Safety stepped up to combat health crisis

Gillian Mcginty Pool  TBW Newsgroup
TURBULENT TIMES: Boandik chief executive Gillian McGinty stands alongside the new hydrotherapy pool that opened recently. The pool will remain open amid evidence the COVID-19 will not survive in well managed chlorinated pools. Picture: SANDRA MORELLO

THE Limestone Coast’s largest aged care operator has swept in a raft of new measures to safeguard hundreds of its residents from the coronavirus health crisis.

Boandik has implemented stage two if its pandemic plan, which will restrict the number of visitors to its sites.

The aged care provider closely monitors the daily changes occurring with COVID-19 and has implemented stage two of its pandemic plan.

“We are focusing on controlling the risk to our residents, clients, staff and volunteers,” Boandik chief executive Gillian McGinty said.

“We are implementing our control phase in residential homes to protect our vulnerable residents while still allowing social interaction, lifestyle program and emotional support.”

The control phase will monitor all visitors to the homes, including family members, volunteers and contractors.

These new measures include:

• A central point of entry to homes.
• An infection control station.
• People will need to sign in and complete a checklist on recent travel or any illness.
• Two visitors per resident at any one time.
• All visits by children have been cancelled, including playgroup and staff children.

“Children under 16 are not able to enter our homes, this is regulated by the government,” Ms McGinty said.

She said it could be lifted if there were “exceptional circumstances” such as someone who was at an end stage of life.

Ms McGinty said additional cleaning had been implemented across its sites and video conferencing facilities had been established for review of residents by medical practitioners.

“Good infection control processes are the most effective control method,” she said.

“Please tell a staff member if you feel unwell. If you are coughing or sneezing then covering your mouth and nose with your elbow, upper arm or tissue will capture the droplets.”

Ms McGinty said Boandik was also working with suppliers to ensure it had a readily available supply for staff and residents.

“We are currently looking at menus if our deliveries were to be affected, to ensure that we have food available to residents that would be a scaled down version of our regular menu. We will not run out of food and people will not go hungry,” Ms McGinty added.

Staff are working with medical clinics to review when the annual influenza vaccination can be provided.

“We are also encouraging all residents to review their pneumovax status, which helps to protect against bacterial infections in the elderly,” Ms McGinty said.

“These are two injections, given five years apart. Ask the nurse if you are up to date.”

Regarding the newly-opened hydrotherapy pool, Ms McGinty said the pool would not shut its doors.

“The hydrotherapy pool is open, this is the advice from the government,” shes said.

“There is no evidence the virus will survive in well managed and maintained pools chlorinated in accordance with Australian standards and guidelines,” she said.

“People should minimise time spent out of the pool and comply with the aforementioned social distancing and protective measures when in the changerooms and outside the pool. Shower with soap before attending the facility.”

Boandik has implemented additional cleaning between users to ensure a safe environment in the pool area.

“There is so much impacted in the community and keeping fit and healthy through exercise will benefit all,” Ms McGinty said.

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