Aged care homes get ready for potential outbreaks
GUNTHER Village has welcomed the announcement of a new Federal Government coronavirus specific support package of $1350 per resident to reinforce levels of safety and care during the pandemic.
Acting facility manager Jenny Thompson said the extra money would help cover some of the additional costs incurred by the 52-bed village to keep its residents safe.
Ms Thompson said the facility had obtained adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) in case of a coronavirus outbreak and had introduced a number of measures.
She said they had increased sanitation practices, increased their meetings with relatives to keep everyone informed and held daily coronavirus staff meetings to make sure everyone was updated.
"We are well prepared if we get an outbreak," she said.
Ms Thompson said residents were concerned about the threat of the virus.
She said easing of restrictions to allow some visitors had helped allay residents' fears.
Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd this week announced the additional payment to all Commonwealth funded residential aged care providers.
Providers will receive about $900 per resident in major metropolitan areas and about $1350 per resident in all other areas.
The funds are aimed at helping cover costs including additional staffing, training, supporting visitations and connections and the provision of PPE.
"These measures help reassure families across Flynn that everything is being done to look after their loved ones during this most difficult time," Mr O'Dowd said.
"We are seeing how devastating the impact of COVID-19 can be if there is an outbreak in an aged care facility.
"While Australia is doing well by international comparison, we must remain vigilant - particularly in residential aged care to protect some of our most vulnerable Australians."
The latest round of funding follows the government's $235 million retention bonus paid to residential and home care workers to strengthen the workforce and $78 million in March to support continuity of workforce supply.
Articles contributed by Margaret Maccoll are supported by the Judith Neilson Institute of Journalism and Ideas.