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Visiting a Benetas Aged Care Home

Frequently Asked Questions

On what basis can I visit my loved one?

There are no longer any requirements for the purpose of your visit. You can now attend when and as long as you wish so long as you comply with our screening process and PPE requirements on arrival.

On what basis shouldn’t I visit?

You must not visit our homes if you have been to an exposed site during the specified period as listed by the Department of Health and Human Services. These sites are available here: www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/case-locations-and-outbreaks#case-alerts--public-exposure-sites. You also mustn’t attend any of our homes if you are unwell or have been in caring or in contact with someone who is unwell. This is particularly important if you have been caring for unwell children. These matters will be raised in your online screening process before visitor attendance.

When can I visit?

Anytime. Due to the current status of COVID-19 in Victoria, we no longer require restrictions to when people can visit their loved ones in a Benetas aged care home. During business hours you can drop in as you wish for as long as you. Out of business hours and on weekends, we do ask that you make your booking in advance via Reception or our online booking system, so that our teams are adequately staffed to manage the stringent screening process on your arrival during these hours.

Do I still need to make a visitor booking?

During business hours you no longer need to make a booking. You can now drop in to our homes for as long as you wish. Out of business hours and on weekends, we ask that you continue to make your booking in advance via Reception or our online booking system. This is to help our teams be adequately staffed to manage the stringent screening process on your arrival during out of business hours. If you require a group booking for one of our meeting or dining rooms, please contact the Residential Manager to arrange this directly.

How many visitors can each resident receive?

There a no limits. Due to the current status of COVID-19 in Victoria, we no longer require restrictions to the number of visitors a resident may receive. Please note that while there are no density requirements to a resident’s room, we are managing density requirements in communal spaces at the home where employees also work as per our health and safety requirements. The team may need to relocate your visit to comply with these density requirements at times. If you require a group booking, please contact the Residential Manager of your home to arrange a suitable dining or meeting room, or outdoor setting for the occasion.

Are children and young people permitted to visit?

Visitors under the aged of 16 are still permitted to visit our homes. They will need to meet all declaration requirements (attested by an accompanying adult and signed in to the visitors log) and consistent with Benetas’ policy, have a current flu vaccination. Children over 12 years of age are required to wear a fitted mask while at the home. Children without a flu vaccination are required to wear a fitted mask over the age of 2 years of age.

Are there density requirements for a resident’s room?

No, there are now no density requirements to a resident’s room. However, if you require a group booking, please contact the Residential Manager of your home to arrange a suitable dining or meeting room, or outdoor setting where available.

Are there density requirements in communal spaces at the homes?

Yes, we continue to manage density requirements in communal spaces at the home as a health and safety requirement for our employees who also work there. The team may need to relocate your visit to comply with these density requirements at times.

Where can I meet with my loved one?

We recommend that visits occur within the residents’ own room or outdoor areas (as stipulated by the home) where there are no longer density requirements. To arrange a meeting in a designated dining or meeting room, please call the home ahead of your visit to arrange according to availability. Where possible, we will support visits to communal areas so long as density numbers can be adhered to at any one time.

Can I take a resident out for a family or community event at any time?

Yes. You can arrange for a resident to join a community or family event. Please contact the Residential Manager of the home to arrange this, and they will take you through the process and declarations to do so. Please be aware that enhanced screening and testing applies to all residents who have lived in, or visited a Government nominated exposure site, or come in close contact with a confirmed case. In this case residents will be tested and managed as at risk of COVID-19 (in-room isolation) until results are known. Specific exposure sites can be found here: www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/case-locations-and-outbreaks#case-alerts--public-exposure-sites.

Can I attend social events at the home?

We will support this as best we can alongside density requirements that we continue to monitor in communal spaces. Employees will monitor this and may request you relocate your visit to a resident’s room if the communal space is already at capacity. If you wish to arrange a group booking at the home, please contact the Residential Manage to arrange for an appropriate meeting or dining room.

How do I make a visitor booking for my visit?

Visitors no longer need to book for their visit during business hours. To make a booking out of business hours and for the weekend, please either call the reception at the home or use our online visitor booking system via https://benetas.zipline.app. This needs to be accessed using Chrome or a recently updated web browser. Please note Chrome can be downloaded for free. Once your booking is complete, you will receive SMS confirmation of this. When you arrive, entry will then be limited to a designated entry and exit point where Zipline and temperature scanning stations have been set up.

What is Benetas’ online screening process on arrival?

When you arrive, entry will then be limited to a designated entry and exit point where Zipline screening and temperature scanning stations have been set up. Here you will be required to provide the following:

  • Sign a declaration form which confirms that, among other things, that you are currently feeling well, have not been in contact with a confirmed case of Coronavirus and agree to social distancing requirements.
  • You will be asked to provide proof of your current flu vaccination. If you do not have the required proof a fitted mask will be required at all times and additional PPE.
  • You will be required to ‘sign in’ acknowledging the above and providing a telephone contact number in the event an outbreak occurs and DHHS Contact tracing is required.
  • You will be required to sign out on exit.

Is visitor booking and screening required for balcony or window visits?

Some families have been meeting with residents via windows or balconies that look out on public spaces. These visits do not require adherence to Benetas’ booking or screening process.

Why do all visitors require a flu vaccination before entering the home?

Benetas’ internal policy follows national recommendations by ensuring that all people who enter one of our residential aged care homes have a current flu vaccination, including children. This is because influenza (flu) poses a heightened risk for our residents, which requires particular attention given the risk of virus transmission in the community.

How do I provide proof of my current flu vaccination?

Please ensure you have the required evidence of your current flu vaccination. Forms of evidence include a statement or record from a health practitioner; or an immunisation history statement available from Medicare online. Find more on Benetas’ flu vaccination requirements and policy HERE.

What if I don’t have any proof of my current flu vaccination?

Where flu vaccination has not occurred, masks (even if / when current mask wearing is no longer mandated) will be required along with additional PPE. This is also the case for all children over the age of 2 years old without proof of a current flu vaccine.

Are children required to provide proof of a current flu vaccination?

Yes. Consistent with Benetas’ policy, people under the age of 16 years of age are also required to have a current flu vaccination upon visit. Without a flu vaccination, children are required to wear a fitted mask over the age of 2 years of age.

Are fitted masks required by all visitors entering the home? Yes, all employees, contractors and visitors over the age of 12 are required to wear fitted masks at the home at all times. All visitors who wear cloth masks in the community, will also be asked to change into one of our TGA approved surgical masks on arrival. The Reception will have these on hand to provide to you as required.

Why are masks still required? Masks remain a valuable way to reduce the risk of transmission to anyone living or working at our homes. We cannot be complacent about this virus or the need for continued and ongoing vigilance in protecting our residents and employees. We thank you greatly for your consideration for those we care for who are most vulnerable to the virus.

How long will these visitor protocols remain in place?

These measures will remain in place until further direction from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and shifts in the rate of COVID transmission in Victoria and the regions in which our homes reside. We review our measures regularly in relation to public health advice and community transmission risks near our homes, and will provide advice to those directly affected when key changes are made.

Are exceptions possible on personal circumstances?

Exceptions to these protocols may apply based on compassionate grounds and the individual circumstances of you and your family. We encourage these arrangements to be made directly with the Residential Manager of the home.

Are you taking new residents and tours of the home?

Yes, however they too must adhere to the visitor access requirements.

Where can I find out more on the Government’s health directives on visits?

Victorian Department of Health and Human Services webpage on Visiting Aged Care Facilities during COVID-19, or Australian Department Health webpage on Advice on People in Aged Care Facilities.

LAST UPDATED MARCH 2021