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Bethanie

Aged Care Homes

19 May 2020

Residential Aged Care Homes update

Bethanie is pleased to increase the total nominated visitors per resident from four to six to provide an opportunity for more loved ones per resident to visit. This change came into effect on Monday 18 May. Thank you to the families who have provided us with updated visitor details. A reminder that we request the next of kin to be responsible for communicating the six approved visitors directly with site. Bethanie will continue to monitor Government advice and work with you to find the right balance between protecting residents from COVID-19 and providing them with vital social connections and support.

As COVID-19 restrictions are eased in the wider community and the risk of transmission increases, we must remain vigilant to protect the vulnerable members of our community. A reminder when visiting our Aged Care Homes, please practice healthy hygiene and physical distancing – keeping 1.5 metres between yourself and loved ones, staff and other visitors. The more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread. If you have any signs or symptoms of a cold or the flu, please do not visit a Bethanie Aged Care Home. Thank you for your continued support.

14 May 2020

Change to Bethanie Aged Care Home visiting arrangements

Bethanie has assessed the residual risk of lifting our visitor restrictions. As a result, we are pleased to increase the total nominated visitors per resident from four to six effective Monday 18 May to provide the opportunity for more loved ones per resident to visit.

This number is to ensure we calibrate the flow of visitors through our sites which will in turn reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering one of our facilities. We request that the next of kin be responsible for communicating the six approved visitors directly with site.

We will continue to monitor the Government advice and work together to find the right balance between protecting residents from COVID-19 and providing them with vital social connections and support.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

7 May 2020

Change to Bethanie Aged Care Home visiting hours on Mother’s Day

We would like to advise that we have extended the visiting hours of our Aged Care Homes on Mother’s Day to accommodate the anticipated volume of visitors, and to minimise risk and manage physical distancing.

On Sunday 10 May 2020, we look forward to welcoming visitors between 9.30am - 12 noon and the usual 1.30pm - 4.30pm. Please be aware that the State Directions require us to limit visitors to one visit per day per resident with a maximum of two visitors. This cannot be changed for Mother’s Day. We thank you for your understanding.

If you have any signs or symptoms of a cold or the flu, or feel unwell in any way, please do not visit a Bethanie Aged Care Home. Bethanie can support connection with loved ones on Mother’s Day (or any day) through technology.

Stringent screening will take place upon your arrival where your temperature will be checked, and you will need to show proof of your 2020 influenza vaccination. A copy of your immunisation record can be downloaded from the Australian Immunisation Register and used as evidence on arrival.

This extension of visiting hours is for Mother’s Day only. Visiting hours will resume between 1.30pm – 4.30pm on Monday 11 May 2020.



6 May 2020

Residential Aged Care Homes update

This Sunday 10 May is Mother’s Day. We look forward to welcoming visitors for the purpose of care and support of loved ones. Please be aware that the State Directions require us to limit visitors to two people per day, per resident. This cannot be changed because it’s Mother’s Day, and we appreciate your understanding.

We would like to thank all visitors for continuing physical distancing and infection control when visiting loved ones for the purpose of care and support. Bethanie will continue to support connection with loved ones through technology such as CareApp, Facebook and emails from site Facility Managers.

The draft Visitor Access Code (“Code”) was released last Friday, 1 May 2020 and is currently open for public comment. Bethanie is reviewing the draft Code and should there be any changes to our current practices as a result of the final Code, we will keep you updated and informed. The Code aims to apply a compassionate and consistent visitor policy that continues to minimise the risk of COVID-19 while providing innovative on-site visiting solutions to maintain the mental health of residents.

A gentle reminder to all visitors that stringent screening will take place upon your arrival to a Bethanie Aged Care Home. Your temperature will be checked, and you will need to show proof of your 2020 influenza vaccination. A copy of your immunisation record can be downloaded from the Australian Immunisation Register and used as evidence on arrival. If you have any signs or symptoms of a cold or the flu, please do not visit a Bethanie Aged Care Home.

COVID-19 Bethanie Check In survey

Here at Bethanie, we are keen to hear how you are feeling during these unprecedented times. Your health and well-being are very important to us and we welcome your feedback.

This survey is a great opportunity for you to tell us what you think about our care and service, and other aspects of our interactions with you and your loved ones during this challenging time.

