CEO update to our valued community
20 April, 2020
Dear valued Residents and Visitors of Masonic Care Tasmania (MCT),
Thank you for your ongoing understanding and support as we work together to protect our residents, clients and staff. The Tasmanian Government continues to have restrictions in place regarding essential travel only to protect ourselves and our community from COVID-19.
Visiting restrictions extended for residential aged care The Tasmanian Director of Public Health has directed that the restrictions relating to residential aged care facilities will continue between 21 April 2020 and midnight 4 May 2020 (inclusive).
This means that no person will be permitted to enter, or remain on, the premises of any MCT aged care facility, unless for an essential purpose. Compassionate visits for families for the purposes of end of life support will of course continue; and we will work with families to provide essential support should a resident become distressed or confused during this time.
Protection is our best defense
I understand that this is an incredibly difficult time for our residents and their families however protecting your loved one is our absolute priority. Restricting access in residential care is a very uncomfortable concept for us as we spend so much time helping our residents feel connected to the wider community.
We’ve worked hard to build strong relationships with you, as families and advocates, and now more than ever we will be calling on that trust and goodwill over the coming months to keep all MCT facilities COVID-19 free.
Staying in touch
To help ease the pain of temporary separation from loved ones, we are supporting online telecommunications and boosting our social media presence and encourage family, friends and the local community to send photographs, audio files, cards and short videos directly to each resident.
Please don’t forget about good old-fashioned letter writing: There is something special about a hand-written letter or drawing or something made with love delivered by Australia Post.
For essential deliveries and parcels, we have established processes at each facility to receive contactless deliveries and have extended this to include essential parcels from resident’s families. To ensure that we are able to follow the strict process for receiving parcels and wiping them down before they are delivered to residents, MCT facilities are able to receive deliveries for residents between 9:30am and 2:30pm, Monday to Friday, or by courier service – e.g. the local florist.
We know this will never replace visiting in person, but we hope it will offer a different way to connect and stay in touch for both residents and families in the short term.
Mandatory flu vaccinations
From 1 May 2020, all staff and visitors must have been vaccinated against seasonal influenza to enter an aged care facility. To meet the Federal Government’s audit for this directive we will be seeking appropriate evidence of immunisation status from everyone wishing to visit residents in aged care, once visiting restrictions are lifted.
A lesson for us all
Finally, I want to acknowledge the resilience and support we’ve received from our residents. Their calm, sensible response to the coronavirus crisis has been remarkable and a great lesson for us all.
We will continue to keep you informed as things progress. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our team if you have any questions.
Chief Executive Officer