COVID-19 update #15

Australia's symbol for mental health awareness
The Flanel Flower – Australia’s symbol for mental health awareness.

This update again reminds staff, friends and family to stay at home if they are unwell. As well as the importance of screening staff and visitors entering aged care facilities, I wanted to add the need to look after our mental health & wellbeing during these difficult times. We’ll finish up this update with a link to some useful information.

Reminder – Stay at Home if You Are Unwell
Even if you are only mildly unwell… It is the best thing we can do for the vulnerable people we care for. And if you have any symptoms at all of COVID-19, get tested and self-isolate until you get your negative result.

Please check this link to help identify the symptoms.

Mental Health
We are in uncharted territory, the coronavirus outbreak and practising self-isolation can be stressful and impact our mental health and wellbeing. It is natural to feel a range of emotions, such as stress, worry, anxiety, boredom, or low mood. Many people feel distressed by the constant news and overwhelming amount of information about the situation. 
Here are some steps to maintaining good mental health as per the Mental Health Foundation Australia:

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

  • Set up a daily routine. Plan activities that are fun (such as reading, watching movies, hobbies) and that give you a sense of achievement (such as cleaning, completing work tasks, learning a new skill).
  • Stay active—create an exercise routine that can be completed at home, to maintain physical fitness and reduce stress.
  • Eat well—plan and eat a variety of nutritious meals.
  • Stay connected with friends and family via phone, chat, email, or video conferencing

Stay informed

  • Getting information from trusted source can help you determine reasonable precautions to take to maintain your health. E.g. health.gov.au or nsw.gov.au

Stay positive

  • This is unpleasant, but it will pass.
  • What you say to yourself is important. Listen to the things you are saying to yourself and change negative comments to be more helpful and realistic.

Access support

  • if you’re feeling overwhelmed, access support, via your local community, area health service, or from your local GP.

On a final note
The national palliative care week is from the 24th May to 30th May. Check out the Palliative Care Website – it is great resource for all of us in the understanding of advance care planning and the palliative processes.

Take Care,
Sophia Markwell
General Manager