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Independent Living Residents

Update 1 April 2020

Update 1 April 2020

Update for independent living residents

We are now in the second week of our lockdown period and are coming to terms with the restrictions that are necessary as the nation tries to curtail COVID-19 / Coronavirus. Our residents are generally in good spirits, and we would like to thank everyone for their cooperation and consideration of their fellow villagers as we continue to get used to this new way of living.

We would like to reassure residents that our village management and resident services teams are on hand to help, if anyone encounters any difficulties as they self-isolate.  Please don’t hesitate to call us, if you need any assistance at all.  Keeping in mind the two metre physical distancing rule, it’s best if you phone or email us rather than coming to Reception in person. 

Whatever you need, we’ll do our best to make it happen.  Whether it’s assistance with using technology or your IT devices to stay in touch with family, or if you would like us to order in any particular item for purchase, we’ll get right on to it for you.  Should you wish to use our meal delivery service from the restaurant or village kitchen, do please try to think ahead and give us a couple of days’ notice if possible.

We know that some of our independent living residents may be particularly vulnerable, therefore we’re phoning them often to check how they’re doing and providing whatever support they may need. This week, our chaplains are also being equipped with the capability to connect virtually with residents via tablets and FaceTime or Jabber, which will enhance the level of support they provide beyond that of an ordinary phone call. Working closely with our independent living residents and the residential care teams, the chaplains have been part of ensuring that phone trees and conversation has been extended to all our residents, tenants and regular chapel attendees, and are tailoring further congregational support as we approach Holy Week and Easter.  In the care homes across our village sites, they’re also continuing with regular services for groups of ten residents or fewer, and are resourcing interested people to continue with some form of music and prayers.

As regards maintaining contact, we would like to remind everyone about the need to physically distance ourselves from others at all times.  The Government is urging people over the age of 70 to stay at home and self-isolate as much as possible – for their own safety.  It’s important that everyone practises these health and safety precautions – whilst you may not have the virus, others you come in contact with might have or might be developing the infection, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

However, you can still go for a walk to enjoy the lovely autumn sunshine and a change of scene, but please ‘keep yourself to yourself’ and refrain from inviting visitors into the village or into your unit.  Unfortunately, this also applies to family members; we would be grateful if families did not continue to visit during this lockdown period or break the ‘bubble’ of residents’ self-isolation.  We understand that this is difficult, but we’re all having to make changes to our routine at the moment for the sake of the greater good.  If residents are expecting any deliveries of food or other items from family, they need to be left at reception and we will then deliver everything to you.

Finally, just a reminder about getting the flu vaccine as soon as possible, if you haven’t already done so.  Free vaccinations are now available for older people; GPs, pharmacies and other providers are using different ways to vaccinate people that suit them and their practice, to ensure that everyone stays healthy and free of COVID-19 / Coronavirus.  Although the influenza vaccination won’t protect you from COVID-19, it will help protect against a serious disease that kills hundreds of New Zealanders every winter.

We hope that everyone continues to stay safe and well, as we get used to our new way of life in the fight to eradicate this virus from New Zealand.  As always, if you have a particular query or concern, please don’t hesitate to contact your village management team at any time.

 

Update 26 March 2020

26 March 2020

Uniting against COVID-19/Coronavirus

Now that we’ve entered the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown period, the Government advises that everyone must stay at home to prevent spreading the virus. It’s important that residents limit their physical contact with family, friends and others who live in the wider community as much as possible over the next four weeks, in order to protect themselves, their fellow residents and our staff from any risk of getting the infection.

That said, however, there are various things that you are still able to do, whilst keeping a safe distance from everyone and helping in our national effort to eradicate this virus from our shores.

