The world is in a state of high anxiety as the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the globe in ever increasing intensity. It is easy to be swept up and lose perspective.
Unfortunately, this unique situation generates an environment of anxiety and fear, whilst we need to remain calm and considered in everyday living. Think about those who are potentially more vulnerable than the majority of the community. I urge everyone to reflect on their personal interactions and to have compassion and kindness and consideration of others.
Older people with chronic conditions and frailty are amongst the most vulnerable to this virus. Rest assured that aged care providers are closely monitoring developments, and following advice from the Department of Health in relation to their interactions with individuals residing in aged care homes and those receiving community services in their own homes.
The Australian Government continues to instruct aged care providers on management of the coronavirus COVID-19 in aged care homes and the community. The State Government Department of Health gives critical oversight and coordination of the needs of our community as part of the national response.
There is an urgent need for significant and readily accessible additional financial and equipment support.
It is prudent to check before visiting an aged care home as restrictions are in place. For people who live at home, be mindful of the individual’s situation to minimise risk for them. Consider checking in to ask how they are going. For individuals who have visiting services, advise ahead of time if you have developed symptoms by informing your provider if you are unwell.
Staff in aged care services are educated in infection control procedures. Each year, the flu creates the situation where containment measures are implemented, and these measures are well known and implemented as required. Indeed, there has never been a better time than now to commit to an influenza vaccination as soon as it is available!
We do ask for a high level of vigilance, and request cooperation with good infection control precautions such as social distancing (staying 1.5 metres away from other people, not shaking hands or kissing), self-isolating if required, using good cough etiquette, and washing your hands regularly.
Be kind! Please take the time to stay informed, look after yourselves and look out for each other. The importance of how we are able to help others in our community in such times of difficulty, as the bushfire response has shown, is such a wonderful aspect of our Australian community.
For the latest public advice, call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.