A message from the CEO, Kerri Rivett.
We are certainly going through unprecedented times to state the obvious. There are many uncertainties for us all as we navigate the rapidly changing environment under COVID-19.
Firstly – a huge thank you to our staff who are shouldering the brunt under very trying circumstances, but if ever there was a time for our staff to step up – it’s now, and they are doing that in spades. Amazing.
Also, a huge thank you to the families/advocates of our residents who are working with us to ensure we keep our facilities in lock down and our precious residents safe.
As we all know, the elderly are the most vulnerable and the steps we have taken to close our facilities to the community wasn’t taken lightly, but we believe it has been the correct one.
Our residents are true champions! They are coping surprisingly well, and it has given us all pause to stop and reflect on the many challenges they have experienced over their lifetime.
We are also working on the best ways to keep residents and their loved ones in touch.
Technology is a wonderful tool.
However, we ask families/advocates to please understand that we have limited iPads available – so if family/advocates would like to supply an iPad with sim card for their loved one, they are welcome to do so and drop off in a plastic bag with resident name clearly marked. Please call the facility to arrange drop off.
Additionally, our priority is care and as such, availability to assist one on one with residents to use the technology will at sometimes be stretched. Please be patient with us as we try to juggle the needs of all our residents.
We understand staying in touch is vital. We are developing a management plan for this and will share with families/advocates as soon as it is completed.
In the meantime, please know our staff are taking very good care of the residents, there is music, laughter and food! Although availability of some food may impact our menu choices but rest assured, we will all eat!
We are attaching a Q and A at the bottom of this post for families/advocates to help with information. However, things are changing rapidly, and we want you to be aware that this advice could change at any moment.
The government’s Department of Health website is another great resource – however please be aware Shepparton Villages has taken additional measures to completely close facilities to the community.
Special provisions are in place for families/advocates of palliative or end of life residents, but they must be first cleared with Executive Manager of Care Services Sarah Gaunt 0411 877 610 or myself as CEO, 0477 320 800.
If you have any concerns, please ring the Care Manager at your facility to discuss.
With school closures and strict infection control protocols preventing anyone working at Shepparton Villages who has cold like symptoms or has been overseas or exposed to COVID-19, this has impacted our staffing supply.
However, we have taken measures to recruit casual staff, and have been in discussion with La Trobe University and GOTAFE to utilize students on a skills matrix bases and are advertising for both skilled and unskilled assistance. Many people have already had their jobs impacted by COVID19 and we are working with those people to see if they can assist us.
Aged Care facilities have sophisticated and well-established infection control measures. However, during this time, we have ramped up our infection control training and protocols.
No staff member can enter our facility unless they have undertaken mandatory infection control training.
For over a week now, we have been conducting morning and afternoon emergency management meetings with our COVID-19 team. Additionally, we have an emergency management protocol in place in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 at Shepparton Villages.
This team is working very hard – sometimes around the clock – to ensure we are doing absolutely everything we can to keep this virus at bay. But we do need everyone’s assistance with our strict infection control protocols.
In addition, some of you may know that I had previously resigned my position as CEO to take up a role as CEO of Freemasons Victoria in Melbourne. I was initially to start this mid-April, but under the current environment, all parties felt it prudent that I maintain in the role as CEO at Shepparton Villages until this virus is under some control. This allows us all to ride the inevitable wave over the next few months.
We will continue to update you all on what is happening at Shepparton Villages and I thank you all for your patience and understanding.