Dear Valued Client/Caregiver,

We understand that currently there is a lot of concern regarding the Coronavirus COVID-19 across Australia. As a result, we want to share with you our updated information about how Assured Home Care will be delivering services during this difficult time.
Assured Home Care continues to be committed to delivering quality services adapted to work with and meet our client’s support needs whilst maintaining safety and wellbeing for clients, families, caregivers and our staff.
Please take a moment to read the attached letter from our CEO Julie de Jong. Should you have any questions or need further information please contact us on 8374 2444.

We thank you for your partnership through this period of COVID-19. Though a challenging time, we are continuing to provide essential services, while abiding by Federal and State Government mandates and recommendations (as at 08.04.2020), to ensure the safety of all our workers and the clients we serve.

Pre-service Safety Checks

We have, like many others, introduced new procedures and are currently following a number of precautionary measures to ensure that we minimise any risk of the virus being spread to and/or through our workers.

We are implementing a pre-service safety check that poses a number of questions to be asked before a service is delivered by our staff.

All workers have been instructed to ask the following questions before commencing support with all new clients:

New Clients

  1. Do you, or any one in your household, have any signs and symptoms of a respiratory illness including fever, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath or any gastro like symptoms? Have you visited a GP and what was the outcome?
  2. Have you returned from overseas travel in the last 14 days? (All overseas travellers must self-isolate for 14 days from the date of their return)
  3. Have you returned from an interstate trip in the last 7 days? (All interstate visitors must self-isolate for 14 days from the date of their return)
  4. Has a person you are living with, or in close contact with, been travelling interstate or overseas as above, and is not well?
  5. Have you, or a person you are in direct contact with, been in contact with anyone who has or is suspected of having COVID – 19?
    If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, please advise our staff immediately.

For Existing Clients:

This letter is to advise you that our staff will ask the following at each shift or service:

  1. Since our last visit by AHC have you or anyone in your household had a change in health condition?

  2. Do you have any new signs or symptoms of respiratory illness including?

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Shortness of breath
    • Gastro like symptoms
  3. Have you, or a person you are in direct contact with, been in contact with anyone who has or is suspected of having Coronavirus COVID – 19?

Our staff will be advised that where a client answers “yes” to any of these questions, the Assured Home Care Office is to be informed on 8374 2444 so that a decision can be made regarding safe delivery of services to this client.

Continuation of Services

We wish to advise that as of 08.04.2020, we are continuing with the following services:

  • Bathing and personal hygiene, dressing and grooming, assisting with mobility
  • Assisting with medication management where this is a requirement of a service / care plan
  • Assistance with shopping for essentials e.g. food
  • Meal preparation
  • Domestic Housework
  • Basic gardening
  • Transport to essential shopping or routine medical appointments
  • Assisting with routine medical appointments.
  • Plan Management (via telephone correspondence)
  • Specialist Support Coordination (via telephone correspondence)
  • Continuation of Supports Program +65 Case Management (via telephone correspondence)

Please note we will not transport any client who has symptoms of COVID-19.

Should you be concerned about any development of signs and symptoms you may experience, please contact your General Practitioner, Health Direct on 1800 022 222 or the COVID-19 Hotline 1800 020 080 for advice.

We are adhering to the Federal and South Australian government guidelines around how we deliver our services. For a detailed list of changes that we have applied to our services provision, please see the attached table.

Standard Precautions

We have instructed our workers in safe practice for good hygiene. This includes:

  • Washing hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating, after going to the toilet, and when they have been out to shops or public areas
  • Using alcohol-based hand sanitisers, where available
  • Where possible, stay 1.5 metres away — 2 arms’ length — from other people. 
This is an example of social distancing.
  • If they are sick, they are to stay at home and avoid contact with others. Avoiding non-essential travel.

We appreciate your understanding in regards to the changes that have been made for the ongoing safety, health and wellbeing of clients, staff and members of the community, and apologise for any inconvenience experienced through the application of our new COVID-19 precautionary measures and processes.

In addition to these changes, we wish to ask for your cooperation in communicating these new precautions to all relevant persons, and to inform us immediately should any person that our staff be in contact with during the provisions of support services, become unwell with COVID-19 symptoms and/or has been positively tested with COVID-19. Communication of such an instance can be made via phone to our office on 8374 2444.

If you wish to discuss any of the changes contained within this letter, you are encouraged to email your concerns to safety@assuredhomecare.com.au or alternatively call the office via phone, 8374 2444, and talk to one of our staff.

Sincerely

Julie De Jong
Chief Executive Officer
Assured Home Care

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List of Support Services & Changes

Domestic Assistance

Your usual service can continue using social distancing of 1.5 m minimum with all present in your home.
We will be advising our staff to work in each area of your home, on their own without you. This will assist in keeping you safe and our workers safe.

Please provide our workers with domestic rubber gloves for all wet cleaning tasks and access to soap and water to wash their hands before, during and after your service.

We will not provide a domestic service where someone in your home has signs or symptoms of respiratory illness or there is a proven case of COVID-19.

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Social - In Home

Your usual social service can continue using social distancing of 1.5 m minimum with all present in your home.

Please provide our workers with soap and water to wash their hands before, during and after your service.
We will not provide a social service where someone in your home has signs or symptoms of respiratory illness or there is a proven case of COVID-19.

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Social - Out of home

Unfortunately, your out of home social service is affected by the current government mandates.

