It’s important our residents feel safe and cared for in their homes, and life continues as normal for them. We know how important it is for the mental wellbeing of our residents and their family members to remain in contact, and we encourage you to connect with your loved one as often as possible.
Here’s how we’re caring for our residents by keeping them safe from COVID-19.
COVID-19 Hotspots NSW
BaptistCare is committed to keeping our residents, customers and staff safe by following the advice and information issued by NSW Health.
We will continue to update this webpage with any recent changes to the NSW Hotspots.
BaptistCare homes are responding to the developing situation on a daily basis and we are continuing to implement preventative actions to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 in our homes. Our communications to families can be found here.
Our Safe Visitor Spaces are designed to encourage interaction between residents and family members in a safe and appropriate manner. Family members book a time through the Connections Coordinator to visit a resident. This ensures we give you and your loved one their full attention during your visit, while ensuring we maintain appropriate social distancing measures.
When you arrive, you may find yourself a little further away from your loved one than you would expect. This allows us to maintain the 1.5m distance between residents and visitors.
Contact your local home for more information or to book a time to visit your loved one.
Using the Connections Coordinator, you can book a time to connect with your loved one online. There are a range of online technologies you can use including Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime. You can choose the technology with which you feel most comfortable.
We know using technology to contact your loved one may be unfamiliar to you and our residents. The Connections Coordinator will work with you to make the experience of connecting online seamless and meaningful.
Screening Staff & Visitors
All visitors and staff are screened on arrival at our homes. They answer questions about their health and if they have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms recently. A staff member takes their temperature, and ifany person has a temperature higher than 37.5°C, or confirms they feel unwell, they are asked to leave the home and return when they feel well again.
All staff and visitors are required to show evidence they have received the 2020 influenza vaccination before entering one of our homes.
Contact your local Residential Manager for more information on screening procedures at your home.
Code for Visiting Aged Care Homes
As we facilitate connection between residents and family members, we follow the Industry Code for Visiting Aged Care Homes During COVID-19. It’s vital for the mental health and well-being of our residents that they have regular contact with their family members. We encourage you to visit and call your loved one as often as possible.
Contact your local Residential Manager for more information on the Code.
We adhere to the strictest cleaning and hygiene and infection control practices as outlined by public health authorities. Our staff use Personal Protective Equipment in appropriate circumstances. Hand sanitiser is available to residents, staff and visitors throughout each home.
Staff across our homes have completed mandatory COVID-19 training.
When necessary, we will initiate a deep clean of any home to ensure there is no infection.
Contact your local Residential Manager for more information on cleaning practices in your home.
COVID-19 Q&A Session Videos
To equip and educate us all we'd like to share some of the helpful and insightful answers we received in our Q&A session with NSW Health experts, as we work together to control the spread of COVID-19.
The questions below will assist families to understand the preventative closures to visitors we have implemented across our aged care centres.
This document is a code of conduct developed in consultation between aged care providers such as BaptistCare, aged care industry bodies and the government. It is designed to ensure aged care residents are provided the opportunity to receive visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, while minimising the risk of the introduction of the virus into an aged care home.
The current legislation contained within the State Order’s provide rules that we are required to meet. This includes very specific requirements around visitation to aged care homes. It is not our preference to restrict visits between family members and residents. However, we are committed to keeping our residents safe and well and complying with the current legislation. While COVID-19 remains a risk in the broader community, we must restrict contact between our residents and the community by limiting the number of visits and the amount of time visitors spend in each home.
Our restrictions are also in line with the Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes.
We are very pleased Dorothy Henderson Lodge is now free of all COVID-19 cases. There are currently no cases of COVID-19 at any of our other aged care homes.
We regularly liaise with state and federal health authorities, and industry bodies to determine how best to keep our residents safe from COVID-19. We will continue with restricted visits to our homes until the risk to residents is considered over. It is difficult for us to determine when this will occur. We will keep you informed as the situation develops.
We have introduced a Connections Coordinator at each of our homes whose sole responsibility is to keep you in contact with your loved one. You can remain in contact through online technology such as FaceTime, WhatsApp or Skype. You are also able to visit your loved one for short periods of time each week in our Safe Visiting Spaces.
In exceptional circumstances you are able to have in-room visits with your loved one for extended periods of time. You will need to speak directly to your Residential Manager to discuss available options and potential approval for in-room visits.
