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Updated 16 December 2020

Key changes in this update:

  • Residential aged care – Restrictions on visitation have eased with residents able to receive up to two visitors at any one time for any length of time. No bookings are required but visitors are asked not no visit at meal times unless by prior arrangement (see details below).  
  • Centre-based program – The program at Bene Padre Pio has recommenced. The program at Bene Italian Village remains suspended until further notice due to its co-location with the residential care home. Please contact Bene if you would like to arrange alternative lifestyle and wellness support at home during this time. 

Bene Aged Care is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and adhering to the advice of the Australian Commonwealth and State Departments of Health in taking appropriate precautionary measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community.

We understand that these are trying times and thank you for your cooperation in helping us to protect all those in our care against COVID-19.

Why is this infection so dangerous for older people?

The risk of serious illness from COVID-19 increases with age. The highest rate of fatalities is among older people, particularly those with other serious health conditions or a weakened immune system. There is currently no cure or vaccine for COVID-19.

For people living with dementia or some form of cognitive impairment, the ability to follow instructions to reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19 or to alert others about potential symptoms may be a challenge. This is especially so where there is a limited capacity to communicate verbally or express pain and discomfort.

To protect older Australians and those with compromised immune systems, we all need to work together to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

How are our services affected?

  • Bene Residential Care will continue to provide expert care to our residents, while safety precautions and measures will apply to all visits (details below). During this time, residents will be offered opportunities for appropriate ongoing social engagement through the provision of additional Lifestyle Workers. Residents will also be supported to understand the importance of increased handwashing and social distancing required to safeguard our community.
  • Bene Casa Home Care will continue to provide expert care to our consumers at home.
  • Bene Vita Lifestyle & Wellness centre-based program has resumed at Bene Padre Pio and will continue to provide expert care to our consumers. The program at Bene Italian Village remains suspended until further notice due to its co-location with the residential care home.

What are we doing to ensure the safety of our community?

As a long-established specialist aged care provider, we have extensive infection control measures in place to protect the health and wellbeing of our vulnerable older Australians as well as those who care for them. To further minimise risk to our community, Bene has implemented the following measures.

  • Entry into any Bene facility will be prohibited by any person to which any of the following conditions apply:
    • During the preceding 14 days, the person arrived in South Australia from a place outside South Australia that was not within the low community transmission zone (for more information, refer to https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-and-responsibilities/travel-restrictions#sa)
    • During the preceding 14 days, the person had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test
    • The person has a temperature higher than 37.5℃, or has a history of fever or chills in the preceding 72 hours, or symptoms of acute respiratory infection such as a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, or loss of taste and smell
    • The person has not been vaccinated against the 2020 seasonal influenza. Proof of vaccination will be required,
    • The person has undertaken a COVID-19 test and is awaiting the test result
  • Adherence to appropriate hygiene and social distancing measures as outlined by the Australian Commonwealth and State Departments of Health
  • Additional staff training and assessment of infection control procedures specific to COVID-19
  • Implementation of additional cleaning and disinfection measures
  • Restricted visitor access to our residential care homes, as detailed below

What are the current visitor guidelines?

Of paramount importance are the health and safety of our residents and those that care for them. As such, Bene is continually adapting its COVID-19 visitor guidelines as the situation evolves.

Currently, visitation at all Bene residential care homes allow for:

  • Residents to receive up to two visitors at any one time for any length of time. No bookings are required but visitors are asked not no visit at meal times unless by prior arrangement of an ‘in room’ meal time visit
  • Residents to be accompanied to attend a gathering at a family member’s home

In accordance with the Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities No 17) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 enacted by the State Coordinator, eligible visitors will be restricted from entering any Bene facility if:

  • During the preceding 14 days, the person arrived in South Australia from a place outside South Australia that was not within the low community transmission zone (for more information, refer to https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-and-responsibilities/travel-restrictions#sa)
  • During the preceding 14 days, the person had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test
  • The person has a temperature higher than 37.5℃, or has a history of fever or chills in the preceding 72 hours, or symptoms of acute respiratory infection such as a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, or loss of taste and smell
  • The person has not been vaccinated against the 2020 seasonal influenza. Proof of vaccination will be required,
  • The person has undertaken a COVID-19 test and is awaiting the test result.

What to do prior to visiting

  1. Register for a Visitor Pass
    If you have not already done so, anyone intending to visit a resident will be required to register for a Visitor Pass in advance of the intended visit.
    X
    To register, you must email or contact the receptionist at the care home that you intend to visit.

    Italian Village AdminStAgnes@bene.org.au
    St Clair AdminStClair@bene.org.au
    Campbelltown AdminCampbelltown@bene.org.auX

    Please note that these email addresses are only attended by reception during business hours on Monday to Thursday 9am to 4pm and on Friday 9am to 3pm.

    When registering, you must provide the following information:
    – Full name of the resident you wish to visit
    – Your full name
    – Your phone number
    – Your email address
    – Evidence of having received the 2020 seasonal influenza vaccination

    A Visitor Pass will be issued to you on successful registration.

If you have a temperature of higher than 37.5℃ or are experiencing symptoms of a respiratory infection such as a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, we ask that you do not visit.

 

During your visit

  • Visitors must carry their Visitor Pass at all times while visiting.
  • Visitors must consent to temperature screening and sign in and answer the COVID-19 screening questions at the electronic kiosk upon arrival.
  • Visitors must use the hand sanitizer on entering the care home.
  • Visitors must wear a mask while visiting the care home. This is a requirement until December 23.
  • Visits can only occur in a resident’s room with appropriate social distancing measures.
  • Visitors must not enter any communal areas.

 

Reminder

In a letter provided to residents and representatives on 4 September 2020 we kindly requested residents and/or representatives to complete two consent forms:

  • Permission to share contact details with Government authorities
  • Pre-consent for alternative accommodation arrangements during a COVID-19 outbreak

If you have not yet returned the consent forms, please do so at your earliest convenience.

Bene would like to sincerely thank you for your patience, assistance and support during this time to help us keep our community safe.

What are we doing to minimise the impact of social isolation?

We understand that the requirement for social isolation at this time is particularly challenging for older people. To support those in our care within our residential care homes and out in the community, Bene is implementing some extra services including:

  • A prehabilitation program and additional reablement exercise programs to boost physical and mental wellbeing and minimise the risk of deconditioning. Accessible from the comfort of your own home or within our residential care homes, the friendly therapists of Flex Care are at hand to help you stay physically active during this time.
  • In our residential care homes, we have partnered with CareApp to bring our residents, carers and families together over an easy-to-use mobile platform that enhances social connectivity and communication and offers greater peace of mind for our families.
  • An increased focus on offering safe and engaging social distancing-friendly activities to meet the individual needs and preferences of our residents with the provision of additional Lifestyle Workers.
  • Window of Love visits at each of our care homes in addition to face-to-face visits by Nominated Authorised Visitors.

We also encourage friends and family to keep in touch by making phone or video calls, sending postcards, photos or artwork or filming short videos to share. There are many creative ways to let your loved ones know that you care.

What can you do to help keep our community safe?

We can all help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia.

To protect others, you must:

For more information

National Coronavirus Helpline
If you’re concerned, you can call the National Coronavirus Helpline for information and advice about COVID-19. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

1800 020 080

If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.

Latest Public Advice
For the latest public advice, visit https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

General Coronavirus Advice 
SBS video resource – English
SBS video resource – Italian

To keep up to date with the most recent Bene news and COVID-19 related announcements, please take a look at our news pages.