Dear residents, families and friends
As advised by the Prime Minister yesterday, Auckland will move down from alert level 3.3 to 3.2 from 11.59pm tonight, Tuesday 9th November.
Therefore, due to our contractual obligations, we must remain locked down as if we are in alert level 4 during Auckland’s alert Level 3.3, 3.2 & 3.1.
Despite our best efforts over the past few weeks to get clarity from the Ministry of Health, we are yet to be advised what the aged care visiting protocols and framework look like with the new Covid Protection System (traffic light system).
The Prime Minister has indicated that she will review the alert system on 29th November 2021, yet no other details are forthcoming, and it is hard to plan anything.
We know and understand how frustrating this is and the high degree of distress for residents and families, but we must continue to safeguard our most vulnerable residents and staff.
On a personal note, Linda and I have not seen our eldest son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren in Australia for over 20 months, so we know how hard it is on everyone’s mental health not seeing their loved ones.
Especially when we are missing important birthday milestones and not being there to provide emotional support during their ups and downs.
Today, Linda and I met with our Management Team to discuss our future visitation policy, given Auckland is on-track to have a 90% fully vaccinated population.
The team decided in principle to re-open all facilities on Wednesday 1st December 2021 to family visits, subject to strict protocols and based on the very latest information and advice from the Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Aged Care Association.
The decision to wait until 1st December 2021 considered:
The Management Team will meet after the Prime Minister’s announcement on 29th November 2021, and a final decision and visiting protocols will be made.
We have every intention of reopening on 1st December 2021, and we will send out further advice on Tuesday 30th November 2021 with the requirements and protocols for visits.
Please be prepared for very strict protocols and limited visits.
Some additional information and a few friendly reminders:
It is now mandatory for all staff in aged residential care to be fully vaccinated by 1st December.
The good news is that 100% of our staff will be fully compliant by 1st December 2021.
No, at present there are no general family visits allowed under any of the alert level 3s, due to increased risk for residents and staff.
Again, the only exception to this will be the families of residents in palliative care or who are in end of life care and who are approved to visit by the Clinical Manager.
These visitors will be required to follow careful protocols for Infection, Prevention and Control, strict hygiene, wellness, and social distancing.
It is now mandatory for visitors, staff and contractors to sign in upon entry.
You will need to scan the QR code and sign in using our new software.
Yes, you can now send your loved one something nice but only via courier delivery.
All packages received by courier will be sanitised before being passed onto your loved one.
Please do not come to the facility and drop off packages, as this is outside of the level 3 restrictions, and you will be turned away.
If your loved one requires anything that cannot be couriered, please let us know and we’ll see what we can do.
Now is not the time to drop our guard and the measures that we have put in place are for the benefit our residents and staff.
Don’t forget, we have the use of technology for you to communicate with your loved ones using video calling.
We have set up video calling using FaceTime, Viber, WhatsApp, Skype and Zoom via AgedConnect as a way of staying connected.
This works as follows:
Please be assured that your loved ones are being looked after delicately by our dedicated team of professionals who are doing their very best in trying circumstances.
However, if you have any concerns regarding their wellbeing, please contact the Manager directly.
I will keep you updated if there are any further changes prior to 29th November 2021 that allows us to open sooner.
We are here to help, so please let us know if you have any queries or concerns.
Keep well and be safe.
OWNER / CEO