Heading towards opening up

Stacey and Edith enjoying a walk in the ATV garden

As we head towards the end of September, our hopes are high that we will be able to welcome visitors to the Village soon. This has been a difficult period for friends and relatives, as well as the residents in our care. While the final decision is not in our hands, we now expect that we will be able to welcome visitors by early October, in time for the long weekend.

When we are ready to receive visitors, we will initially only be able to accommodate a maximum of two visitors at the same time. You’ll understand that we will require visitors to have masks and observe hygiene measures (yes, wash your hands!).

As most of our friends and relatives have found out, we post regular updates of goings on at the Village on our Facebook page. If you’re not already following us there, check out our Facebook feed when you get a chance.

Finally, should any urgent need arise, we can accommodate visitors by special request. Please contact me on the usual phone number.

Sincerely,

Sophia Markwell,
General Manager

Fathers Day

Daffodils for everyone…

Thank you to everyone for being so supportive and patient. The temporary ‘lock down’ will be reviewed next week.

The survey we put out last week has given us some valuable feedback. If you have not had a chance to complete it, it is still available, and we would really value your comments. Here is the Form.

We are currently in the process of switching over to the NBN network. The inevitable teething
problem with the roll out hopefully will not be too long. I would like to apologise in advance for the inconvenient caused.

Happy Fathers Day,

Sophia Markwell,
General Manager

Another week…

We’ll need to continue the lockdown for another week (also, see the advice from NSW Health below).

Meanwhile, we would appreciate your feedback on our communication and care for your loved ones during the pandemic. Please help us by filling out this short feedback form.

NSW Health advises:
Until further notice, any visitors to any NSW residential aged care facility who have been in the following areas in the previous 14 days should be excluded from the facility:

· Hornsby Shire (LGA)
· Hills District (LGA)
· Merrylands (suburb)
· Guildford (suburb)
· Canterbury-Bankstown (Bankstown part)
· Woollahra (LGA)
· eastern part of City of Sydney2 (refer to footnote)
· Parramatta (LGA)
· Fairfield (LGA)
· Liverpool (LGA)
· Campbelltown (LGA)

Or if you like, you can read it here.

Stay safe,

Sophia Markwell,
General Manager

Just in case…

Masks

It is very reassuring to see the number of COVID-19 transmission rate going in the downwards trend. Thank you again for your patience and your support to keep our residents and staff safe at the Abel Tasman Village. For the time being, we still need to continue our “lock-down”.

All of us are working hard to keep our residents safe. Nevertheless, should a positive case of COVID-19 occur at the Abel Tasman Village, the Australian Government announced these emergency leave provisions for residential aged care on 14 May 2020.

  • The new leave provision enable, for a specified time period and location, care residents to take emergency leave (non-hospital), rather than using their existing social leave entitlements.
  • Families will have the opportunity to take residents out of Abel Tasman Village on “Social Leave” for a period of time back to their family home if suitable.
  • Residents won’t be penalised or disadvantaged for moving out of the facility during crisis under emergency leave legislation amendments adopted by the Morrison Government.
  • Emergency leave is available from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020.
  • Services Australia (Medicare) deployed the payment system functionality for emergency leave on 27 June 2020. This included suspending the social leave count during the emergency leave period.

In other news, Abel Tasman Village will no longer be invoicing you for the hairdressing services for residents at the village. Rosa Iacono will be directly emailing you with an invoice. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact her directly on 0409 659 342

Stay Safe,

Sophia Markwell
General Manager

August Update

We’ve settled into a routine at the Village and unfortunately expect to keep the current visitor restrictions at least until the end of August.

A reminder for ALL relatives and friends to ensure they have received the 2020 flu vaccine.

Despite the temporary closure, we are still providing for relatives to enter Abel Tasman Village when residents are entering End of Life care. These families and friends must still ensure they have current flu vaccination.

Thanks to all the families who have taken advantage of our new communication portal to stay in touch with your loved ones. You can book your session here (or look for the drop down menu item under “About Us”). Alternatively, staff can assist you on (02) 9645 3388.

Sophia Markwell
General Manager

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…

Aged Care Employee Day

Your Opportunity to Thank Our Staff on Aged Care Employee Day

Friday 7 August 2020 is Aged Care Employee Day. It is the time to celebrate and thank all our staff who make such a difference to our residents’ lives, especially during this difficult time of COVID 19. Some may be called superheroes, some are quiet achievers, but everyone in our industry contributes to care. We salute them all because they play vital roles – from nurses, personal care workers and allied health professionals, to kitchen staff, cleaners, gardeners, laundry workers, maintenance staff, activities staff, managers and volunteers.

We will be celebrating Aged Care Employee Day with our staff next Friday in a special way, but we thought you too may like to recognise all our wonderful staff by writing a message to them.

Please download the postcard below and write a personal message to staff which we will display in our staff room. Send completed cards to business.mgr@abeltasman.com.au, drop your card into the Admin office or simply email me with the content of your message and we will complete a card for you. If you can do this by Thursday 6th August, it would be appreciated. We hope to get as many messages as possible to show our staff how much we appreciate their role in caring for our residents!

ThankYouNote
Download this postcard (Word)
ThankYouNote
Download this postcard (pdf)

Temporary Lock-down

We have today received notification from NSW Health, that another 6 local government areas have been added to the list of areas excluded from visiting aged care homes, if visitors have been in those areas in the last 14 days. This means a further 150 suburbs would need to be included in our screening processes. Clearly, it has become apparent that we at Abel Tasman Village cannot guarantee compliance with this instruction from NSW Health, given that the areas now stipulated amount to over 300 suburbs and other specific hotspot locations. We are also concerned that, given that the Canterbury Bankstown LGA of which we form part, we now appear surrounded by excluded areas.

It is therefore with tremendous regret, that from 5pm on Friday 31st July, the Abel Tasman Village will be temporarily closed to visitors, to be reviewed on Friday 7th August. This advice is also being sent to first contacts of our residents. Please pass this information on to other family members and friends as soon as possible.

This is a decision the management team and Board have made with a heavy heart. We have been extremely proud that ATV has remained open to our residents’ families at a most difficult time. However, as you can all appreciate, our first duty is to our residents, staff, family members, and their safety. Please be assured that residents within the Village will have the freedom to move about as they have been doing since the beginning of the pandemic.

We are currently reviewing our existing communication methods such as Zoom and FaceTime, with the intention to open other forms of communication. There will be separate advice to you regarding this by COB Friday 31st July.

We understand that this is a very difficult and anxious time and are available to discuss any concerns with you. Please do not hesitate to contact me on (02) 9645 3388 or email gen.mgr@abeltasman.com.au. In my absence, please contact Harry, Clinical Care Manager, or the Registered Nurse on duty.

Sophia Markwell
General Manager