12.8 C
Tuesday, August 9, 2022

NSW premier announces aged care visits to resume from October 11, ACSA wants nation to follow

Must read

NSW has announced that fully vaccinated people will be able to visit loved ones in aged care homes within weeks, ending months of separation.

More than 86 per cent of NSW residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 61.7 per cent fully vaccinated.

With vaccination rates due to reach 70 per cent double dose coverage within weeks, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced visits to aged care homes would be allowed from October 11.

“For those of you who haven’t been able to see a loved one for around three months, (from) Monday the 11th, so long as you are fully vaccinated, two at a time and two per day are able to visit a loved one in an aged care facility,” she said on Wednesday.

“I am looking forward to seeing my parents in that week.”

The peak body for non-for-profit aged care providers Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement and said the NSW roadmap for visitation in residential aged care must be emulated nationally.

The National Cabinet must set a policy which is applied consistently across all States and Territories, it said.

“Additional protections will be necessary when there are high levels of COVID-19 community transmission,” ACSA CEO Paul Sadler said.

“In particular, we advocate for providing of Rapid Antigen Tests to give extra protection for residents, staff and visitors.”

ACSA said it will continue to lobby governments to have a clear policy for how visitation in aged care will work when the virus is in the community but with high vaccination rates and low restrictions.

“Older people shouldn’t be left out of the roadmap out of lockdown,” Sadler said.

“Older Australians in aged care have suffered through various types of lockdown for the longest period and we can’t just treat them like an afterthought.

“We need public health experts at the highest level to set a policy that balances all the pandemic risks against the absolutely critical need for social and personal support from family and friends.

“These are extremely difficult choices, because an outbreak in a residential home can be deadly and very hard on all residents and staff.

“This is the case even now that we are almost fully vaccinated in residential aged care.

Sadler said when restrictions start to ease, cases in the community will go up, putting residential aged care at increased risk.

“All governments must have a clear policy and plan for our visitation in aged care that will work when the virus is in the community but we have high vaccination rates.”

“We await the details of the NSW public health order which will enable visitation to recommence.”

Sadler said ACSA is also keen to see Federal and State Governments resource aged care homes adequately to support safe visitation.

- Advertisement -

Leave a Reply

Latest article

- Advertisement -
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Email newsletter sign-up