We are eager to receive feedback directly from our customers (those who reside with Bethanie and/or those who receive Bethanie services) or from family members of our customers.

Please click on the following link to complete the confidential 10-minute survey. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

https://bit.ly/2YAKnVQ


4 May 2020

Industry Code of Conduct for Aged Care Home visitations

On 1 May, the National Cabinet endorsed the sector-led draft Aged Care Visitor Access Code. The Code will ensure a nationally consistent visitation policy to residential aged care homes during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Code aims to apply a compassionate and consistent visitor policy that continues to minimise the risk of COVID-19 while providing innovative on-site visiting solutions to maintain the mental health of residents.

The draft Code has been endorsed to be released for public consultation by consumer advocacy organisations Carers Australia, Council on the Ageing Australia, Dementia Australia, National Seniors Australia and the Older Persons Advocacy Network and aged care provider peak bodies Aged & Community Services Australia, Aged Care Guild, Anglicare Australia, Baptist Care Australia, Catholic Health Australia, Leading Age Services Australia, and Uniting Care Australia.

Consultations will take place this week with aged care residents, families, families of choice, friends, along with aged care providers and staff, closing at 3pm on Thursday 7 May 2020. It is envisaged the Code will be finalised by Monday 11 May 2020. The draft code is available here - www.cota.org.au/visitor-access-code/.

Bethanie has received a copy of the draft Visitor Access Code and will provide our comments by the intended date.

Easing of nationwide restrictions

The National Cabinet will consider easing restrictions as early as next Friday, but a key consideration will be the download rate of the COVIDSafe app. The Prime Minister Scott Morrison today said, "We'll be looking at all the matters that are currently subject to restrictions, and we'll be reviewing that and making decisions about which are the ones we can move on."

Bethanie encourages you to download the new Australian Government contact-tracing app, COVIDSafe to your mobile phone. The free app lets you know if you have been in close contact with someone who is also using the app and has tested positive for COVID-19.


30 April 2020

Residential Aged Care Homes update

We were thrilled to welcome the return of visitors under restricted conditions to our Aged Care Homes on 28 April. The numbers were relatively low on our first day of visitors, and for those who came we would like to thank you for abiding by the requirements of physical distancing and infection control.

Throughout this period, we have facilitated different visiting arrangements for residents who are acutely unwell, which has been well received by the families involved and been managed to minimise any risk to other residents and staff.

Our sincere thanks to families for your patience during this period of restricted visiting. As an organisation built on community, we know that it is challenging to not be able to spend time face to face with loved ones.

We encourage family members of Bethanie residents to book your flu vaccination. By doing so you will protect yourself, your loved ones and others in the Bethanie community, for which we are grateful. A reminder that you must have evidence of this being the 2020 version of the vaccine. A 2020 flu vaccine is part of the Government requirement to be able to access an aged care home.

For visitors to a Bethanie Aged Care Home, upon arrival, stringent screening will take place. Your temperature will be checked, and you will need to show proof of your 2020 flu vaccination. A copy of your immunisation record can be downloaded from the Australian Immunisation Register and used as evidence on arrival.

We will continue to support connection with loved ones through technology and the ongoing use of CareApp, Facebook and emails from site Facility Managers


28 April 2020

Aged Care Home visitations

From today, Bethanie is safely allowing families (on a restricted basis) to enter our Aged Care Homes for the purpose of care and support of loved ones. The Australian Government, however, is encouraging people to stay at home except for essential outings. Please follow their advice which is, ‘If you don’t have to visit, please don’t.

If you deem visiting in person is necessary in the care and support of your family member, we can facilitate your visit between 1.30pm and 4.30pm, seven days a week. A reminder to please follow the revised visitation arrangements that we communicated last week, and practice the principles of hand hygiene, cough etiquette and physical distancing (1.5metres). A Bethanie staff member will be on hand to support you with the revised visitation process.


24 April 2020

Changes to Visitor Restrictions as of Tuesday 28th April

Bethanie is easing visitor restrictions at its aged care homes from 28 April 2020.

Bethanie’s additional preventative measures, which were implemented four weeks ago to protect residents and staff against the spread of COVID-19, has proven to be a safe and effective approach to safeguard the Bethanie community and we sincerely thank families for supporting us throughout this period.

