How would a retirement village support you in a health crisis?

Boambee Gardens residents

Social distancing in action at Boambee Gardens Retirement Village.

The enormity of recent catastrophes across Australia is unprecedented and difficult to comprehend. After enduring a summer of destructive bushfires, people across the country have been impacted by a global pandemic. At such times, it can be priceless to have the physical and emotional support of a caring community. If you or your loved one is in a retirement village during a natural disaster or health crisis, it helps to know how that village will respond.

One of the most important things to remember is that all retirement villages have obligations under the Retirement Villages Act. This varies by state but, in short, it means that retirement villages have an obligation to protect their residents. It also means there will be plans in place outlining what needs to happen in an emergency. Retirement villages offer residents the best of both worlds – independent living with the assurance of a safety net and support in a crisis.

At our RetireAustralia villages across Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia, here’s what we’re doing – and will continue to do – to support residents during a health crisis.

Emergency response teamEmergency Response Team

We have a dedicated emergency team that is focused on preventing COVID-19 from entering our communities, and preparing for the possibility that it might.

The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff is our top priority. We recognise that many of our residents will be vulnerable to the coronavirus and we’ve implemented a range of measures to help protect them.

For instance, we’ve added visitor checkpoints at each village, staffed by well-known members of the team. By establishing these stringent measures and ensuring all visitors are properly screened, we’re helping minimise exposure to the virus and providing extra protection for residents.

We also regularly communicate with our communities to raise awareness and understanding of COVID-19, and give advice about what residents can do to keep themselves safe.

We follow the news so you don’t have toNews icon

The situation is evolving quickly and it can be hard to stay on top of all the changes and localised advice. Our emergency response team closely monitors the situation and responds to directives and advice from both State and Federal Governments.

We stay abreast of changes and keep our residents informed. This means our residents can switch off and take a break from the relentless news coverage as needed.

Dedicated COVID-19 hotlineCovid-19 Hotline

We understand this is a challenging time. Residents and their families might need extra support, advice, and reassurance around what we’re doing to protect our communities. That’s why we’ve set up a dedicated COVID-19 hotline, available on 1800 325 046.

Residents and their loved ones can call and ask questions around our response to the pandemic and what we’re doing to keep them safe.

Increased infection controlIncreased infection control

This is a new virus that is highly contagious – but the good news is that it’s stopped in its tracks by soap and water and physical distancing. These are our strongest weapons against the virus, and hygiene and cleanliness have never been more important.

To help stop the spread, all staff at RetireAustralia have completed mandatory refresher training on Infection Control policies and procedures – which were reviewed and enhanced early in 2020. We’ve also trained all staff on effective handwashing, and increased handwashing stations in village communal areas.

In addition, we have stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfectant and sanitiser on hand to maintain a clean and hygienic environment.

Keeping our villages safeHealth declaration form

It’s impossible to guarantee that coronavirus will never enter one of our communities. But we’re doing everything we can to keep it out. These measures start at home, and our staff sign a health declaration each day before they start work.

We also have guidelines for visitors who must sign a health declaration before they enter the village.

Daily wellness check-insDaily wellness checkin

The current situation can feel lonely and overwhelming, but we’re in this together. In our communities, we’re offering independent living residents a daily wellness check-in phone call to see how they’re travelling and connect them with additional support if they need it.

Looking after body and mind.Body & Mind

We know that self-isolation and social distancing can take a toll on emotional and mental health, especially if we’re in this for the long haul. That’s why we’ve given advice to our residents about how to look after themselves physically and mentally. We’ve also shared tips to families and friends about how to support their loved ones, so isolation doesn’t have to be isolating.

Grocery supportGrocery support

Across our communities we’re helping residents access groceries, either going to the supermarket on their behalf or arranging regular deliveries of essential items. Each village is unique so the details of this support may vary. But at each of our communities, there are friendly team members available to help you get what you need.

Connected communitiesConnected communities

Social networks are more important than ever – even if they look a little different from what we’re used to. Our village teams and residents are keeping our communities connected, even while social distancing. Take a look at some real stories about village life to get a sneak peek into what it is like to live in one of our retirement villages during a global pandemic.

Ultimately, the safety of our residents always comes first, and we’re doing all we can to keep residents healthy, connected, and informed. Living in a retirement village still comes with all the perks of independent living, but with an all-important safety net – ensuring you have support when you need it most.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our communities, you can even take a virtual tour of our villages from the comfort and safety of your own home!

 

 
 

 

 

 

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Our villages

With 28 unique locations across three states, RetireAustralia's communities cater to a range of needs and preferences.