Responding to COVID remains a delicate balancing act

General Manager of St Agnes Care & Lifestyle, Bronwyn Chalker says that the work done over last 18 months in developing and refining outbreak management plans for its residential care services has been beneficial during the last few weeks as they risk manage COVID exposures with staff, residents and families.

“We are currently to managing COVID exposures, and the risks associated with them, in a variety of ways, including, adapting personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements, increasing resident and staff Rapid Antigen testing as identified following individualised risk assessments. We are also monitoring residents, who are in the main well, for signs and symptoms of COVID at changing intervals throughout the course of each day,” says Ms Chalker.

“Each day presents us with new challenges – whether it is in managing the risks presented by COVID exposures or finding creative and safe alternate methods for maintaining visitation, outing opportunities, and lifestyle activities for residents,” says Ms Chalker.

“With the recent surge in COVID cases locally, it is becoming increasingly challenging to fill gaps in our workforce due to isolation of close contacts or positive cases. We have a great team of people, however, who are giving their all to serve and care for our residents,” she added.

“When our risk management strategy requires isolation, rather than locking down the whole site we try to limit the area in isolation to a particular house so that we can maintain visitation and lifestyle activities for residents  in other areas. We also offer residents and families the opportunity to connect via facetime technology if that’s what works best for them.”

“Responding to COVID remains for us, as I imagine it does for other care providers, a delicate balancing act where we constantly weigh the safety of our residents with their right to live with dignity and choice,” concluded Ms Chalker.

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