We will not be providing an out of home social service to:

  • cafes, restaurants, pubs, clubs, hotels
  • food courts
  • gyms – indoor and outdoor, swimming pools
  • cinemas,
  • galleries,
  • museums,
  • community halls
  • libraries
  • RSL or gaming venues
  • parks and play centres of any kind
  • or any other places as the Government directs

The Federal Government have advised that people should stay home unless they are going out for personal exercise in their neighbourhood, on their own or accompanied by one other person. 
For example, your Assured Home Care support worker.
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/limits-on-public-gatherings-for-coronavirus-covid-19

The Federal Government have also have stated that non-essential gatherings such as this social service is limited to 2 people.

The rule of social distancing of 1.5 m minimum must be kept at all times.
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing-for-coronavirus-covid-19

Please provide our workers with soap and water to wash their hands before, during and after your service.

As per Federal Government recommendations on non-essential travel, we will not provide transport for social drives or accompanied use of public transport until further notice.
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/limits-on-public-gatherings-for-coronavirus-covid-19#

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Respite - In Home

Your usual respite- in home service can continue using social distancing of 1.5 m minimum with all present in your home.

Please provide our workers with soap and water to wash their hands before, during and after your service.

We will not provide a respite- in home service where someone in your home has signs or symptoms of respiratory illness or there is a proven case of COVID-19.

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Respite - Out of home

Unfortunately, your out of home respite service is affected by the current government mandates.

We will not be providing an out of home social service to :

  • cafés, restaurants, pubs, clubs, hotels
  • food courts
  • gyms – indoor and outdoor, swimming pools
  • cinemas,
  • galleries,
  • museums,
  • community halls
  • libraries
  • RSL or gaming venues
  • parks and play centres of any kind
  • or any other places as the Government directs

The Federal Government have advised that people should stay home unless they are going out for personal exercise in their neighbourhood, on their own or accompanied by one other person. 
For example, your Assured Home Care support worker.
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/limits-on-public-gatherings-for-coronavirus-covid-19

The Federal Government have also stated that non-essential gatherings such as this social service is limited to 2 people. The rule of social distancing of 1.5 m minimum must be kept at all times.
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing-for-coronavirus-covid-19

Please provide our workers with soap and water to wash their hands before, during and after your service.

As per Federal Government recommendations on non-essential travel, we will not provide transport for social drives or accompanied use of public transport until further notice.
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/limits-on-public-gatherings-for-coronavirus-covid-19#
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Transport

Your usual transport service is affected by the current government mandates.

A client and support worker can still travel to go shopping as long as it is deemed to be an essential item or attending a routine medical appointment.

Clients must travel in the back seat of the car, diagonally opposite to the driver, to maintain appropriate social distancing.
The car is to have only fresh air intake in action – no recirculated air/ air-conditioning is to be used.

Where a support workers car does not permit the client to sit in safely the back seat, the transport service will not be provided. 
The client is recommended to use an accessible taxi at their own expense.

Please provide our workers with soap and water to wash their hands before, during and after your service.

As per Federal Government recommendations on non-essential travel, we will not provide transport for social drives or accompanied use of public transport until further notice.
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/limits-on-public-gatherings-for-coronavirus-covid-19#
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Shopping

Your usual shopping service is affected by the current government mandates.

A client and support worker can still travel to go shopping as long as it is deemed to be for essential items.
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/limits-on-public-gatherings-for-coronavirus-covid-19

Please be aware that many retailers will only accept card payments (contactless) where possible.

Whilst shopping please maintain social distancing of 1.5 m minimum at all times.

Clients must travel in the back seat of the car, diagonally opposite to the driver, to maintain appropriate social distancing.
The car is to have only fresh air intake in action – no recirculated air/ air-conditioning is to be used.

Where a support workers car does not permit the client to sit in safely the back seat, the transport and shopping service will not be provided. We may be able to reschedule another support worker with a more suitable vehicle to assist, but may not be able to guarantee this.

As per Government Guidelines, we will not provide transport for social shopping or non-essential shopping or accompanied use of public transport for shopping - until further notice.
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/limits-on-public-gatherings-for-coronavirus-covid-19#

On return from the shops our support workers will ask to be able to wash their hands. Please provide our workers with soap and water to wash their hands before, during and after your service.

We recommend that clients also wash their hands when they return from shopping.

We will not be able to undertake unaccompanied shopping.

Where a client has an existing medical condition and is unable to shop themselves – we recommend that you contact your coordinator for support to obtain online shopping approval.

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Personal Care (essential service)

We appreciate that supporting your personal care requires being somewhat close to our worker – within the 1.5m space.

To complete the required standard of personal care, our support workers will wear gloves for all contact with private parts, mucous membranes, any broken skin or where they are supporting the care of catheters, tube feeds etc.

As per Federal Government guidelines, it is not necessary to ask your support workers to wear face masks.

Face masks must be worn by clients who show symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).
https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-on-the-use-of-surgical-masks

Please note that we have trained our support workers not to attend any client service should they the worker be unwell.

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Assistance with medication management (essential service)

When we provide assistance with medication management it may require our support workers being somewhat close to you – within the 1.5m space.

To complete the required standard of medication administration, our support workers will wear gloves only for assisting with blood glucose monitoring, assisting with medications via tube feeds or for bowel medication insertion.

As per Federal Government guidelines it is not necessary to ask your support workers to wear face masks.

Face masks must be worn by clients who show symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-on-the-use-of-surgical-masks

Please note that we have trained our support workers not to attend any client service should they the worker be unwell.

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Meal Preparation (essential service)

Our staff will provide meal preparation with food safety in mind using social distancing of 1.5 m minimum with all present in your home.

Good hand hygiene practises will be used such as washing of hands, use of disposable gloves only when the worker has a skin condition/wound/ dressings/ bandages/ band aids present.

Food safety principles will be followed for all meal preparation services.

Please note that we have trained our support workers not to attend any client service should they the worker be unwell.

COVID-19 Client Letter