  • You can go for a walk around the village outside. You can walk in the park or along the streets. If you meet someone and want to have a chat, then by all means do so – but keep at least two metres away from one another. When returning to your apartment, think about being in the lift with just one other person – or preferably on your own.
  • If you want to meet up with another resident, do so in the spacious common areas. The village ground floor lounges and café areas are places where you can sit a couple of metres away from each other. Or you can meet outside, where we have seats around the village.
  • You can go to the supermarket, but do limit the number of trips you make and their duration – you don’t want to come into close contact with people outside your immediate ‘bubble’ (those you’re living with during your time in self-isolation). Keep well away from other shoppers and be very careful about your hand hygiene in relation to the trundler and the check-out counter – use hand sanitiser when you return to your car and wash your hands as soon as you get home.
  • We’d rather you didn’t go shopping, however, as that increases the risk of you picking up the virus and bringing it back. We suggest that someone does the shopping for you – they’ll have to leave it at reception and we’ll then deliver it straight to your door.
  • Now’s the time to keep in touch with family and friends by phone or email. Use the speaker function on your grey Cisco phone, if you have one. For those with an iPhone, consider using FaceTime which lets you see the person you’re talking to; similarly, you might have Skype or be able to use Zoom on your computer.  Or why not message your contacts using WhatsApp, for example.  The possibilities are endless!  So make the most of all that innovative technology we’re always hearing about.

Staying safe and sound

Our villages are currently virus-free. The risk is not amongst us, but someone from outside might bring it into the villages. That’s why we’re restricting all non-essential visitors coming in – we only want visits that are essential in terms of providing supplies, health-related support services or repairs/maintenance.  In each case, those coming into the village will be screened and their temperature checked, to make sure they’re not bringing the virus in with them.    

If you do need help with something, please ring resident services or reception.  Our teams are ready to help if you need food, supplies, something fixed or medical assistance. All our staff wear name badges, including our Bureau employees, so you’ll be able to identify them as being members of our village community.  

Our staff are all working to the Selwyn pandemic management plan, and we’ve introduced a wide range of precautions and protective measures as regards our practices and procedures.  We’re providing our staff with every support possible – both on a professional and personal level – and we’re also implementing key initiatives such as employing our trusted casual Bureau staff on a longer, fixed-term basis to support staffing needs as necessary. The Foundation is continuing to look at ways and means of supporting the health and welfare of staff as they deal with the stresses and strains of the current situation, like everyone else in New Zealand, whilst coming to work to provide essential services for our residents.  

In addition, as an organisation, we’re following all Government advice and legislation, as well as that of our industry bodies – the NZ Aged Care Association and Retirement Villages Association.  We’re sharing knowledge and best practice with other providers within the sector and keeping abreast of developments overseas. So you can be sure we’re doing everything that can be done to keep this infection out of our village and away from our residents. 

If you’ve any queries about anything mentioned above, please don’t hesitate to contact your Village Manager. 

Let’s unite against COVID-19 and each play our part in keeping everyone at our village safe and sound.

Update 7.00pm, 23 March 2020

COVID-19 update to independent living residents, 7.00pm, 23 March 2020

Following this afternoon’s announcement by the Government advising that New Zealand has now moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and, in the next 48 hours to Level 4 for a minimum of four weeks, in an escalation of efforts to reduce the spread of the virus, we have taken a range of stringent measures to protect our village communities.

Over the weekend, we closed our care homes to all visitors and also stood-down those members of staff who are aged 70+. Independent living residents were recommended to stay at home to reduce their risk of contact with the virus; many external services and externally led activities were suspended and we restricted all non-essential movements into the villages.

The following is a summary of our latest decisions and how we intend to protect our residents further:

  • We have closed our cafés to residents and the public. Independent living residents wishing to order a meal from the kitchen should pre-order this the day before, and Resident Hospitality will deliver it to your unit.
  • The mini-marts are also closed (where available). Milk, bread and frozen meals will be available for purchase at reception from tomorrow morning.
  • The medical centre remains open (where available); GPs are continuing to provide a service into the care homes and will be offering phone consultations to independent living residents.
  • All shopping trips are now suspended.
  • The pool and gym (including the Strength and Wellness studios, where available) are closed.
  • The hair dressing service is suspended.
  • Any building projects and works have been suspended for four weeks.
  • We are restricting all non-essential visitors into the villages, with the exception of those delivering food (which is to be left at reception for Resident Hospitality to deliver to residents) and those who provide an approved care or health service (eg, DHB-registered home care support personnel).
  • A sign at the main entrance will inform visitors that the village is closed for all non-essential visits; any urgent/essential visitors will be asked the precise nature of their visit and will be required to sign in at reception (for tracing purposes).
  • Only essential repairs and maintenance will now be carried out.

