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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Latest news and updates from Benetas

 

Latest advice for visiting Benetas homes

Easter 2022
We are all looking forward to a break and catching up with loved ones over Easter. We ask you to refresh your familiarity with our visiting guidelines. COVID-19 is still in the community and we expect Victoria is likely to experience another serious spike in cases with a new Omicron variant beginning to grow. The risks from COVID-19 remains acutely high for older and frail people which is concerning for residents in Aged Care.

We are proposing the following -

  1. Continue testing all employees entering our homes multiple times a week.
  2. Ensure everyone entering our homes wears a well-fitting N95 or P2 mask AND completes the screening using Zipline.
  3. Test all residents multiple times a week so we can detect any incursion of COVID-19 quickly and early and be able to implement infection control measures immediately. If this occurs, it is likely to result in the closure of the home to all visitors for a period of time – something we are working hard to avoid.
  4. Preparing to implement testing of all visitors on entry to the home. If implemented, this will delay your entry into the home by at least 15 minutes. We will request your patience with this when introduced.

All visitors are responsible for

  • Only visiting when they are well
  • Continuing to comply with the mandatory screening requirements - Zipline
  • Visitors to the homes do not need to complete a RAT before entry but it is recommended
  • Residents can have up to two visitors at a time visit the public areas of the home Residents receiving more than two visitors at a time, will be required to conduct visits in their bedroom or in outdoor areas of the home
  • It is Benetas policy that all visitors (including children who qualify for vaccination) to our homes must be up to date with their vaccinations against COVID-19. Evidence may be requested. All unvaccinated visitors will be required to wear PPE – gown, mask and gloves for the duration of the visit. This means children over the age of 5 who are not vaccinated, will need to wear the PPE as described above.
  • It is Benetas policy that all visitors must also be vaccinated against Flu in 2022 and show evidence of this by 22 May, 2022
  • Continuing to wear a face mask inside the home throughout their visit – this is not to be removed at any time.

Where it can be arranged, we will offer outdoor visiting areas that will not require a visitor to wear a mask. In these instances social distancing should be maintained. We encourage residents to socialise outside of the home and we request everyone follows COVID safe measures by wearing masks where required, social distancing and hand hygiene.

If you are unvaccinated and visiting for an end-of-life reason, you will be asked to wear full PPE of gown, mask and gloves.

We wish everyone a happy and safe Easter and thank you for your understanding and support while we keep your loved ones and our employees well and comfortable.

Last update: 30 March 2022



Latest Government Directions

The Victorian Government has released their latest Care Facilities Directions outlining the way in which visits to aged care homes should be managed.

In an effort to support more families to remain connected and spend time together, Benetas will adopt the following from Monday 28 February:

  • All visitors are responsible for only visiting when they are well
  • Everyone entering our aged care homes must continue to comply with the mandatory screening requirements using the Zipline entry system.
  • Visitors to the homes do not need to complete a RAT before entry
  • It is Benetas policy that all visitors (including children who qualify for vaccination) to our homes must be up to date with their vaccinations against COVID-19, this includes a third booster dose. Evidence may be requested. Exceptions to this policy need to negotiated with the Residential Manager
  • It is Benetas policy that all visitors must also be vaccinated against Flu in 2022 and show evidence of this by 28 May, 2022
  • Visitors will continue to be required to wear a face mask and shield inside the home throughout their visit
  • Where it can be arranged, we will offer outdoor visiting areas that will not require a visitor to wear a mask. In these instances social distancing should be maintained.
  • If you are unvaccinated and visiting for an end-of-life reason, you will be asked to wear full PPE including a gown, mask, face shield and gloves.
  • In addition we encourage residents to socialise outside of the home and we request everyone follows COVID safe measures by wearing masks where required, social distancing and hand hygiene.

If the Public Health Unit advice is that a home is closed to visitors due to an Exposure / Outbreak, then the above will not apply and we will follow the guidelines determined by the Public Health Units. Under these circumstances, we will continue to support visits for end-of-life care and for other exceptional reasons. Please discuss this with the Manager if this applies to you.

We welcome a more open approach to visiting and trust our community to work with us in protecting the health and happiness of our highly valued residents and employees.

Last update: 28 February 2022

 

COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Benetas supported the Australian Government’s rollout of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program for all aged care residents, employees and volunteers as a matter of priority. We can happily report that 100% of our Aged Care and Home care employees are fully vaccinated. In addition we are working with the Public Health Unit to deliver COVID-19 Vaccine boosters for all of our Aged Care Residents.

 

Coronavirus actions across Benetas

Benetas is taking every measure to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its residents, clients and employees and is committed to keeping the Benetas community informed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residential Aged Care

The Victorian Government released their latest Care Facilities Directions outlining the way in which visits to aged care facilities should be managed. These directions remain in place until 12 April 2022.

In an effort to support you to remain connected and see each other, Benetas will adopt the following from Monday 17 January:

  • Visitors to residents in our homes are encouraged to complete a Rapid Antigen test immediately before entering the home and provide evidence to our team of a negative result
  • Where a visitor cannot show evidence of a negative RAT, they can visit their loved one on the basis that they wear full PPE (gown, mask, face shield and gloves ) and conduct the visit in the resident’s room or outdoor areas only
  • Where visitors are unable to provide evidence of a negative RAT, the resident of the home can have up to 2 visitors/day
  • Where visitors can provide evidence of negative RAT taken on the day of the visit, the resident of the home can have up to 5 visitors/day
  • All visitors to our homes must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – in accordance with the Victorian Care Facilities Directions
  • Unvaccinated visitors will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and may be required to have window visits only.
  • Where it can be arranged, we will look to set up outdoor visiting areas that will not require a visitor to enter the home – except for mandatory screening requirements. In these instances, visits can occur without the visitor needing to wear full PPE. The use of a N95 mask will be required for the visitor (and recommended for the resident) and social distancing should be maintained.
  • Window and fence visits may be possible and can be arranged by speaking directly to the management team of the home. We request that both residents and visitors wear appropriate face covering (a N95 mask is preferred) and social distancing is maintained.

