Partnering in Care maintains social connection during the pandemic

HammondCare has developed an innovative new program called Partnering in Care to enable family members to safely visit their love ones in residential care even in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions.

HC res care photo 580Complementing the existing Visitor Concierge program which provides visitor health screening and safety checks at each care home, Partnering in Care supports relatives who play an essential role in the ongoing well-being of residents by providing them with online and face to face training in COVID-safe practices, infection control, hygiene protocols and taking care of themselves.

General Manager of Residential Care, Angela Raguz said Partnering in Care is designed to help visitors continue their care home visits in a way that manages risk in an intelligent and measured way in each home.

Ms Raguz said it is available to all HammondCare resident’s loved ones and helps to inform and educate people on topics that can help to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission during the pandemic.

Listen to ABC Radio National's news story on Partnering in Care

"Very early in the pandemic we made a decision that we would not be locking down residential care as we could see that dealing with the pandemic would be a marathon and that residents were not only at risk from coronavirus, but also to the physical and emotional impact of loneliness and separation from family," Ms Raguz said.

"We understand the challenges aged care providers face in making decisions regarding the safety of residents, but for HammondCare partnering with families in the care of their loved one is essential and so this program enables visits to loved ones to occur as safely as possible. Family can be involved in their ongoing support, while also helping to keep other residents safe."

One family member who is participating in Partnering in Care, Kerrie Foord, said for HammondCare to find a "different avenue to a situation no one has faced before", that respond to the impact on residents, was "huge".

"To find an alternative process so that we could partner with them in the care of our family - it just made all the difference."

Ms Raguz said about 100 family members so far had completed the free online and face to face training across residential care services that allowed them to be considered essential care providers in the event of tighter pandemic restrictions such as those announced in the Sydney region this week.

Find out more about Partnering in Care