Information around the novel coronavirus is rapidly changing. The information contained within this article is correct at time of publishing. For the most current advice, please see your state government’s health advice.
At Absolute Care & Health, the safety of our clients and our staff is at the fore. We have been monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation carefully. And we are following the advice of the Australian Department of Health and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
We are continuing to provide much needed care and support services to our clients, and we are implementing rigorous infection control processes.
If you require at home support services for aged care or hold a current NDIS plan, we can help you. Contact our friendly team for more advice on how to receive care during these challenging times.
What is coronavirus?
You may already know the answer to this. But for those who don’t, coronavirus (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new a recently discovered coronavirus. If you have been infected, many people will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness. Older people, and those who are immunocompromised, may develop a serious illness close to that of pneumonia.
The virus spreads through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose, and it is highly contagious. Social distancing and self-isolation measures have been put in place around Australia.
What we are doing
This is a stressful time for many older people and those living with a disability. The safety of our clients, and our support workers, is paramount. We are ensuring we utilise stringent safety measures to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE)
We are providing all our support workers with the required equipment to safely sanitise and protect themselves, and others, from contamination as much as possible. This includes:
- Liquid hand soap and paper towels
- Hand sanitiser
The Department of Health has advised that face masks should not be worn when both the support worker and the client are well, and have no symptoms. Face masks should only be worn when there is good cause to suspect a person has COVID-19 — like meeting the epidemiological criteria and presenting with the symptoms.
Maintaining high hygiene safety standards
We are also washing our hands rigorously, in the correct manner. To properly wash your hands, you must lather them with soap and wash for 20 seconds or more. Singing a song like ‘happy birthday to you’ can help you keep time.
We are not using hand sanitiser in lieu of soap. Soap remains the most effective way to get rid of germs and bacteria, and correct hand washing is always advised. We use hand sanitiser as an added precaution.
Support workers who have returned from overseas and been in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 are self-isolating for 14 days. We require our support workers to notify us, seek medical advice, and self-isolate, if they start to feel any cold and flu symptoms, whether they have been tested for COVID-19 or not.
We have Contact Tracing processes in place in the event any of our clients or support workers are suspected, or confirmed, to have contracted COVID-19. We will always let our clients know if any team members present with symptoms, and have provided care for them recently.
What happens if you start displaying symptoms?
As of April 14 2020, now all people should get tested and self-quarantine if clinical symptoms develop. Clinical symptoms include:
- Fever, sweats, or chills
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose
Please note: You should always check that the above symptoms are not the result of another illness, or a reaction to a medication. Headaches and runny noses can occur from allergies, and sore throats can occur when you are dehydrated.
When are our support workers allowed to work?
Support workers can continue to provide essential services for our clients as long as they are:
- Do not have symptoms
- Have not had unprotected exposure to a person who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19
We can continue to provide services to those suspected or confirmed as having contracted this strain of coronavirus, if we use the appropriate PPE.
COVID-19 training module
The Australian Department of Health has released an online 30-minute training module on how to protect yourself and the people you are caring for from COVID-19. It covers the basics of infection prevention and control for COVID-19, including:
- What the virus is
- Signs and symptoms to look out for
- Keeping yourself and others safe
- Debunking any myths currently being spread about COVID-19
What support services can we provide?
Providing aged care and disability support services is now more important than ever. Our community is at risk of social isolation, and with social distancing becoming the new ‘norm’ in Victoria, our support workers are now one of the only points of contact many of our clients will receive.
We are still providing essential at home care services such as:
- Personal care
- Nursing care
- After hospital care
- Disability support
- Respite care
- Palliative care
- 24-hour care
- Dementia care
- Domestic support
Funding for support services
You could be eligible for government funded in-home aged care. To find out which programs and funding levels you’ll be eligible for, read more about Government Funded Home Care Packages.
You can also pay for at home support services privately. We set our rates at competitive prices, because we’re passionate about ensuring you get the care you need.
If you need more support, or you are seeking our services for the first time, we can help. Please contact our care coordination team for more information about our COVID-19 safety protocols or to organise care.