However, given the current consistently low rate of community transmission, the Bethanie Group is comfortable with the easing of visitor restrictions subject to strict screening and additional safety measures. Access will be facilitated in a staged approach, so some people might need to wait outside, until permission is given to enter.

In collaboration with State and Federal health guidelines, Bethanie will continue to monitor the latest medical advice to ensure the continued safety of our residents and staff.

In the absence of family visits over the past four weeks, Bethanie’s residents have been engaged and involved with activities, as well as on-line connection to their families and friends. Additionally, Bethanie enabled families of residents who were unwell, or required end-of-life palliative care, to be with their loved ones in their time of need and the feedback from residents has been very positive.

We continue to do everything we can to appropriately manage the risk of COVID-19 in our Bethanie community, while delivering high level care to the people we serve and we remain committed to helping you and your loved ones to stay safe.

Changes to Bethanie Aged Care Homes visiting arrangements

On 28 April 2020, Bethanie will safely allow families (on a restricted basis) to enter our Aged Care Homes for the purpose of care and support of loved ones. The Government, however, is encouraging people to stay at home except for essential outings. Please follow their advice which is, ‘If you don’t have to visit, please don’t.

The following key decisions have been made based on information provided in a Fact Sheet by the Australian Government Department of Health:

For visitors to a Bethanie Aged Care Home

For residents of a Bethanie Aged Care Home:


22 April 2020

Message from the CEO, Chris How

In the last 24 hours, there has been considerable discussion in the Bethanie and wider aged care community regarding the desire that we all have, to allow visitors to our Aged Care Homes. We are currently working with WA Department of Health to clarify some differences between the federal and state legislation (we are required to comply with both). This will allow us to make an informed decision about future visiting arrangements. We anticipate guidance from the WA Department of Health tomorrow and will have an update on any changes to visiting arrangements provided to you as soon as possible.

As always, the health and wellbeing of residents is front of mind, and we will continue to communicate with Bethanie Aged Care Home families in a variety of ways about the activities and care being provided at site. We recognise that not being able to visit loved ones is difficult for families. We thank you for your understanding and encourage you to contact site should you require any information about your loved ones.

While Australia has supressed the virus, we have not eliminated it. There is still imminent risk to our vulnerable aged care community. Any future changes we make to visiting arrangements will have our residents’ health and safety as our primary consideration.

Bethanie is here to help you and your loved ones to stay safe.

How Bethanie is working to keep you safe

During the last four weeks, the Bethanie team have collaborated broadly with the national and international aged care industry to understand the impacts of COVID-19 where there has been an outbreak within an aged care home. Whilst we continue to endeavour to ensure that no such outbreak occurs at a Bethanie site, it is imperative that our teams are prepared for any situation that occurs.

Our preparation has included increased education for staff regarding COVID-19, the way it presents clinically, and the appropriate clinical interventions used to care for any affected residents. Our Procurement team has worked hard to ensure that we have a ready supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and supplies to continue to care for our residents. Our Human Resources team have been reviewing staff requirements and ensuring that we have skilled staff available should we need to increase our workforce for any reason. We have created a range of scenarios to allow us to test our preparation and identify any potential areas for improvement.

Flu vaccine reminder

A reminder that the Government has mandated that from 1 May 2020, all visitors to aged care homes must have a current flu vaccine. When we lift restrictions to enable visitors back into Bethanie Aged Care Homes, we will require that all visitors show evidence that they have received the 2020 flu vaccination. So please prepare to receive your flu vaccination as soon as possible and remember to keep evidence of it with you when you are able to visit site.



21 April 2020

Acknowledgement of Prime Minister’s comments on aged care restrictions

Following a meeting with National Cabinet on 21 April, the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison acknowledged and thanked all Australians for their ongoing support in managing these difficult times. Within his speech, he also asked aged care providers to not put in place restrictions that go over and above the recommendations from the National Cabinet.

Bethanie would like to acknowledge the Prime Minister’s comments and we will communicate a response in upcoming customer and family communications.

The decision to restrict visitations in our Aged Care Homes was made at a time of great uncertainty, when there was a growing prevalence of COVID-19 in aged care homes throughout Australia and in the community. The impact of COVID-19 on aged care home residents is significant, so we took a considered and robust approach for the safety of our residents. We still believe that this was the right decision at the time.

