Living in an Aged Care in the Times of COVID-19? Here is Everything You Need to Know

The sudden outbreak of coronavirus has turned our lives upside down. It has significantly affected the way we live. People with low immunity levels, especially elders, kids and those suffering from chronic diseases are at higher risk of catching the infection. That is why leading health organizations, including WHO has advised them to be extra careful in COVID-19 times. Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently said that for the government, all lives are equally important. He said, “Every Australian matters. It doesn’t matter whether they’ve just been born or they are approaching the end of their life. Every Australian matters.” In Australia, aged care homes are following COVID-19 protocols strictly to prevent the spread of the disease among senior citizens. One rule suggests that aged residents should be hospitalized if they test positive for COVID-19, considering the health complications coronavirus can create in senior citizens with chronic health problems or low immunity. You can always safeguard yourself by purchasing aged care insurance in advance. You can contact insurance brokers in Adelaide to get more information about this type of insurance cover.

Aged care homes are also taking enough precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, they are running short of resources like personal protective equipment. In addition to that, they are not equipped with hospital-like care facilities to provide the right treatment to critically ill patients. After all, aged care facilities are homes and not nursing homes. Aged care insurance Adelaide is a special insurance cover for those living in aged care homes to take care of their financial needs in case of hospitalization. 

Those living in aged care homes need not worry much. The Australian government has directed aged care facilities to take extra precautions to keep their residents safe from COVID-19. Aged care facilities are asked to-

  • Take responsibility for the health of the visitors. Do not allow them to enter if they have symptoms of fever or cold. 
  • Monitor the health of the staff. Regularly check their temperature and screen them for fever if required. 
  • Screen new and returning residents for fever before allowing them to enter.
  • Put up appropriate signs on the premises. Use them as a medium to communicate what measures you are taking to protect residents’ health. 

Government has clearly stated that the staff of aged care facilities should be made aware of early signs and symptoms of COVID-19 so that if any visitor or resident has caught an infection, curative measures can be taken immediately. If any member of the staff catches an infection, they are directed to report their symptoms to the management of residential aged care facilities. In the current situation, even the mildest symptoms of respiratory infection cannot be ignored. That is why aged care homes are asked to revise their sick-leave policies so that employees can stay home if they are unwell.  

You must be thinking that will this lead to a shortage of staff in aged care homes? Will this affect the quality of services? Absolutely no. Government has relaxed international student visa work conditions for aged care facilities and home care providers to ensure there is no dearth of staff in these facilities. International student nurses and other aged care workers will be able to work for more than 40 hours a fortnight after this policy change. Rest assured, there are more than 20,000 international student nurses studying in Australia currently. 

Permanent aged care residents now also get an option of emergency leave type. In an emergency situation, they can use this leave. The benefit of this leave is that the residents do not need to use their social leave entitlements. In a general situation, they have to pay extra fees to secure their place again. The Australian Government has announced that COVID-19 pandemic is an emergency situation.

When and where should you wear a mask if you are in isolation?

There is a lot of confusion about wearing masks. People are confused about whether they should wear a mask inside their home or not. Ideally, you should wear a mask even inside your home when other people are present if you are in isolation due to coronavirus infection. If you feel suffocated or uncomfortable while wearing a surgical mask, you should avoid staying in the same room with other people. Whenever someone enters the room you are living in, ask them to wear a mask. Ensure that you are only surrounded by household members who are essential for taking your care.

As doctors have said time and again, elderly people with a weak immune system and chronic health conditions should take extra precautions. If any member of the house has caught the infection, seniors should be kept in a separate room. They should avoid using a common bathroom. There are several surfaces that are shared by many members of the home. For example, handles of the doors, taps, benches etc. These surfaces should be cleaned regularly with a household disinfectant or diluted bleach solution.

Coronavirus is a highly contagious disease. Staying aware is the only key to prevent the disease from spreading. Especially the elders should be more careful about their health and surroundings in this scenario. They should not take any symptoms like cough, cold or fever lightly and should seek immediate medical attention. Aged care homes are doing their bit but staying vigilant is equally important to stay safe. To avoid last-minute financial stress, one should purchase aged care insurance in advance.  

Chirag Shah
Chirag Shah

Chirag Shah is Google Adwords and Analytics Certified professional. He is a Digital marketing professional who specializes in conversion optimization, on page optimization and Digital marketing training.

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