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Update on Aged Care Services in response to COVID-19

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Council has made some changes to the delivery of Aged Services due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday 2 April 2020

Mount Alexander Shire Council has made some changes to the delivery of Aged Care Services in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, while continuing to support the most vulnerable members in the community.

The changes in services are in response to the State and Federal Government restrictions on essential services and social distancing, as well as expert advice from health authorities.

Council is currently delivering the following in-home services, with changes in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection:

• Shopping for clients using notes, and supporting clients with online shopping and grocery delivery services
• Essential personal care services to help with daily living such as showering and application of compression stockings
• Essential home safety services; and
• Support for clients to complete their home exercise program by telephone.

Council staff are still delivering Meals on Wheels.

Council staff are also supporting clients on the vulnerable persons register to determine additional needs for support.

To help reduce community transmission, Council this week put home care, home care cooking and foot care services on hold until further notice. Services such as relief for carers, and social support programs such as planned activities groups stopped in mid to late March. Some clients have cancelled their own services.

“We recognise this is a stressful time for clients, families and carers, and have needed to make some difficult decisions to scale back on services, with a strong regard to the vulnerability and high risk of infection for clients,” said Lisa Knight, Director Community and Corporate Services, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

“Public health is a priority for us and we’ve made the changes in the best interests of protecting our clients, carers, staff and volunteers.

“Staff have made every effort to keep services running as long as possible within the guidelines and under the strictest infection controls,” said Ms Knight.

“Our team have gone to great lengths to transition clients to alternate providers where possible, set up online banking and credit cards, and explain to them new ways of doing things like online shopping while exploring options to support clients in maintaining their social networks.

Council continues to phone clients, and/or their families and carers to advise them of changes to their services and check in on how they are doing. Letters have been sent to affected clients and staff will continue to keep clients informed of further changes.

Feedback from clients has generally been good with many expecting the changes.
They can also contact the Community Wellbeing Team on 5471 1766 if they have any concerns or just wish to chat.

“We acknowledge there is deep concern for vulnerable members in our community and urge everyone to help where they can during this difficult time.

“Everyone has a role to play in looking after each other during this pandemic. We urge you to call a neighbour, leave a note, or drop in a home cooked meal to someone you think might be in need,” she said.

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