Your browser is not supported by our website. Please be aware that your experience may not be ideal. We suggest you upgrade to Google Chrome, or alternatively call 1300 23 63 82 and we’ll be happy to support you over the phone.

 

COVID-19 Update

Visitor Restrictions in Victoria

Aligned with the Victorian Government’s announcement to reinstate Stage 3 "Stay at Home" restrictions across Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, Benetas has made the difficult decision to temporarily restrict visitor access to all our aged care homes across Victoria.

An important precautionary measure
This is very disappointing for all involved, however we believe this remains an important precautionary measure to protect the ongoing health and wellbeing of those in our care.

Ongoing communications
The impacted residents and their families have been notified of the measures in place and they will continue to receive regular updates on their loved one’s safety and wellbeing. We greatly appreciate our community’s understanding and patience as we respond and manage the evolving situation.

Details and FAQs on restrictions
For more on the measures in place, please read the Frequently Ask Questions below.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Restricted Visitor Access

Why has Benetas temporarily closed its aged care homes in Victoria to non-essential visitors and contractors?
As cases continue to rise in both metropolitan and regional areas of Victoria, and to protect the health and safety of our residents, we believe it is important we take proactive, preventative action and reinstate restricted visitor access to all our aged care home across Victoria. This is in line with the Victorian Government’s reinstatement of Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions and is a precautionary measure in the interests of protecting the health and safety of our residents who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Does this abide by the Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19?
Benetas supports the national Code released by aged care peak bodies and consumer advocacy organisations in its efforts to enable residents to safely receive visits from loved ones during COVID-19. As part of this, the Code importantly offers providers the scope to adjust visitor arrangements based on the local conditions and the risk of transmission that they face. When community transmissions began to swiftly rise in Melbourne and the Premier moved to re-instate Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions, Benetas made the very difficult decision to temporarily restrict visitor access to all our aged care homes across Victoria.

How does this decision consider the interests of residents?
Before Benetas reinstated visitor restrictions on July 8, our research team spoke with over 250 residents regarding the visitor restrictions that we have put place during COVID-19. This included restricting visitor access at the onset of Melbourne outbreaks, and our subsequent Visitor Support Access Program introduced when community transmission risks had reduced. With 84 per cent of residents supporting Benetas’ decisions thus far, we remain committed to listening to our residents’ feedback to guide our efforts to keep them safe and supported at all times. We understand that being unable to see a loved one is very difficult, however we are very conscious of the heightened anxiety and risks that our residents face in the case of an outbreak and we’re doing all we can to avoid just that.

How long will these restrictions be in place?
Consistent with the Victorian Government’s Stage 3 restrictions across Metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, Benetas will introduce these measures for a period of six weeks in line with the Victorian Government Stage 3 timeframe. We have committed to keeping families, residents, and the broader Benetas community regularly updated as the situation evolves.

What is the definition of “essential” visitors?
We define essential visitors as facility staff, health care providers (such as GPs and physios), hospitality service providers (such as catering, cleaning and linen), and urgent and essential property maintenance. These arrangements are in place to ensure the effective operations of Benetas residential aged care homes during this period, and the health and safety of all residents.

Can I visit my loved one on compassionate grounds?
We will have measures in place for you to visit your loved one for compassionate purposes, which will be assessed on an individual basis. Please be assured that family members whose loved one is receiving end of life care will be welcome to our homes. We will ask that no more than two visitors attend at a time, and Benetas’ wider visitor access precautions will apply in these circumstances.

Can my family member leave the affected homes?
Your loved one will continue to be able to leave and re-enter the home to attend urgent and necessary medical appointments. You are also welcome to take your loved one home for extended leave if you choose. Any resident who leaves the home for one or more nights, however, will be subject to isolation in their room on return to protect the safety and wellbeing of other residents.

How can I keep in contact with my loved one?
We have made arrangements to ensure family members have other avenues to contact and communicate with their loved ones. We have a system on the Benetas website which allows you to send a message to your loved one, this message can also include images. Please go to the residential aged care section of our website: https://www.benetas.com.au/residential-aged-care.

Click on the locations tab under the image. You will see all of our homes listed. Please go to the home where your loved one is and you will see the tab that says ‘Message a resident’. We have assigned staff responsible to ensure your message gets to your loved one. Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to facilitate responses but you can be sure your message will get through.

Can I still deliver special items delivered to my family members at the home? Like the equipment, personal items or special treats I usually give them?
Yes you can, however please call the Residential Manager first to arrange how to drop these items off safely.

If I can access the outside of my loved one’s room can I take a chair and phone them and chat while I look at them through the window?
Yes absolutely. We are happy to look at ways that we can maintain connections between families and residents to ensure they do not feel completely cut off. We are also looking at additional ways to maintain these important connections.

Are you admitting new residents to your facilities and taking in new residents? Yes. As an essential services provider, Benetas will continue to take new residents and provide this important care environment for those in need. We will continue to take referrals, admit new residents and ensure that the valuable services we provide to the community are not diminished. If you would like more information on availability of places at one of our homes, please visit our web-site at benetas.com.au where you will find information about each home and don’t hesitate to call the Benetas Customer Centre on 1300 23 63 82.

Have you supplied your staff at all locations with hand sanitizer and protective masks where appropriate? What steps have you taken to ensure their health and safety?
As an aged care provider, we are well practised at managing infectious outbreaks such as flu and gastro, for example. However with the current situation, we have implemented much more rigorous health, safety and hygiene protocols at all sites. In addition, all our aged care home workers and home care workers are wearing masks at all times in line with recent Government requirements. We have also initiated additional staff training procedures, anyone entering our homes will do so via a single door and we continue to be checking the temperature of all visitors.

You can download the FAQ fact sheet here.

If you have further questions, please direct these to covid19enquiries@benetas.com.au.