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Aged care sector welcomes new COVID-19 announcements but clarity needed

Release date: 20 Jul 2020

The two largest aged care peak bodies say they will work closely with the government to finalise and implement important new measures and principles for COVID-19 outbreaks in aged care.

Yesterday’s announcement has a number of measures designed to keep residents in aged care facilities safe and well but it doesn’t address all of the issues providers are facing as they continue to battle COVID-19.

Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) are asking the government to clarify details of the announcement in particular with regards to resourcing.

The two peaks are committed to addressing the issue of workers unintentionally spreading COVID-19 between aged care facilities. This is a high stakes issue due to the vulnerable people we care for.

In hotspot areas, movement of people must be kept to a minimum and this presents a significant challenge for aged care as many of our passionate staff work at more than one location.

The new principles must ensure that no worker is disadvantaged and that providers are given the financial and other support necessary to fill shifts and keep their residents safe.

Providers will work constructively with the government to ensure the right balance is struck. 

When an outbreak occurs in an aged care facility it requires the full support of the health system. Aged care homes are not hospitals and cannot provide that level of disease control or treatment. It’s good to see that the government has recognised this and will utilise private hospitals for both treatment and isolation purposes.

Older people deserve the same level of respect and treatment as younger people. For people to be denied hospital treatment based on age is simply wrong.

 

Aged & Community Services Australia
Peter Stahel peter.stahel@essentialmedia.com.au 0408 584 439 

Leading Age Services Australia: 
Nick Way nickw@lasa.asn.au 0419 835 449

As the peak body representing church, charitable and community-based organisations providing accommodation and care services to older people, people with a disability and their carers, ACSA can be contacted for comment on issues affecting the industry.

Areas ACSA may provide media commentary on include:  

  • Aged care reforms
  • Residential aged care
  • Home care
  • Independent and retirement living
  • Housing for older Australians
  • Palliative care
  • The aged care workforce in Australia

 

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