Bethanie Aged Care Homes remain COVID-19 free and there have been many initiatives put in place to keep our residents socialised, engaged and well cared for, as well as creating many opportunities to connect them with loved ones.

Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bethanie has done everything we can to reduce the risk, while continuing to deliver quality care to the people we serve.


20 April 2020

From lounge room to Aged Care Home, let’s stay connected

While technology will never replace time spent together in-person, our staff have embraced the additional challenge presented by COVID-19.

Since we temporarily closed our Aged Care Homes to visitors, an action we took to support a safer environment for our residents and staff, FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are just some of the messaging and video platforms staff have been supporting residents with, to ensure families remain in touch.

Staff have seen an increase in confidence and enjoyment amongst residents using this technology, proving age is no barrier to learning new skills.

In addition, Therapy staff have also been actively using CareApp, an application designed to help keep families informed about the life of their loved ones in residential care when they can’t be with them. Staff have been sending photos and updates about life and activities, sharing special moments and providing families with a reassuring window into their loved one’s wellbeing.

Since introducing the application into our Aged Care Homes two weeks ago, there has been over 2,000 posts with strong engagement from families. If you have not already signed up to utilise this great piece of technology, please respond to the invitation we sent you, to connect to CareApp.

From lounge room to Aged Care Home, Bethanie remains committed to keeping families connected with their loved ones.


17 April 2020

Restrictions won’t change for four weeks

Following a National Cabinet meeting yesterday, the Prime Minister announced Coronavirus restrictions and closures across Australia will remain in place for at least another four weeks.

The Prime Minister said three main requirements would need to be met before social distancing measures can be relaxed – a broader testing regime, better contact tracing and greater ability to lockdown local outbreaks.

National Cabinet will use the next four weeks to get these three requirements in place.

Until such time, as a valued member of the Bethanie family, we encourage you to continue to follow the Government’s advice to stay at home and only leave for what you need - to exercise, to go to work, for medical reasons or to provide care for someone. We must continue to remain vigilant to protect the Bethanie and wider community.

We understand that staying indoors and away from loved ones for another four weeks may not be what you want to hear. If you are going to be anywhere in the world right now, our first pick would be Australia and particularly Western Australia. Our Federal and State Governments have acted swiftly on COVID-19, on both a health care and economic front, and we continue to place trust in their decisions around keeping us safe.


15 April 2020

It is wonderful to see the continued trend in managing the outbreak of COVID-19 in the West Australian community. When we see these trends, there may be some who begin to question the ongoing use of the measures to restrict community movement, activities and visiting. Unfortunately, even communities who undertook significant community restrictions early are seeing a second round of outbreaks (as per the article above). It is critical that we continue to keep restrictions tight to prevent this scenario occurring here in Western Australia. For residential aged care this means continuing to restrict site visitors, carefully planning and managing new admissions and screening all people entering the site in line with Government guidelines.

While there is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet, there is one for the flu. We encourage family members of Bethanie residents to book your flu vaccination. By doing so you will protect yourself, your loved ones and others in the Bethanie community, for which we are grateful. A reminder that you must have evidence of this being the 2020 version of the vaccine. A 2020 flu vaccine is part of the Government requirement to comply with the 1 May 2020 deadline to be able to access an aged care home.


8 April 2020

Although the transmission of COVID-19 is being well managed in the community, it is important that we continue to maintain strict visiting restrictions in our Aged Care Homes to keep residents and staff safe.

A reminder to families that we can no longer accept home cooked food and meals, unless it is has been prepared by a licenced food outlet and in a container that can be wiped down prior to delivery to your loved ones. Thank you for your understanding.

We encourage you to book your flu vaccination should the need arise to visit loved ones or there is able to be a change to visitor restrictions into our Aged Care Homes. Please keep in mind that you must have evidence of this being the 2020 version of the vaccine. A 2020 flu vaccine is part of the Government requirement to comply with the 1 May deadline.

Easter events will be in full swing this weekend with services, celebration meals and no doubt chocolate! While this year Easter will be a very different experience for many families and residents, our wonderful staff will be doing their best to provide you with insights into Easter celebrations and activities in the facilities. Please be assured your loved one’s safety, care and wellbeing remains our number one priority.


