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.
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.