Can I Visit My Loved Ones in Aged Care?
Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has made everybody’s lives difficult in one form or another. It has caused financial strain for some people and taken a toll on other people’s physical and mental wellbeing. Some of those who have been hit the hardest are the residents of Aged Care facilities.
For most elderly residents, the pandemic has created many unfavourable circumstances because residents are at such high risks from complications from COVID-19. Strong protective measures were put upon aged care residents such as limited visitations from relatives and loved ones in order to reduce the risks of spreading COVID-19. As Australia progresses forward with its vaccination roadmap targets some facilities are beginning to open up again and allow more visitation freedom.
As of 1st of May 2020, Visitors and Staff were required to have full flu vaccinations and provide evidence in order to enter an aged care facility. As the Delta variant put states back into lockdown in 2021, only staff were permitted into aged care facilities except for compassionate reasons.
On October 11th 2021, changes will be made once again to those who can and cannot visit aged care residents. Those who are fully vaccinated from COVID-19 (that is, has received two vaccinations on two separate occasions) will be allowed to visit people in aged care. Those who are either partially vaccinated or not vaccinated will still be unable to visit friends and family in aged care.
As mentioned before, as the elderly are still high risk, there are still some rules that apply for visitors who are completely vaccinated. These rules will vary between each aged care operating company. Below are some of the rules that these companies have introduced from October 11 2021:
- Mandatory check-in and evidence of double vaccination (some requesting evidence of 14 days or more)
- Limiting to a fixed amount visitors per day per resident (the average is 2 visitors)
- Limiting visitation time from 30 minutes to up to 2 hours
- Limitations on the number of visits per week
- Social leave allowed (Can take resident from the facility)
- Visitation must be in the residents room or in an outdoor area
- Limiting to a fixed amount of visits per week by an individual or group
- Online booking requirements 24 hours before visitation.
- Evidence of a negative result for COVID-19 no older than 72 hours prior to visiting
- Surgical masks or other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be worn at all times during visitation
- Onsite Rapid Antigen (RA) test completed on site (if available)
As NSW hits each date each landmark date on the Road Map you can be assure that the rules within the aged care homes will allow more visitation freedom. Please remember that these rules are implemented to keep your loved ones safe from COVID-19. From our conversations with many aged care companies, the most common limitations regarding visitations have been; twice a week they will allow 2 visitors per person for a 2 hour duration.
If you need help finding an aged care facility that will suit your visitation or financial needs, you can give Balance a call on 1300 556 287 to help.