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Protecting Older Australians: COVID-19 update 10 September 2020


Additional measures to protect healthcare workers

The Australian Government is implementing three new measures to increase protection and reduce the number of healthcare workers being infected with COVID-19.

With so much evidence emerging so quickly, these measures will help all states and territories learn from what has occurred in Victoria and new information from around the world.

The new measures include:

  • Partnership between the Infection Control Expert Group and the National COVID-19 Evidence Taskforce, to review the latest evidence on infection prevention and control during COVID-19.
  • Expansion of national surveillance of healthcare worker infection, to ensure we have a better understanding of COVID-19 among healthcare workers at the state and territory level.
  • A new network of ‘COVID-NET’ epidemiologists, available on request by state and territory public health units, to assist investigating healthcare worker outbreaks and analyse data at a national level.

Read the full statement.


‘R U OK?’ day - checking on staff and colleagues

During these stressful and challenging times it is vital that we look after ourselves and reach out to check on our fellow care workers. We should all be doing this regularly, however with yesterday being ‘R U OK?’ Day please make sure you are checking in with all your colleagues.

For help to know what to say after ‘R U OK?’ and useful resources visit the R U OK? website.


Counselling for Victorian aged care workers

The Federal Government, Industry, Peak Bodies and Unions are working together to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 infections in residential aged care facilities.

A reminder that support is available for aged care workers whose regular working arrangements have changed as a result of the application of single site arrangements as set out in the Guiding Principles. These workers can get free counselling services from Converge International.

Converge International will deliver up to five free counselling sessions per person. Services include employee and manager support, career guidance, financial counselling and family support. These services are available till 10 November 2020.

Phone 1800 687 327 (free call) or visit Converge International to book an appointment. Please state that you are from the "VIC Residential Aged Care Workforce" when booking.

In addition, a Support Hub is available for Victorian aged care providers using the Principles. The Guiding Principles Support Hub by ACSA and LASA is available by phoning 1800 491 793 (free call).


Short-term Home Support for residents on leave

A national model of emergency support is now available for up to eight weeks through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) for residents of aged care homes who temporarily transition to the community.

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) can provide information to residents and their families on their eligibility for home support services, their risks and responsibilities and things to consider before returning a loved one to the community.

This program is not designed to provide ongoing support. If a resident wants to remain permanently in the community they will need to relinquish their position in residential aged care and contact My Aged Care for a formal assessment for a Home Care Package. More information can be found in the fact sheet.


VACRC Webinar Series

The first of the free Victorian Age Care Response Centre (VACRC) “lunch and learn” webinars was held on Wednesday. The topic was Waste Requirements, Disposal & Management.

The sessions are designed to equip providers with vital information on new and emerging issues that need to be addressed in the pandemic period as well as provide a forum to address the questions arising now as we navigate the crisis.

On Friday 11 September from 1pm the webinar will cover Coordination of COVID-19 Prevention & Preparation including Stress Testing COVID-19 Planning. Participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance or during the session.

Unknown Author, 2020, Department of Health

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