As part of broader measures across the state, the Premier, Steven Marshall, yesterday announced a lockdown of all aged care facilities in South Australia from 12:01am, 19 November 2020. For the duration of the lockdown no visitors will be permitted to enter residential aged care facilities (RACFs). The exception is end of life visitations, where compassion should be shown and these should be considered on a case by case basis. It is important to note that the lockdown does not mean that residents need to remain in their own rooms, they are free to move about within the facility unless they are unwell.
Providers are encouraged to exercise care and compassion in applying these restrictions, keeping consumers at the centre of decision-making. Arrangements should be put in place for residents and their families to regularly communicate. This could be through phone calls and video conferencing.
As per Direction No 13 from SA Health, staff must wear appropriate personal protective equipment when providing care and are unable to maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metre from the resident. Care workers must not provide personal care to a resident at a second RACF within 14 days of providing care to a resident at another RACF. Care workers, including contractors and volunteers, must notify the RACF of any additional places of employment.
Older Australians are still able to receive in-home care services during lockdown in South Australia. There’s a useful resource ‘It’s Ok to have Home Care’ providers can leave with their clients to reassure them about accessing these services.
We remind everyone working in aged care to stay at home if you are even mildly unwell and be tested for COVID-19. This is just one way to ensure you keep yourself and others safe.
The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line is available until 30 June 2021 to ensure senior Australians get the services and assistance they need during COVID-19.
Senior Australians who would like information and support are encouraged to contact the Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line on 1800 171 866, Monday to Friday between 8:30am to 6pm AEDT (excluding public holidays).