An update on HammondCare’s Residential Visitor Guidelines

 
HammondCare has progressively put in place new Visitor Guidelines for our residential care homes that align with the Australian Government’s National COVID-19 Guidelines. Our goal is to put in place all possible measures to ensure the health and well being of residents.

HammondCare Visitor Guidelines effective as at 24 March 2020 until further notice 

  1. Each resident can have ONE VISITOR AT A TIME, once a day.
    • Unlike other providers, most of HammondCare’s homes are small (10-14 residents). Even one additional person in the cottage will create a crowd particularly when we need to adhere to social distancing principles of being two (2) metres away from other people.
    For our larger services only (those that are not cottages) this will be extended to two (2) visitors at a time including health professionals as per the Prime Minister’s address, and this will be outlined at the front of the service if it applies to you.

  2. No children 16 years or under may visit.

  3. Visiting hours will be restricted and will vary slightly at each service. This is because HammondCare homes are smaller in size, and we are wanting to avoid visits during busier times for resident care or where residents may be congregating together such as mealtimes.

  4. Signage on the front door will detail the specific visiting rules for each care home. Please understand that this may change rapidly if someone becomes unwell within the home.

  5. For all homes visits will be restricted to:
    • times outside of mealtimes; AND 
    • to each resident’s own room or in the outside areas of the care home. 

  6. The visit must be restricted to a short period of no longer than 1 hour at a time. This is a new rule and is in line with the Prime Minister’s address on 18 March 2020. 

  7. Screening will occur for each visitor on arrival. There will be a short questionnaire about travel history, symptom assessment and contact with any confirmed case of COVID-19. You must also comply with hand hygiene protocols upon entering and exiting the service.

  8. All visitors will be required to sign the visitors register. This helps us more easily record who has visited the service each day should we be required to provide this information to the Government.

  9. Social distancing procedures are in place. Visitors should not be within 2 metres of other residents wherever possible.

  10. No functions or social gatherings will take place. There will also be no activities with residents from other areas of the service or any outings into the community. This does not include essential specialist appointments with health professionals.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also advised that from 01 May 2020, you must have had your influenza vaccination to visit an aged care facility. Please be in contact with your primary health professional to ensure that you are notified when the influenza vaccination becomes available. 

We continue to understand people’s concerns about this situation where you may not be permitted to visit your family member or friend living in a residential care home. We are working with the local teams to ensure that we are using technology well to enable video conferencing to occur, as well as frequent communication from case managers to ensure that primary decision makers are kept aware of each resident’s current care and care needs.

As per the Prime Minister’s address to the nation, there will be times where local teams will use a responsible level of discretion to vary the rules on compassionate grounds. These situations will be case by case, and we will make these decisions with as much wisdom and compassion as we are able in the current context that we find ourselves in.

HammondCare continues to closely monitor the Australian Government Department of Health’s advice, and we are working closely with the sector, to ensure that the actions we are taking are in the best interests of the people in our care. When we can relax these rules, please be assured that we will do so with careful thought and consideration, and we will communicate this with you in a timely manner.

The care of the most vulnerable is our upmost importance and our commitment to their health and well-being remains our priority. We continue to be impressed by the hard work of the care staff and managers in each service, and remain thankful for your partnership and understanding as we work through this situation together.

Despite some changes this week in the way we as a society are being asked to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, we still encourage you to be prepared, be alert, but not be alarmed.

I ask that you respect the local teams during this time and if you have any concerns about these restrictions or queries about how HammondCare is prepared to respond to any infection or outbreak, please don’t hesitate to contact our team on 1800 776 112 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – we’re always here to help.