Information for Mercy Health Victorian residents and families

28 July 2020

Dear Mercy Health Victorian residents and families,

We know the past few days have been difficult with families unable to visit our Victorian homes. We are grateful for your support and patience, which afforded us the time we needed to review, understand and plan for the new enhanced restrictions, which come into effect at all our Victorian homes from tomorrow (29 July).

The Victorian Government has implemented these new restrictions in all aged care homes, in recognition of the serious ongoing risk of coronavirus in Victoria. These restrictions will effectively prevent families and loved ones visiting our homes, until the risk decreases.

Connection with families and friends remains vitally important to the wellbeing of our residents and to the happiness of our home. We are already looking forward to the day that we can welcome visitors back to our home. So while you cannot visit in person for now, we will be providing as many opportunities as we can to help residents and families stay connected. We encourage you to maintain contact via phone and video calls. This week we will be adding to our supply of digital tablets to increase our capacity for video calls between residents and family members. Please contact our home if you would like to make a time to speak to your loved one or family member and we will do our best to make this happen.

There are only a very small number of exceptions to the new visitor restrictions, which are detailed below. As previously, any of these people who can continue to visit must wear a mask at all times and have proof of a current annual influenza vaccination.

Co-carers: Some of these visits can continue, however current co-carer agreements are no longer valid. Mercy Health will contact those people who meet the new eligibility criteria for an Essential Carer Agreement  within the next 48 hours. Please note, we will not be entering into new co-carer agreements at this time.

End-of-life: Residents who are at end-of-life can have two visitors at any one time, for a limited visit. Children aged under 16 can visit residents at end-of-life if they are a sibling, child or grandchild.

Bereavement: If the partner or child of a resident dies, the resident can have one visitor for one hour, for three visits within the week of the death.

New or prospective residents: Coronavirus has not reduced demand for aged care, and our homes continue to accept new residents. New residents can have one visitor for one hour, for the first three days after admission. Prospective residents and one support person can quickly tour the home but must avoid contact with our residents and staff.

Coronavirus is the biggest threat we have faced in recent memory, not least of all for older people in residential aged care who are more vulnerable to this virus than the general population. We know these new visitor restrictions are very hard — but they are also critically important to help keep the number of people in our home low. This is one of the most effective ways of reducing the risk to our residents.

If you have any immediate concerns about your loved one, please contact the Service Manager.

Thank you for your support.

Yours sincerely

Felix Pintado
Chief Executive

Last reviewed July 29, 2020.

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