COVID-19 update #13

I would like to again thank you for all your co-operation in providing us with a copy of your flu vaccine certificate. I apologise for any inconvenience caused in the last week and again thank you going forward .

While the current trends in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic are broadly reassuring across Australia, there are still very serious risks for our older Australians. This means we must not relax our current vigilance and become complacent. 

This is particularly true when it comes to the current restrictions relating to visitors to aged care facilities. We are following advice from the Chief Clinical Advisor who recently wrote to providers of residential aged care services recommending the screening for all staff and visitors on entry to the facility. This advice centres on the ongoing safety and wellbeing of our residents at the Abel Tasman Village.

A draft version of the Aged Care Visitor Access code was released by COTA (Council of the Aging) and will by finalised by the 11th May 2020. This document is to ensure a nationally consistent visitation policy to residential aged care homes during the COVID-19 crisis and has been released by aged care peaks bodies and consumer advocacy organisations for consultation with the public.

Myself and Harry Wu (Clinical Manager) have reviewed this document and are happy to confirm that we have been putting measures in place as per the Government’s recommendations since March 2020 to ensure that we find the right balance between protecting our residents from COVID-19 and providing them with vital social connections and support from loved ones.

As a result of the Aged Care Visitor Access Code review, inclusive of the screening process on arrival, we will be checking your temperature prior to you entering the facility. A quick note regarding the flu vaccine requirements: I understand that some people may have a medical condition that may prevent them from receiving a shot. Unfortunately, unless you have Guilla-Barre syndrome or an auto-immune syndrome documented, in addition, we will require a medical certificate from your GP or a specialist to indicate that you have fatal adverse effect if you were to receive the flu vaccine. We appreciate your understanding in helping us keep our residents and staff as safe and health.

And of course Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers!

Sophia Markwell,
General Manager.

COVID-19 update # 12

In the past week, there has been some positive news about COVID-19 around the state, e.g. the curve continues to flatten, we’re seeing increased total test numbers with low percentage of confirmed cases and relaxation of some restrictions to start this weekend.

Here are some updates about Abel Tasman Village. First things first, we would like to sincerely thank all of you for the enormous support and patience in helping us deal with COVID-19 throughout this difficult time. We have encouraged staff to download the COVIDSafe App, as this will help ATV in the early detection and prevention of the COVID-19.

As the relaxation of current restrictions starts this weekend, Abel Tasman would like to slowly resume or increase some of the allied health services. In the middle of May, Hearing Australia will visit ATV and give all their clients’ hearing aids a service, both maintain and repair, on site. However, hearing tests will not be conducted during this visit.

Following the success of our April events, such as outdoor concert, ANZAC day memorial, ANZAC biscuit cooking demonstration and Information Cultural exchange (ICE) programme and our residents via ZOOM, we would like to continue keeping our ATV residents active and enjoying their life by hosting more stimulating events in the coming month.

In meeting the Australian legislation, we are pleased to inform that all our staff at Abel Tasman Village have a 100% influenza vaccination rate. We would like to once again kindly remind you that you will be asked by the RN on duty to present your flu shot certificate before you visit your loved ones. In additional to last week’s update COVID-19 #11, you can also send your flu shot certificate to clinical manager phone 0432 828 981

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

Newsletter & COVID-19 Update

It’s April and time for our regular monthly newsletter. Download it here while you read Glenn’s update below…

Dear Residents, consumers, families, friends and staff 

Following our Monday Advice No.6, the situation appears to be now falling into a period of relative calm. There are no new restrictions announced however the NSW Government through the Police Commissioner has indicated that the restrictions that are in place will remain so for a period of 90 days.  I am hopeful that the current strategies will be enough to avoid going into lockdown because, as you appreciate this will place an enormous pressure on residents, relatives and staff.  As you can see by the attached monthly newsletter, we are taking proactive steps to ensure the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of residents is being addressed.  Some key strategies are maintenance of group activities taking into account restrictions on the number of participants, social distancing rules, the maintenance of our onsite physiotherapy service, resumption of Rosa’s hairdressing services, Katja and Janina’s skype/zoom family and spiritual sessions alongside the normal good cheer and interactions from our staff.

Our home care coordinators are now working from home.  This hasn’t changed their access to consumers and I know that they are spending a lot of time contacting consumers to determine their care requirements and to support them during this difficult time.  We also wish to acknowledge the support provided to our staff who are working flexibly to ensure the continuation of our services.  We are maintaining a full service in Administration however will be employing flexible working arrangements where possible.  If you need to contact either Virginia (admin@abeltasman.com.au) or Ishmam (accounts@abeltasman.com.au) you can email to arrange an appointment time.  There will be no interruption to normal services.

Knowing that we are potentially looking at a long period of enforced isolation I feel we are in a good place to manage this as well as having all the required PPE and infection control resources due to good planning from the team.  Now more than ever, we have to ensure we support each other so please take care of yourself and if you are finding it difficult to deal with the restrictions, please contact either myself, Sophia or the RN’s – we will do everything possible to support you.  As always, you can email me at gen.mgr@abeltasman.com.au or call during business hours on 9645 3388.

Glenn Kirkman
General Manager

December Newsletter

White RoseDownload the Christmas Edition December Newsletter.
Check out the busy schedule in the rush toward the new year. In particular, don’t miss our annual Memorial Service on 15th to remember friends and family, along with the Samoan Special Choir.

And be sure to drop around for our Meet & Greet with staff, fellow relatives and friends at 6.00 pm on 5th December at the Village. Find out what’s going on at the village and catch up with old and new friends over a drink and nibble. Register on our facebook page or just hit reply to this email!