7 April 2020

Delivery of food to Bethanie Aged Care Homes

For families with loved ones residing in our Aged Care Homes, please note that for safety reasons we can no longer accept home cooked food and meals, unless it is has been prepared by a licenced food outlet and in a container that can be wiped down prior to delivery to the resident. We thank you for your understanding.


3 April 2020

Easter in our Aged Care Homes

Communication is paramount during this challenging time and we are committed to being open, honest and transparent with you. With Easter approaching, typically a time when families would visit loved ones in our Aged Care Homes, we would like to reassure you that we will make every attempt to communicate and share your loved one’s Easter celebrations.

Our staff have access to iPads and iPhones to share photos and videos, providing you with a reassuring window into your loved one’s wellbeing. If you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to respond to an email you have received from CareApp. If you choose to take part, our staff will send you photos and updates, sharing special moments of your loved ones in our care, when you can’t be with them.


1 April 2020

Outbreak free

Bethanie Aged Care Homes continue to be outbreak free, managing any symptoms of ill health in line with precautions for any transmissible flu-like virus.

New admissions process

Currently the demand for admission to aged care homes continues to be high, particularly as people living in the community are unable to receive a high level of community support, and the hospitals seek to keep beds available for people with COVID-19.

We have carefully considered the safest way to enable new residents to join Bethanie Aged Care Homes during this crisis. Each situation is considered individually, with the approach selected from a range of options including home quarantine with family or a Bethanie staff member prior to admission, quarantine at an alternate Bethanie site prior to admission or isolation in the facility after admission.

Activity programme

We continue to revise the activity programme at sites in line with the interests of residents and maintaining physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing.


30 March 2020

Infection Prevention and Control training for all staff and volunteers

Increased education and training are just some of the measures Bethanie has put in place to manage the safety and care of customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. On 1 April online refresher training on Infection Prevention and Control best practice procedures, including protocols for COVID-19, will be mandatory for all Bethanie staff and volunteers to complete.

Further limitations to indoor and outdoor public gatherings imposed by Government

To slow the spread of coronavirus to save lives, the Prime Minister announced on 20 March the previous gathering limit of 10 people has now been reduced to two. Exceptions to this limit include people of the same household going out together, funerals (a maximum of 10 people), weddings (a maximum of 5 people) and family units. These measures will be in place from midnight 30 March.

He recommended everyone should stay home unless you are shopping for essentials, receiving medical care, exercising, or travelling to work or education.

Whilst we can place restrictions on visitors entering our Aged Care Homes, at Bethanie Retirement Villages and Bethanie Housing sites it may be more difficult to do this (depending on the site). It is important that residents at these sites discourage visitors coming to site to see them, unless they are providing an essential service (such as delivering groceries, medication, care services etc.).


27 March 2020

Keeping families connected with loved ones in our Aged Care Homes

Bethanie has partnered with CareApp, an awarding winning application designed to help keep you informed about the life of your loved ones in residential care when you can’t be with them.

If you choose to take part, members of the team will send you photos and updates about life and activities, sharing special moments and providing you with a reassuring window into your loved one’s wellbeing.

CareApp is easy to use, secure and private. You only see messages for your loved ones created by Bethanie staff. It works seamlessly on a mobile phone, tablet or computer, meaning that you can access CareApp anytime, anywhere.

Primary email contacts listed in our electronic resident management system will receive an invitation directly from CareApp within the next week. If there are additional family members interested in being involved, they will have an opportunity to do so in the near future. Please respond to the email from CareApp as soon as possible to begin receiving updates.


26 March 2020

Lock Down – Aged Care Homes (No visitors allowed)

The Bethanie Group has made the decision, in the best interest of the Bethanie community, to lock down some of our business operations, effective 6pm Friday 27 March 2020. This lockdown applies to all of our Aged Care Homes.

From 6pm, 27 March 2020, Aged Care Homes will not allow visitors to site. This means that only staff and essential volunteers will be permitted to enter and exit the facilities to deliver care.

We would like to give you more certainty around the length of time that these measures will be in place, however the lifting of these measures will be directed by the Government.

This lockdown is symbolic of our rigorous approach to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

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