Font

Updated 29 June 2020

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, but restricted visitor access will apply (details below). During this time, residents will be supported to understand the increased handwashing and social distancing requirements that necessitate the restriction of visitors and will be offered opportunities for appropriate ongoing social engagement with the provision of additional Lifestyle Workers.
  • Bene Casa Home Care will continue to provide expert care to our consumers at home.
  • Bene Vita Lifestyle & Wellness centre-based programs are suspended until further notice.

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 has returned from overseas or a place outside of South Australia that is not in the low community transmission zone (NT, TAS, WA)
    • During the preceding 14 days, the person has been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or someone awaiting the results of COVID-19 testing
    • The person has a temperature of 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
  • 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 with special provisions is allowed for:

  • Each resident to receive one (1) visit per day of up to 60 minute duration. There may be up to two (2) visitors per visit.
  • Residents receiving palliative end-of-life care
  • Residents who require assistance attending scheduled external medical appointments
  • Residents who have a clearly established pattern of receiving Shared Care

In accordance with the Emergency Management (Residential Aged Care Facilities) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 enacted by the State Coordinator, eligible visitors will be restricted from entering any Bene facility if the person:

  • Has returned from overseas or a place outside of South Australia that is not in the low community transmission zone (NT, TAS, WA) in the last 14 days
  • Has been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or someone awaiting the results of COVID-19 testing in the last 14 days
  • Has a temperature of 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
  • Has not had the 2020 seasonal influenza vaccination (children under 6 months are exempt). Proof of vaccination will be required – this is a Government-mandated requirement.

To accommodate the new visitor guidelines, a new Visitor Pass Holder booking system will apply to all scheduled visits from June 29.

What to do prior to visiting

  1. Register for a Visitor Pass
    Anyone intending to visit a resident will be required to register for a Visitor Pass in advance of the intended visit. Those that have previously registered as a Nominated Authorised Visitor will automatically be issued a Visitor Pass.
    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
    X
    AdminCampbelltown@bene.org.auX
    X

    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 addres

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

  2. Schedule a visit
    X
    Send an email to the receptionist at the care home you wish to visit with the following information:
    – Name of the resident
    – Your full name
    – Your phone number
    – Your email address
    – Preferred visiting date(s) and time(s). Limit of one (1) visit per resident per day.
    X
    Bene will send you an email confirming the date(s) and time(s) of your visit(s).
    X
    Each resident will be able to enjoy one (1) visit of up to 60 minutes per day. There may be up to two (2) visitors per visit. Visiting hours are as below.
  Mornings  Afternoons  Evenings 
Mon-Fri
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
9:00am
9:15am
9:30am
9:45am
10:00am
10:15am
10:30am
10:45am
11:00am
X
X
X
X
1:00pm
1:15pm
1:30pm
1:45pm
2:00pm
2:15pm
2:30pm
2:45pm
3:00pm
3:15pm
3:30pm
3:45pm
4:00pm
6:00pm
6:15pm
X
X
X

X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X

Sat, Sun

*Bookings for weekend visits must be made by the preceding Friday, 3pm
X
X

1:00pm
1:15pm
1:30pm
1:45pm
2:00pm
2:15pm
2:30pm
2:45pm
3:00pm
 

 

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 cancel your booking and do not visit.

 

During your visit

  • Temperature screening, COVID-19 declaration, travel/contact declaration and visiting declaration will be required upon arrival
  • Visitors must carry their Visitor Pass at all times while visiting.
  • Visitors must use the hand sanitizer on entering the care home.
  • Visits can only occur in a resident’s room, outdoors or in a specific designated area, with appropriate social distancing measures

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 Visitor Pass holders.

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 COVID-19 Health Alert
For the latest public advice, visit https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

COVID-19 Video Resource 
SBS video resource – English
SBS video resource – Italian

Australian Government COVID-19 Information in Your Language
For COVID-19 information for culturally and linguistically diverse communities in 63 languages other than English, covering topics such as health, border updates, education and business and financial support, visit https://covid19inlanguage.homeaffairs.gov.au

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