All contact with your loved one should be booked through your Connections Coordinator. It is best to contact your home directly if you have questions about contacting your loved one.
We are requesting that residents remain in the home to help protect them from possible contact whilst in the community. We appreciate this will be disappointing for some of you and for our residents, however it is part of our strategy to help keep your loved one safe.
This restriction is in line with current recommendations for Residential Aged Care Homes.
Yes! Our hairdressers are now operational again at all of our homes. Appointments are for a maximum of 30 minutes and cleaning of equipment occurs between each appointment.
We are encouraging all teams at our homes to review specialist appointments and postpone any non-urgent visits. For urgent appointments, the resident is requested to wear a face mask whilst out of the home, and they are monitored for any respiratory symptoms as a precautionary measure on their return.
For the immediate future, single entertainers will be permitted into the home, provided they are screened on entry and maintain the required social distancing whilst in the home. We have cancelled any group entertainment, as a precautionary measure.
There will be no changes to the provision of Allied Health and GP services within our homes at this time. Screening and standard infection control processes will continue to help protect your loved ones.
Residents will not be confined to their rooms. At this time, activities will continue within each house/cottage in our homes. Activities where residents were combined with residents from other areas of the home have ceased.
Standard infection control processes will be reinforced during any combined activities within the individual areas as per our usual practices. Bus outings have been placed on hold due to the risk of residents being in close proximity to each other and increased risk of close contact. Excursions are also not recommended under current guidelines.
Yes, assuming the hospital has agreed that the resident is suitable to return. All residents returning from hospital or other leave will be placed under preventative quarantine in their room for 7 days and monitored closely for any possible respiratory symptoms as a precautionary measure. The staff may recommend a COVID-19 swab be attended on return. If a negative swab is obtained the quarantine period may be able to be shortened.
A number of strategies are in place and being reviewed and developed on a daily basis to help prevent COVID-19 from entering our homes. Restricting visits to our homes is a key strategy in this approach.
All people entering the home including our staff, are being screened on entry. This process includes asking key questions and checking their temperature for any signs of fever.
Our staff have been provided with additional training in relation to monitoring residents and managing an outbreak situation, should that occur.
In appropriate situations, staff and visitors wear PPE to protect themselves and our residents.
From an organisational perspective, BaptistCare are working tirelessly to plan for any outbreak situations.
Our website has a range of details about our response to COVID-19 which you can view here.
We appreciate that there may be some exceptional circumstances during the restricted visiting period and would request that you contact your Residential Manager to discuss your situation.
Please also be assured, if anything changes with regard to the health or wellbeing of your loved one, we will be in contact with you immediately.
At any time that residents experience respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms, BaptistCare aged care centres commence full infection control strategies to isolate and minimise any potential spread. Actions are discussed with the local Public Health Units who monitor and advise our homes. These actions may include closing the home to visitors.
At this time, any of our homes that are closed due to a respiratory virus (not COVID-19) are following our strong infection control procedures and advice from their local Public Health Unit.
We appreciate that for some families, it may be an option for you to bring your loved one home and provide care for them.
If you are considering this, please keep in mind that your loved one may require clinical and personal support 24 hours a day and there is unlikely to be any community support available to assist you in the current situation. You will also need to have systems in place to protect your loved one from any community contact that may place them at risk, including visitors to your home. This would be considered a social leave scenario which under legislation is limited to a number of days a year. Should your loved one need to return to the home prior to the end of the relevant period of days, they would need to be quarantined for the required period. If you would like to discuss this option further, please contact the Residential Manager and arrange a time to discuss the details.
It is our priority to keep our residents safe and well, particularly as we enter winter and the flu and cold season. Ensuring all visitors have a flu vaccination reduces the likelihood of our residents contracting the flu.
The government requires all visitors to aged care homes to have a flu vaccination.
You will need to show evidence you have received the flu vaccine when you enter a BaptistCare home. Once you have shown this evidence to the home, you will be issued with a card that you will need to show each time you visit the home.
There are limited circumstances in which you can enter an aged care home without having the flu vaccine. You will need to discuss this with the Residential Manager who will provide you with a form to take to your GP for consideration for a medical exemption. If completed, please provide this to the Residential Manager of your home for approval. There are only limited circumstances in which approval will be given for people to enter an aged care home without the flu vaccine.