Aged care visitor code launched

13 provider peak bodies and consumer advocacy organisations have released a co-developed industry code outlining provider and visitor rights and responsibilities for aged facilities during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Designed to provide an agreed industry approach to ensure aged care residents are provided the opportunity to receive visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, while minimising the risk of its introduction to, or spread within, a residential care home.


Summary:

1. Providers will continue to facilitate visits between residents and visitors.

2. Visits may occur in a variety of ways and may be supplemented with additional ways to connect a
resident and their visitors. 

3. Homes may regulate the overall number of visitors in order to minimise the risk of the introduction of
COVID-19.

4. Wishes and preferences of residents will be at the centre of all decision making in relation to who visits
them.

5. Existing legislation and regulation continue to apply during COVID-19.

6. No visitor should attend an aged care home if they are unwell or displaying any cold/flu, respiratory or
COVID-19 related symptoms.

7. There are certain circumstances which may require longer visits. These situations are
   a. Residents who are dying should be allowed in-room visits from loved ones on a regular basis.

   b. Residents who have a clearly established and regular pattern of involvement from visitors
   contributing to their care and support (this could be daily or a number of times per week and,
   for example assisting a resident with their meals or with essential behaviour support such as for
   people living with dementia) must continue to have these visits facilitated.

   c. Visits from family, families of choice and friends who travel extensive distances to visit the
   resident.

8. All other visitors may be only able to visit for a shorter visit and may be subject to additional procedures
such as booking systems. 

9. Residents have the right to continue to receive letters, parcels including gifts, non-perishable food and
communication devices to the home. 

10. Where there is a suspected or actual outbreak of COVID-19, or a suspected/known case of COVID-19
within a home, increased visitor restrictions will be implemented which may include exclusion of
visitors.

11. In the absence of an active outbreak, residents can continue to use public spaces within the home.

12. Residents right to access medical and related services (e.g. repair of hearing aids or glasses, urgent
dental care, mental health support) will be maintained. 

13. Providers will vary their own response to COVID-19 as risks change within their local community.

 

 

View the full code here
It will next be reviewed on Friday 29 May 2020

 

Aged Care Provider Peak Organisations

Aged Care Consumer and Carer Peak Organisations

Aged & Community Services Australia
• Aged Care Guild
• Anglicare Australia
• Baptist Care Australia
• Catholic Health Australia
• Leading Age Services Australia
• UnitingCare Australia
Carers Australia
• Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia
• Dementia Australia
• Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of
Australia
• National Seniors Australia
• Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN)

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