this will be distressing news for you, but we must remember that we have a duty of care to all 73 of our residents, our staff and the community in general. We do not take these decisions lightly, but the risk of COVID entering Abel Tasman Village dictates that we must follow the medical advice and NSW Health directions.

There are alternative methods of communication available as has been previously advised. We are currently reviewing this system, to ensure access to all family members. Please stay tuned for more information. Please take advantage of any of these options while visiting is not permitted. Residents are being kept busy with increased activities.

We hope to be able to bring better news in the days ahead and appreciate your support and cooperation.

Margaret Russell,
General Manager

Home Care Clients

Hello to all our Home Care clients.

I hope you are all ok and coping with the lockdown in Sydney. The situation appears to be getting worse, so I wanted to check in with you all.

Please make sure you are keeping to the restrictions. It is imperative that you stay in your home and only leave for absolutely essential reasons. Please also make sure you are wearing a mask if you do go out and we would also strongly recommend you wear a mask when an ATV care worker is in your home.

ATV encourages you to receive the COVID vaccine. Please make sure, if you haven’t already done so, that you talk through your options with your doctor. It is only when the majority of the population is vaccinated that we will be able to see a reduction in COVID infections.

If you require any extra support, please don’t hesitate to contact Elizabett who will be able to organise things for you. Please stay safe and keep to the stay at home orders.

Thank you.

Margaret Russell,
General Manager

Image: starline / Freepik

Image: starline / Freepik

Image: starline / Freepik

9 July – Lockdown update

Dear ATV friends and relatives,

Unfortunately the news this morning gives us real concern as our local area was mentioned in suburbs which have the COVID infection.

Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to go into full lockdown from 5pm Friday 9th July to 5pm Monday 12th July. This means NO person will be permitted through the front gates, unless their loved one is palliative. We have made this decision for a 72 hour period to assess the level of infection in our area.

We will revisit the situation on Monday and a further communication will be forthcoming. Can I please urge all family members and friends of ATV to maintain their compliance with the stay at home orders. I would also request that family members do not drop anything off at ATV for this period.

We will continue to provide limited slots for facilitated phone / video calls with residents. Please use our online booking system.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss the current situation.

Margaret Russell,
General Manager