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Below is a selection of the latest COVID-19 resources for aged care providers and families

Help for families

Help For Families Of A Person Living With Dementia During A Pandemic is a six-page resource from Dementia Support Australia (DSA) aimed at giving clear guidance to relatives and friends of people with dementia who are either in hospital or living in residential aged care during the COVID-19 pandemic on how best to stay connected with and support their friend or loved one. The resource sets out clear advice on two key questions: ‘What your family member needs you to do’, and ‘What you can do to stay connected’. It is available from https://bit.ly/3s8a5O6. A shortened version, in a two-page help sheet is also available, just presenting information on ‘What your family member needs you to do’ (available at https://bit.ly/3fRNJeR).

COVID-19 restrictions: your rights

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has published a three-page fact sheet aimed at aged care residents, their families and representatives, titled COVID-19 Restrictions In Residential Aged Care – Your Rights. It presents answers to a series of questions on this topic, such as ‘Why are visitor restrictions used?’, ‘What are my rights when visitor restrictions are in place in my service?’, ‘Are there any exemptions to visitor restrictions?’, ‘What do I need to do to visit if I am exempt from the restrictions?’ and ‘Are there any restrictions on residents leaving an aged care service?’, as well as information on where to go if you have concerns. Access the fact sheet here: https://bit.ly/2UcxRvS

FAQs about vaccines

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) has developed a series of 11 videos featuring Dr Norman Swan answering frequently asked questions in relation to the COVID-19 vaccines. The one-minute films cover topics such as: ‘Known issues with other vaccines or medications’, ‘The known side effects’, and ‘How does the right to choose affect people with reduced capacity or dementia?’. The questions were also addressed in two longer one-hour webinars on this topic, which are available, alongside the short films, here: https://opan.org.au/covid19_vaccine/

Aged care communication guide

The Australian Government has published the National COVID-19 Residential Aged Care Emergency Communication Guide, providing guidance on communication in advance of, and during, a COVID-19 outbreak. It covers roles and responsibilities, communication protocols and communication processes for Australian Government, State and Territory Governments, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) and residential aged care facility providers. This guide will also be of interest for peak bodies, and advocacy and cultural organisations involved in residential aged care communication activities. Templates have been included as an attachment, to guide and support aged care facilities, though the Government says that the information should be used in a flexible way that best suits the event, situation, location and facility. Access the guide here: https://bit.ly/3jNE6jy

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