Well-prepared aged care

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Counsellor Liz Thompson is providing psychological support in these uncertain times.
Camera IconCounsellor Liz Thompson is providing psychological support in these uncertain times. Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee/Busselton-Dunsborough Times, Jackson Lavell-Lee

Allied health professionals and aged care facilities have banded together in preparation for the outbreak of COVID-19 in the South West.

Regular use of hand sanitiser, masks and 1.5m distancing should be implemented around people over 60 and children under five.

The most vulnerable need to be supported with careful medical plans. Capecare chief executive Stephen Carmody said his organisation had developed a four-step approach to virus procedure: prevention; preparedness; response; and recovery.

“We are currently in the preparedness phase and we are likely to be inundated when the virus does reach the South West, but we are looking at symptom management and quarantine within our facility,” he said.

“We can’t pretend we can keep it out of here and we need to react very carefully ... we have to be super-cautious. Don’t be complacent but don’t panic either — it takes good sense and good hygiene.”

Premier Mark McGowan announced on Wednesday restrictions on visitors to residential aged care facilities. “Anyone who has been overseas or in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within a fortnight is banned from visiting aged care homes,” he said.

Aged care residents will only be able to receive one visit a day, with a maximum of two people visiting.

COVID-19 has transformed our daily lives in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.

Shaking hands, going to the movies let alone going to the movies or aor a crowded pub , are out and off the table and overseas holidays are all out cancelled fofor the foreseeable future. Many are working from home and Many are working from home and stressed about losing jobs, how to cope with panic buying or the potential for national quarantine.

South West Counselling is offering services for those overwhelmed by anxiety due to the social implications of COVID-19.

Counsellor Liz Thompson said people needed to try to limit information overload on social media to one update of reliable information twice a day.

“People ... need to break from the constant updates and use their time more constructively with exercise, sunlight or engaging with other people,” she said.

“It can become overwhelming and those hoarding toilet paper it is an attempt to control our surroundings because we are in unprecedented times but good sleep, hygiene, support network and positive coping mechanisms are thoroughly important.”

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