The beginning of the year 2020 has seen life as we know it turned upside down with Covid-19, with the community in isolation, many businesses closed, and many people working from home.

Our two aged care facilities, AdventCare Whitehorse in Nunawading and AdventCare Yarra Ranges in Warburton have been locked down in March to protect our residents from this virus. This was a decision made after careful consideration of the Government’s medical advice and one that reduces the risk to our residents. This has meant that all family, friends, volunteers and entertainers and other community groups can no longer visit the facilities until further notice.

We appreciate that this is not ideal for our residents and their families as they cannot have direct contact with each other. Our Chaplains and Lifestyle staff, in conjunction with our clinical staff, have been working hard to ensure that alternative means of communication are possible to maintain contact for the residents and their families. This has included writing letters, emails, telephone calls, videoconferencing using Zoom and window visits. This has been working well and we are adjusting to meet requests for visits and interaction to suit each family as best we can.

It is important at this time to maintain contact with each other and for our residents this is essential for their well-being and overall health. If you have a query, please contact our Facility Managers at each site.

Our aged care facilities have always had a good state of readiness as each year we face the winter ills and we always have supplies of PPE and outbreak kits in case of an infection. We are faring well and have had no cases of Covid-19 in either residents or staff.

We also value our staff and they do not come to work if unwell and this has continued to be the case.

You may have heard that the Commonwealth Government has announced that it is mandatory for all staff and visitors to aged care facilities from 1 May 2020 to be required to show proof that they have had the latest Flu Vaccination which is currently available. If they have not been vaccinated and do not have proof, then they will not be able to be admitted. This will take effect for visitors once the lockdown is lifted.

We cannot say when the current restrictions will be relaxed, but in the meanwhile, I urge you to have the flu vaccination as soon as you can if you are planning to visit our facilities in the future.

We look forward to being able to welcome you back to our facilities when things improve. In the meantime, stay well, follow the Government advice and pray for the health and welfare of our residents and their families.

David Reece