Group Homes Australia is a world-leading model of dementia care, high care, respite and palliative care. Our residents live with dignity and sense of purpose in a small-scale environment.
This is a challenging time for the communities in which we all live and work. At Group Homes Australia, a COVID-19 Response Team has been set up to manage decisions and communications during this dynamic time.
The care of our residents, team members and our broader community of families and friends, partners and suppliers are a priority for us at Group Homes Australia.
Please find a summary of our current strategies which are above and beyond our normal protocols:
Our people at Group Homes Australia:
As a team, we are preparing for any further escalation of the outbreak locally by:
- Educating our team about the symptoms and concerns regarding COVID-19 and provided e-learning refresher lessons on infection control.
- Providing ongoing support to our team through regular communications via video, zoom conferences or telephone calls and team-wide Q&A sessions. We recognise that the virus has triggered a fair amount of nervousness and anxiety in the community and are supporting our team emotionally as much as possible but communicating openly and regularly.
- Restricting team members from returning to work for 14 days if they have travelled internationally. We understand that many of our team members have families in these countries and so placing this travel restriction on them can be emotionally charged.
- Ensuring an adequate source of masks and personal protective equipment in each geographic area of where Group Homes Australia operates.
- Making hand sanitiser readily available for our team, residents and families in each home (these have been stationed at the front door as well as other points around the homes)
- Updating our outbreak management plans which will be implemented as required if a team member or resident contracts the virus.
- Wiping down key surfaces (entry number pad, hand rails and main door handles, light switches kitchen area) at the end of each Homemaker shift. Given the number of team members and staggered shift end times, this will ensure a regular sanitisation of these surfaces throughout the day.
Our residents and their families at Group Homes Australia:
We have requested that any people who meet the following criteria do not visit the homes of our residents or the Group Homes Australia Support Office:
- Have flu like symptoms including fever, coughing or sore throat, shortness of breath
- People who have travelled overseas in the last 14 days
- People who have had close contact in 14 days before illness onset with a confirmed case of CoVID-19
- People under 18 years of age.
- People who are not immediate family members of the resident.
In addition, all visitors coming into our homes must complete a Visitors Log signing that they do not meet the above criteria. We have also restricted visits to a maximum of one visit per day by one immediate family member. We understand that visiting our homes and visiting a family member is the primary method of connection so we have enabled FaceTime and Skype facilities so that family members can visit their family member virtually. Each home has been equipped with an iPhone and iPad for this reason.
Our partners and suppliers of Group Homes Australia:
Our partners and suppliers are important to Group Homes Australia. Now more than ever the care of our residents and our team is our key priority.We request that if you are making a delivery to one of our operational homes, that where possible, goods are delivered to our garages and you do not enter the home. Our team members have been briefed to receipt the delivery in the garage with you.
For further information please don’t hesitate to contact the Group Homes Australia Home Support Office.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support as we all manage this challenge with dignity.