Australia’s largest non-government grouping of aged care services, Catholic Health Australia (CHA), says it welcomes the Federal Government’s plan to allow greater access to visitors, and is urging the states to act urgently on its implementation.
The Federal Government’s new Interim Guidance on Managing Public Health Restrictions on Residential Aged Care Facilities encourages increased visitation and supports aged care providers to apply the least restrictive isolation requirements on residents.
CHA CEO Pat Garcia said aged care facilities in the CHA network were eager to see the changes implemented.
“Staff and managers across our network have worked heroically to make life as comfortable as possible for residents during this unprecedented and deeply challenging time,” Garcia said.
“There is no doubt, however, that pandemic restrictions have been badly eroding quality of life for thousands of aged care residents.
Garcia said the new plan offers hope of some relief, but that state governments need to change their public health orders urgently to activate these guidelines.
“Our members in aged care have had to battle not just the pandemic, but confusing communication from different levels of government,” he said.
“Changes to public health orders have often been too slow and unclear.
“State governments should recognise the importance of these measures and move swiftly, decisively, and unambiguously to make them a reality on the ground.”