×

Write an Article

Back to Articles

The Victorian Elderly Care Industry is Outraged by the 'Bizarre' Decision to Let Unvaccinated Guests Inside Residences

The Victorian Elderly Care Industry is Outraged by the 'Bizarre' Decision to Let Unvaccinated Guests Inside Residences

Published By Newly

The Victorian government has dug down on its unwillingness to enforce vaccines for visits to elderly care homes, a stance that has enraged the industry, which has called it "bizarre."

It comes as Victoria relaxes Covid restrictions even further on Friday, a day after the state reported 1,923 new locally acquired cases and 25 fatalities — the greatest single-day death toll of the current epidemic.

The elderly care industry slammed the state's decision not to mandate vaccines for visits to aged care facilities on Thursday, calling it bizarre that individuals need a vaccine to get a haircut but not to see a vulnerable population.

The leading not-for-profit aged care providers group, Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), has asked the Victorian government to "reconsider the situation promptly."

However, a government spokeswoman told the Guardian Australia on Thursday that the measures were "proportionate" in balancing the danger of transmission with the impact of social isolation on residents.

A spokeswoman said that with such high rates of community vaccination, high resident vaccination rates, and mandated vaccination for staff - these restrictions are reasonable in balancing the transmission risk with the implications of extended isolation on residents' health, welfare, and functioning.

The restrictions were "constantly evaluated," according to the spokeswoman, and might alter if public health recommendations changed.

Unvaccinated guests will only have access to a person's room or outdoor places, not communal areas. In addition, the state's elderly care personnel is inoculated to 98 percent, whilst residents are vaccinated to 90 percent.

Visits to nursing homes are still prohibited. However, there are just seven reasons why you should visit an elderly care facility. These include: giving care if the resident is under the age of 18, acting as a nominated mental health support person, acting as a nominated person of someone with dementia, acting as an interpreter, working, or providing end-of-life support.

Current regulations allow for two visits at a time, from distinct residences, with no time constraints.

Despite strong vaccination rates among staff and residents, the industry is concerned that relaxing regulations may boost the virus's spread in the community, putting elderly care facilities in danger.

ACSA CEO Paul Sadler said that aged care facilities are on the front lines of the epidemic. This is our most vulnerable group of people. Everyone who visits aged care should bring the protection of a vaccine with them.

Since 11 October, NSW has required all visitors to have two doses of a vaccine at least 14 days prior to their visit to a facility.

An exception exists for up to two unvaccinated people to visit a resident for an “end of life visit”.

Similar rules exist in the Australian Capital Territory. All visitors to elderly care institutions in the ACT must be properly vaccinated two weeks in advance.

Visitors are required to show evidence of their vaccination, either through the online immunisation history statement or a Covid-19 digital certificate.

Last month, aged care minister Richard Colbeck foreshadowed a plan to improve visitation to aged care facilities, using a combination of rapid antigen testing, face masks, and social distancing.


Like
Comment
Share

Leave a Comment

Latest Jobs

Posted By: HealthcareLink - On-demand Support
Posted Date: 2022-05-05
Location: All Australia
Posted By: Newly On-Demand
Posted Date: 2022-05-05
Location: Rosebud VIC 3939
Posted By: Newly On-Demand
Posted Date: 2022-05-13
Location: Traralgon VIC 3844

Latest Courses & Events

Posted Date: 2022-05-04
Location: Online
Posted By: Kineo
Posted Date: 2022-05-04
Location: Online
Posted By: Kineo
Posted Date: 2022-05-04
Location: Online