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May 07, 2020

Letter to residents and their families

Dear residents and families, 
 
Happy Mother’s Day!
 
I’m hoping we can make Mother’s Day special for you and your loved ones this coming Sunday, even though it will be different to what we’ve come to expect.
 
The emotional urge to catch up with family and friends over the Mother’s Day weekend is incredibly strong. But I can’t stress enough how important social distancing and isolation remain with COVID-19 still active in the community.
 
Aged care residents remain the most vulnerable in the community during this global pandemic. To date, we have managed to keep RSL LifeCare residents safe by avoiding a single COVID-19 infection in our residents or staff, by maintaining strict safety protocols and procedures. Tragically, this has not been the case in other aged care facilities across Australia.
 
Visits
During this Mother’s Day weekend our protective visitor restrictions will remain in place. Only compassionate visits for residents receiving palliative care will be permitted. This means that in the interests of safety for all residents, no other visits are permitted for the time being.
 
Connecting with family
To keep people connected through this difficult time, we have invested in additional technology and support programs that allow families to speak and engage with their loved ones through video. In addition, we are planning some fun Mother’s Day activities for all our residents to celebrate their wonderful contribution. Please feel free to call your local Facility Manager to find out what’s happening at your local site.
 
Next steps
The aged care sector and Federal Government have jointly developed a Residential Care Visitor Access Code that will be finalised on 11th May. RSL LifeCare will be reviewing and implementing the recommendations for greater visitor access and we’ll communicate to all staff and families the next phase for our aged care homes.
 
We closely monitor and measure the risks associated with the COVID-19 trends in the community, as well as the guidance given by the Federal and State Government, the public health departments and the aged care industry.
 
These restrictions have been put in place to keep us all safe. I understand this is extremely difficult for everyone (especially over Mother’s Day) and I appreciate your patience and understanding. Nevertheless, I am pleased the level of community risk in various parts of NSW is starting to diminish, which is what is needed to allow social distancing restrictions to be lifted.
 
I look forward to progressively welcoming families back into our facilities as circumstances permit.
 
I am just very sorry that on this Mother’s Day, the COVID-19 risk for our vulnerable residents remains too high for us to accept visitors. Thank you for your understanding, please enjoy my Mother’s Day video message, and have a very Happy Mother’s Day.

 


Yours sincerely, 
Laurie Leigh
CEO, RSL LifeCare

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