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New rules to protect elderly

The elderly have been identified as among those at greatest risk of contracting COVID-19, and the federal government has mandated some necessary measures to protect aged-care residents, the Sydney Morning Herald reports, writes Rachel Lane of Aged Care Gurus in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Short visits from family and friends to aged-care facilities are being restricted to no more than two people at a time, with visits to be in the resident’s room or an outdoor space (i.e. not in a communal indoor area). There are no large group gatherings of residents in facilities allowed.

Social distancing is also urged, including avoiding hand-shaking, hugging or kissing.

Among those people banned from entry to aged-care homes include:

★ People with fever or flu-like symptoms.

★ Anyone, including visitors, staff and contractors, who have been overseas or have been in contact with COVID-19 within the past 14 days.

★ School groups.

★ From May 1, any person who has not had an influenza vaccination.

★ For end-of-life residents, operators have discretion for visitors.

Some aged-care providers had already taken steps before the government’s announcement, putting restrictions in place that exceeded requirements.

Last Friday, Regis introduced a 14-day period of stringent access controls, during which there will be no visitors allowed to any of their aged-care homes, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Elderly people who are unable or unwilling to enter aged-care homes are likely to place additional stress on hospitals, many of which may already struggling to cope with COVID-19 cases.

Residents who die and not replaced in a facility could also create a credit crunch for aged-care providers, with large accommodation deposits going out and significantly less coming in.


The new rules aged-care providers have in place to protect our elderly (Sydney Morning Herald)

‘It’s really hard’: Couples split as nursing homes lock out families (Sydney Morning Herald)