Settling into a routine

I’ve been heartened by the support which we’ve received over the past week from friends and relatives of our Abel Tasman residents. It makes a difference! And of course, especially today when we’re celebrating Aged Care Employee Day!

Unfortunately, our lockdown continues and will again be reviewed in one week’s time, on 14th August. While staff have settled in their COVID routines of temperature testing and masks, we’re very much aware of the missing link for many in our care: regular communication.

To help solve this, from this Monday ( 9th August ), friends and relatives can book a call with residents at Abel Tasman village. Whether it’s a simple phonecall or a connection via WhatsApp, FaceTime or Facebook Messenger. One of our staff will be ready to facilitate the call at the appointed time.

You can book calls online here:  ( the “call a resident” link is also on the News page of our website )

I appreciate that, for many of us, this is an anxious time. Rest assured that we understand and are doing our very best for those in our care, as well as their friends and relatives.

Regards,

Sophia Markwell
General Manager

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…

GM update: Food Safety Audit

On behalf of the Board, the management team, staff and residents of ATV, I am very proud to announce that we received an rating of “A” for our Food Safety audit yesterday evening.
Congratulations to Mark and his catering team for the great effort. Im sure you are all relieved and proud when you heard the news yesterday evening.

I would like to give a special acknowledgment and thanks to George and Gus from our maintenance team with their contribution to assisting Mark to get the kitchen and the servery area in the main kitchen, Camellia and Link building ready for the food audit.
Also, I want to extend that acknowledgment and thank Harry (CCM), Jeremy (SSM) and Dave (Kitchen Hand), who assisted myself and Mark with the final deep clean of the main kitchen over the past few days. The kitchen sparkled after all that hard work. 

Finally, to all the catering team, you all worked really to ensure the day went smoothly. You were observed to be calm and relax, which was a good sign of knowing that you were confident and competent in what you do in the kitchen.
It was a great team effort and I am very proud and honoured to be representing the Abel Tasman village as the General Manager. Well done team, looking forward to the next challenge.

Sophia Markwell
General Manager

July Newsletter

The month of July will see the return to the Village of some activities, which for the safety of our residents had been put on hold due to COVID-19. Working within the health guidelines, we will be slowly welcoming back entertainers and volunteers to Abel Tasman and July will also see the return of Church services.

Home Care recipients are also welcome to attend the Village. I was pleased to see Mrs Gloria Short at our hair salon last week for her appointment!

Read the whole newsletter, including the agenda and birthday reports here!

June Newsletter

Celebrations, Food Safety and COVID Protection, all in one picture.

Here is a copy of our June newsletter (download it here).
It incorporates Sophia’s weekly message, Home Care news , our activities programme and a look back to in pictures to last month’s activities.

May proved to be another busy month at Abel Tasman. Katja and her team have worked very hard in ensuring that recreational Activities continue to be carried out with the least amount of possible disruption.

Good to see news and photos from the team which provides our Home Care Program, including a couple of personal histories!

Sophia’s message in the newsletter covers recommendations regarding our food safety programme, particularly concerning “brought-in” food, as well as some important reminders regarding Village entry and exit. Please have read.

PS. Did you see the item on food tasting on our Facebook page? PDF here.

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