Fact sheet on Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes During COVID-19
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is developing a fact sheet on the Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19.
The fact sheet will provide further explanation of the Code, including how it complements the existing regulatory framework overseen by the Commission. View and download the fact sheet.
Case studies - Managing visitor access and resident restrictions
The Commission has developed case studies that provide real-life (de-identified) cases of common resident complaints related to visitor access and resident restrictions and show how these may be resolved to the mutual satisfaction of residents, families, and services. View and download Case studies:
- Case study 1 - Going for walks
- Case study 2 - Visitors
- Case study 3 - Going to outside appointments
- Case study 4 - End of life
Partnerships in care
The Commission has published a new factsheet Partnerships in care: Supporting older people’s wellbeing for residential aged care.
This fact sheet provides information on supporting partnerships in care safely while COVID-19 remains an ongoing risk. It will assist aged care providers to work with partners in care and establish new partnerships.
Infection prevention and control leads
IPC leads have a vital role to play in enabling safe visitor access in residential services and should be integral to important actions including visitor screening, facilitating safe movement of visitors in services, and identifying safe visiting areas. View and download the fact sheet.
Victorian services only- Residential Aged Care Visitation Assistant (RACVA) role promotes the health and wellbeing of residents by direct assistance to the residents and their families enabling communication. RACVAs can help with safe in person visits by family members as well as using technology supported communication where it may be needed. RACVAs can also assist residents with activities of daily living that are not intimate, specialised, or health related. RACVAs can be deployed to a facility for a minimum of 2 weeks and can be negotiated for longer term placements. For more information, please refer to this link.
Supporting safe, quality care for aged care consumers during visitor restrictions
The Commission has learned through the COVID-19 pandemic the negative impact of visitor restrictions on residents in aged care facilities and the necessity of taking individual circumstances into account when managing COVID-19 related risks. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that there a three major harms to the elderly when isolated from loved ones:
- malnutrition and weight loss
- physical deconditioning including reduced mobility, increased falls, pressure injury
- psychosocial impacts including loneliness, anxiety, boredom, fear, depression.
Approved providers, partners in care, and families are encouraged to read the guidance: Supporting safe, quality care for aged care consumers during visitor restrictions relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Visitor access – Keeping in touch using parcels & mail
Where there are visitor restrictions applied as a result of state or territory government Public Health Directions, one of the ways families and friends can stay in contact with residents is through mail.
Australia Post information indicates that the risk of coronavirus infection from handling goods is extremely low with no known risk of transmission of COVID-19 via mail and parcels.
Family and friends who are not able to visit in person may want to keep in touch by sending a card or parcel to someone in an aged care service.
You may wish to contact the aged care service where you are planning to send an item to check with them their current mail intake procedures before you send.
All Services should be aware of, and implementing The Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19. This Code indicated that aged care services should ensure residents continue to receive letters and parcels including gifts, non-perishable food and communication devices (Section 9), and the delivery of perishable items as appropriate.
Outbreak management planning in aged care
Managing the impacts of visitor restrictions and ensuring that residents are not adversely affected by isolation is critical. The Outbreak management planning in aged care provides practical guidance to support COVID-19 outbreak management planning and preparation in residential aged care facilities, including the management of visitor restrictions.
Examples of Innovation