We understand not being able to see your loved one, at this time, is incredibly difficult for all concerned. These are unprecedented times and our priority is the safety and care of your loved one and our staff.
Please be assured that within facilities, residents are still enjoying interaction with staff, and each other during supervised activities and over mealtimes – taking into consideration ALL of the social distancing and infection control measures.
We know that you will also understand that our resources are stretched to capacity for assisting with activities and one on one communications assistance as we are no longer able to call on our volunteers to help which we are missing dearly, but we are doing the best we can in very difficult circumstances.
I ask that you be patient with our staff – they too are navigating uncertain times and new ways of doing things and have many competing priorities.
Verbal abuse of staff will not be tolerated.
As many of you will understand, staff priority is to ensure your loved one gets the care they need hence this may impact staff availability to assist residents with communication from time to time. That is not to say that we are not doing this – we certainly are doing everything we can within our capabilities to keep residents and families/advocates connected.
We fully understand that your loved one and you wish to keep in touch hence we have put together a few suggestions on how this may be done.
The following communication tools are being implemented through a staged and managed process at facilities so that families can keep in touch:
Each facility has limited iPads or tablets for utilisation with communication technology using Skype, Facetime, Zoom and other applications.
Lifestyle staff are utilising these to hook residents up to families for visual and audio sessions as capacity allows, and Shepp Villages has purchased additional iPads for this purpose.
However, there are not enough for every single resident, and staff availability to assist residents with technology (which accounts for 80-90% of residents) is also limited.
Families are welcome to purchase iPads, tablets for their loved one, with a sim card. They would need to clearly name the item and arrange with the facility to drop the item off. However, staff availability to assist may be limited from time to time. Again, please drop this off between business hours and contact the facility prior to dropping this off as we are not responsible for personal equipment.
Please keep in mind that Banksia Lodge has intermittent internet service which is out of our hands, so this is not recommended for residents within Banksia Lodge.
A booking/appointment schedule may apply depending on demand and staff availability. To organise a time to Skype/FaceTime etc, call your facility to arrange a time with lifestyle staff that is suitable to all.
Good old-fashioned letters can be dropped off to save postage at the drop off bins at the relevant facility. Please ensure you are dropping off letters during working hours so our staff can retrieve them from collection bins and deliver to residents. Please keep in mind the residents have grown up using mail and many love letters and photos.
Additionally, the Knight St Multi Age Childcare Centre has sent paintings to residents, and Primary Care Connect is investigating the possibility of a pen pal system.
Our staff where possible will assist to establish these relationships via mail so that residents can respond if they wish to.
Residents who are used to going on shopping trips to Big W or the Marketplace to stock up on goodies and treats are missing this opportunity.
At present, staff are running a shopping service for the residents. This may change at any time.
However, families may like to drop off care packs or other items of comfort to their loved ones during this time and are welcome to do so. Please note – all items are to be non-perishable.
All items need to be put in a plastic bag marked clearly with the resident name, and the facility called to arrange drop off during work hours, eg 8.30am to 4 pm.
Any valuable items being dropped off, are in line with our policies on resident valuables.
Lifestyle and care staff are taking photos of residents holding up messages to family on whiteboards. We are posting these on FB as they come in. Not all residents are comfortable having their photo taken and some have signed a no publication form.
Family and friends are responding to the photos with messages and cheerios. These are coming in by the hundreds so being able to pass on messages and comments from these posts is proving difficult, but we are doing our best. Please be patient.
Our staff can utilise technology where available, to live stream the world to our residents. For eg, Zoos Victoria is streaming live footage of their baby animals via You Tube. This service will depend on availability of staff to set up on individual technology tools, or televisions with capabilities (which are limited in each facility).
Our Care and Support staff will work with facility care staff to call family/NOK on a rotational basis, to report in to let families know how mum/dad is doing.
These staff work closely with care staff and know your loved ones well and will utilise this information, enhanced by data from lifestyle and activity staff to give families a verbal run down of how their loved one is faring for the week. This will also give family the opportunity to ask questions relating to care, mental health and wellbeing and general disposition.
Please be aware that visits on to Shepparton Villages property to visit loved ones through glass is NOT permitted.
This is in line with Government restrictions on outdoor gatherings, and in line with our internal policies on risk and infection control, this is a service we are NOT able to offer at this stage.
Regular updates via email, inclusive of newsletters, updates, and information for families/NOK are being emailed on a mass mail out basis regularly to the nominated NOK/Advocate. Those without email are receiving information via express post.
All public information and memos to families/NOK are placed on our website.
Facebook is being used to alert people to any changes or direct people to the website, as well as publishing photographs of resident activity.
Family/NOK can call the facility Care Manager with any questions, however any requests for visitors must go via the CEO Kerri Rivett, or Executive Manager Care Services Sarah Gaunt. At this time, only palliative or end of life visitations are being permitted.