Everyone entering our aged care facilities must continue to comply with the mandatory screening requirements such as checking in, proof of vaccination and infection prevention and control measures, etc.

If the Public Health Unit advice is that a home is closed to visitors due to an Exposure / Outbreak, then the above will not apply. Under these circumstances, we will continue to support visits for end-of-life care and for other exceptional reasons. Please discuss this with the Residence Manager if this applies to you.

We look forward to welcoming you back, please take care and be kind to each other, and if you have any questions please email covid19enquiries@benetas.com.au

Tours of Residential Aged Care

Tours of our residential homes are available, to arrange a time please send us a message or call 1300 23 63 82. We also invite you to try some of our ‘virtual tours’ which are available at each residential location page.


Home Care

We are continuing to provide essential care and support for older people living at home, albeit with more rigorous health, safety and hygiene protocols and practices in place. Please contact your local Home Care office for further information.


Respite
Respite services are open and taking bookings. Benetas offers a range of respite care covering day or overnight and short term stays to help you support your loved one. Respite care is also offered at our residential locations across Victoria.



Retirement Living
Ongoing infection and prevention control measures continue to be in place across the management of our retirement living village Dalkeith Heights. Please contact the Village directly for further information.


Health Care - Macedon Ranges Health
Services continue to operate from our centre. We have set up a range of solutions to support those who cannot or prefer not to visit the centre, including video or telehealth appointments. Please contact the centre directly for further information.

 

COVID-19 Vaccination – your questions answered

Benetas Board Director, Dr Michael Murray AM, is Director of Geriatric Medicine and his wife, Dr Mary O’Reilly, is Deputy Chief Medical Officer at Austin Health. In this video, they answer questions we’ve been receiving from employees, residents, clients and families about the COVID-19 vaccination program.

In their second video, Dr Michael Murray AM and Dr Mary O’Reilly address the concerns we have been hearing about the very slim potential side effect of blood clots after having the

 

Need to talk to someone?

New COVID-19 Support for Older Australians

Older Australians have access to a dedicated free call service to support the mental health of those affected by the spread of COVID-19. The phone line is staffed by advisers who can offer practical help and advice and is a partnership between OPAN, COTA and National Seniors Australia.

Call 1800 171 866 from Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm (except public holidays).

The Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing, supported by Benetas, has also launched the Multilingual Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line.

The support line is funded by the Australian Department of Health, and is an Australia-wide initiative that provides in-language information and support associated with COVID-19, and referrals to appropriate services and programs for older Australians from culturally diverse backgrounds.

The support line is available in Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Italian, Mandarin and Vietnamese. All calls are free, 2:00pm - 5:00pm (Melbourne time) Monday to Fridays (except public holidays).

If you have any further questions or feedback please contact Covid19Enquiries@benetas.com.au.

 

The global impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) have us all feeling uncertain, so there is no better time to share uplifting moments of support for our older loved ones and each other.

#SpreadKindness

Read positive stories
 

A message from our CEO, Sandra Hills OAM

2nd February 2022

A letter to all Benetas employees from CEO, Sandra Hills OAM.

Your COVID-19 vaccination questions answered with Dr Michae...

1st April 2021

Benetas Board Director, Dr Michael Murray AM, is Director of Geriatric Medicine and his wife, Dr Mary O’Reilly, is Deputy Chief...

A message from the CEO on COVID Vaccinations

24th February 2021

At Benetas, we greatly welcome the long awaited Pfizer vaccine rollout to aged care homes in Australia this week, and the Austr...

Recognising the dedication of our staff

24th December 2020

Brian West pens a short letter on behalf of all residents and families at Benetas Gisborne Oaks.

Visiting your loved one at a Benetas home this Christmas

21st December 2020

We are pleased to support our aged care residents and their families to connect with their loved ones over Christmas after the ...

Open Letter from CEO Sandra Hills OAM

7th September 2020

We have been incredibly saddened by the occurrences at St George's aged care home in Altona Meadows. This is my letter to our B...

Aged Care worker shares experience of working amidst Covid-1...

21st August 2020

Experienced Benetas Personal Care Worker, Mary Mercieca, was recently redeployed with a number of her colleagues to the provide...

Restricted visitor access for Benetas aged care homes in Met...

8th July 2020

Benetas is temporarily restricting visitor access to all our aged care homes in Metropolitan Melbourne.

Restricted visitor access to Gladswood Lodge and Colton Clos...

30th June 2020

Benetas is temporarily reinstating restricted visitor access to Colton Close and Gladswood Lodge residential aged care homes in...

It’s time to call out the impact of COVID-19 on women

26th June 2020

Health crises tend to magnify existing inequalities and within only a few months, COVID-19 has triggered unprecedented change t...

6 acts of kindness in Victoria during COVID-19

17th June 2020

Here are just a few of our favourite acts of care and generosity in Victoria, Australia during COVID-19.

One month into Benetas’ visitor support program

12th June 2020

Benetas Gisborne Oaks Residential Manager, Sheena Mannion, shares her reflections one month into bringing residents and their l...

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