Alert Level 4 means that it is likely that the virus is not contained, therefore a wide range of public health and social measures have now been enacted nationally to reduce the risk of a widespread outbreak.  People are instructed to stay at home, businesses will be closed except for essential services (eg, supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics) and lifeline utilities, travel will be severely limited and educational facilities will be closed.  Mass gatherings have already been cancelled, and public venues closed (eg, libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools and amusement parks).

Due to the heightened alert level, it is important that independent living residents now limit their contact with ‘the outside world’ as much as possible in order to protect themselves from any risk of contracting the infection.  

We would ask that residents do not go out shopping and that you reduce all unnecessary visits to the village.  Please do not encourage anyone to visit you in your apartment or villa.  If residents choose to continue meeting with family at the village, you should follow the social distancing rules, staying at least 2m away and keeping any essential visits very brief. Shopping deliveries can be dropped off at reception and we will deliver it to you.  

Information on how to self-isolate to slow the spread of the virus is available on the Government website: covid19.govt.nz

We will do all we can to keep this infection at bay and to support residents during this uncertain time. But everyone has a part to play in this national effort. Please help us to protect you, your fellow residents, our staff and New Zealand from the devastating effects of this virus. 

If you need particular support or assistance as a result of this latest announcement, please do not hesitate to speak to the village management team.  

Update 2.30pm, 21 March 2020

Following the latest update by the Government advising that New Zealand has now moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 - Reduce Contact - in an escalation of efforts to reduce the spread of the virus, we would now encourage our independent living residents to self-isolate at home as much as possible.

The Government is recommending that people over 70 and those with certain pre-existing medical conditions or compromised immune systems should stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus.

With this in mind, if independent living residents do have to leave their unit, please be aware of the importance of exercising physical distancing from others, as much as is practical. The Government is also advising everyone to limit all non-essential domestic travel and to significantly reduce the number of interactions they have at this time.

Further information on how to self-isolate to slow the spread of the virus is available on the new Government website: covid19.govt.nz

We will be issuing further updates on how this latest advice will impact on village life and how our normal routines may have to change in response to the health risk posed by COVID-19.

We have closed our care homes to all visitors with immediate effect – with the exception of close family whose loved ones may be approaching end-of-life.  If this affects any independent living resident whose loved one is living in residential care, and you would like to discuss how this applies in your particular situation, please contact the relevant facility Care Manager.

We realise that this will be an anxious time for everyone.  If any residents require particular support or help as a result of this latest announcement, please contact the village management team and we will provide every possible assistance.

Update 19 March 2020

Update 18 March 2020

Advice for independent living residents

Over and above the self-isolation requirements for travellers coming from countries or areas of concern (category 1a and 1b), we also recommend that independent living residents returning from any other international destination observe the same requirements and also avoid contact with our care home residents for 14 days from the date of their arrival back into New Zealand.

Residents are also requested to manage their family and visitor contacts by asking them not to visit, if they have any cold- or flu-like symptoms or have travelled internationally and have not been back in New Zealand for 14 calendar days from the date of their return to New Zealand. 

Should residents be suffering with cold or flu-like symptoms, we recommend that they self-isolate until they are clear of the symptoms, as it is difficult to distinguish these symptoms from those of COVID-19 in the beginning. Residents are encouraged to stay home, avoid public gatherings and events, and practice good hygiene etiquette.

The symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. Anyone who is suffering with cold or flu-like symptoms and who is concerned can phone Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 number 0800 358 5453 or contact their GP, phoning ahead of their visit. Further information is available here or you can visit the new Government website https://covid19.govt.nz/