COVID-19 News

CEO update to our valued community
23 April, 2020

Dear valued Residents, Families and Advocates,

I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we all work to keep Coronavirus outside the door of our facilities.

As you know, the health, safety and wellbeing of our residents, clients and staff is always our priority, and this continues to guide our actions through this unprecedented situation.

After talking to a number of family members yesterday I understand that following the Prime Ministers statements a couple of days ago there may be confusion about the restrictions on visiting aged care facilities here in Tasmania.

With regard to the current restrictions in place, we continue to be directed by the Tasmanian Government regarding visitors to aged care facilities. 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). I have attached this Direction for your information.

MCT must comply with this legal direction to protect our residents. We continue to allow visits to loved ones when palliating for support and comfort and in line with the latest Direction “(a)(vi), a key support person to visit a resident where the resident has a diagnosed medical condition and the visit is requested by the care facility for the purpose of providing essential support by reducing distress or confusion that has occurred as a result of that medical condition”. For example, dementia.

These decisions have been made due to the fact that, as we know, older people are extremely vulnerable to the Coronavirus, with serious risks and even death associated with the disease.

Thankfully I am aware that this decision has been strongly supported by most of our residents and their families, as they know we are all seeking to make the very best decisions we can for their health and safety.

Please be assured that we have not fully locked down our facilities and residents are able to move around each of our homes and internal gardens as normal.

We have significantly increased the number of devices in our homes to enable residents to stay connected with their family and friends with phone calls, skype, messenger and FaceTime. We have additional Leisure and Lifestyle team members working in all three facilities, 7 days a week, to ensure that residents can stay connected to families and to coordinate activities like singing, craft and light movement exercise classes individually or in very small groups, with social distancing, throughout the day. There are some lovely Facebook posts of some of the activities on the Masonic Care Tasmania page.

Please accept my sincere apology that we have had some issues with the power and the telephone at Freemasons that I know has impacted on the ability to connect families, we are doing are very best to ensure we stay connected.
I know this situation is very hard for families, please be reassured that if your loved one becomes unwell or is distressed or confused we will contact you directly.

We hope in line with the Government Directions that we will be able to lift the measures as restrictions ease, but will do it with caution and care. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me or one of our team members if you have any questions at all.

As with everyone in this situation, we can’t wait for the day when the risk is eliminated and families can come together again.

Yours sincerely,

Jackie Howard
Chief Executive Officer
Masonic Care Tasmania Enc: Direction

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