Following some recent confusing media announcements by the Prime Minister, other politicians, and the Chief Medical Officer, I write a further update on the COVID-19 pandemic visitor restrictions at Resthaven.
At present, the current visitor restrictions have not changed. No visitors are permitted within our residential homes, with the exception of visiting allowed at the time of end of life care.
I assure you that residents are not confined to their rooms, and can access communal areas and gardens as long as social distancing is observed.
We have introduced more small group activities and one on one time, as well as technology initiatives to assist residents maintain social contact with family and friends, increasing staff hours to facilitate these communications. We are also contacting the nominated family member or representatives regularly to ensure you are updated on the wellbeing of your family member in our care. We ask that you share this information with other family members.
As you would appreciate, we must strike a balance between keeping residents safe from the coronavirus and maintaining their health and wellbeing. The interstate and overseas experience is clear in highlighting the very poor outcomes that can potentially occur with just one positive COVID-19 case.
We are acutely aware of the emotional impact that visitor restrictions place on residents, families and staff, and these measures are not taken lightly. The specific intent is to prevent loss of life due to COVID-19. There is no time for complacency – we must remain vigilant and focussed on the safety and wellbeing of the most vulnerable people.
Be assured that we continue to review the situation regularly, and will consider, on a case by case basis, a trial of limited visiting on strict compassionate grounds. The decision for these limited visits will be very carefully considered and all requests fairly measured.
Looking forward, we are planning for the time when it is appropriate to reintroduce limited visiting. We will continue to update you on the progress of this and how it will be implemented, as we observe the ongoing advice and statistics around the positive cases of COVID-19 in our state.
I believe our restrictions are caring, compassionate and proportionate in this most challenging and unprecedented situation where no visitor option is without risk.
Former Resthaven CEO