Update from South Western Sydney Local Health District
Each week the local providers of aged care have a teleconference with the South Western Sydney Local Health service which includes local hospitals. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss COVID-19 plans and to ensure everyone is aware of what is happening in the local area. At last week’s meeting all aged care providers were asked to ensure all residents of our facilities had an advanced care directive (sometime referred to as an advanced care plan) in place. We do have a large number of residents advanced care directives on file but we will be contacting families of residents where we do not have a copy on file. The advice from Area Health is that given the significant challenges being faced by the health system, understanding the wishes of a resident regarding health care will expedite access to the appropriate support in the shortest possible time.
NSW Health have a very comprehensive and simple to use Advanced Care Directive on their website, with easy to follow guidelines, which is available for use https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/patients/acp/Pages/acd-form-info-book.aspx
Completing the form can be done in a number of ways:
If the resident has capacity to make their own decisions they need to be included in completing the form and you could do any of the following:
- we could set up a teleconference for you with one of our RN’s or Care Manager, your relative in our care and yourself.
- you could complete it with your loved one via phone and send us the copy
- you could arrange your relatives GP to assist with this process via telehealth
If the resident does not have capacity you can complete the form on their behalf and return it to us.
The following links may assist you in understanding and completing the document, especially if you are a substitute decision maker
Frequently asked questions about what food can I drop off to the village
We have received many phone calls asking what items of food can be dropped off at the agreed times to residents, so below is a list of items not suitable to provide some clarity.
- Home cooked food
- Food from a take away shop
- Food requiring freezing, refrigeration or heating. You can send drinks that need refrigeration if the resident has a fridge in their room.
- No dairy products (due to the refrigeration requirements)
Items we do encourage – any special fruit the resident loves that you would normally bring, favourite sweets eg biscuits in packets (if the resident does not have an air tight container in their room please provide one if you are being in items that might go stale).
Flu vaccinations appear to be difficult to source since the government encouraged everyone to get one so PLEASE don’t leave it to the last minute. Remember 1 May 2020 the new rules apply – no-one can enter an aged care facility if they are not vaccinated and the facility does not have the evidence.
Communicating via technology
We have been working behind the scenes to be able to connect residents to relatives via technology. We are being as flexible as possible, by using our existing iPads, resident’s own phones, tablets, laptops or iPads, as well as new mobile phones that we have ordered for each site. Many families have already made arrangements to have video conferencing or telephone conversations with their loved ones. If you have not yet been contacted by our teams, please call our administration staff at each village and register your interest. One of our lifestyle or advocacy team members will then call you back to setup a connection for you.
From today a new service will be available for you to send an email to your relative. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with the resident’s name in the subject line and we will print it out and deliver it to the resident.
If the resident cannot read the message we will read it to them.