Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the voice of aged care, has commended a COVID-19 summit in Canberra aimed at protecting residents and staff in aged care.

LASA CEO Sean Rooney attended the meeting – hosted by Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck and including health authorities, care providers and unions – and applauded the cooperative approach to tackling the virus threat.

“We are unified in fighting this challenge,” he said. “The aged care sector is already working extremely hard to protect our most vulnerable Australians and stands ready to continue the fight, for as long as it takes.

“We also commend the Federal Government for establishing a special fund to tackle COVID-19 across the community and immediately committing $100 million.

“Critical issues covered included reassuring and educating the care workforce, guaranteeing supplies of adequate personal protection equipment and intensive communications with staff, care recipients and the community.

“This is shared duty between our sector and the entire community and the best way to approach this is for everyone to take personal responsibility.”

Mr Rooney said that during this period, there are four key aspects for care:

  • Informing – Providing the latest recommendations to staff, residents and families from the Department of Health and medical authorities
  • Training – Refresher updates for the care workforce on infection control practices and procedures
  • Screening – Vetting staff, contractors and visitors for risk factors
  • Planning – Ensuring adequate supplies including masks, gloves and hand wash, and having action plans in place to cover infection and staffing

“Learnings from virus experiences in aged care are also vital and we are committed to working with providers and authorities to disseminate this knowledge and try to minimise the impact,” Mr Rooney said.

“We need everyone to play their part. Foremost in people’s minds must be protecting vulnerable older people in care and those who look after them.

“With concern comes responsibility – being aware of risk factors and being vigilant to limit virus infection or transmission – and everyone should fastidiously follow the directions of medical professionals at all times.

“By continuing to work closely together at both individual and group levels, we will maximise the protection of our treasured older Australians and the lifeblood of their care, our sector’s dedicated staff.”

The 24-hour National Coronavirus Health Information Line is 1800 020 080.

About Leading Age Services Australia (LASA)

LASA is the national association for all providers of age services across residential care, home care and retirement living/seniors housing. Our purpose is to enable high performing, respected, and sustainable age services that support older Australians to age well by providing care, support and accommodation with quality, safety and compassion – always.

We represent providers of age services of all types and sizes located across Australia’s metropolitan, regional and rural areas. Consistent with the overall industry profile, 56% of our Members are not-for-profit providers, 36% are for-profit providers and 8% are government providers.

Our diverse and representative membership gives LASA the ability to speak with credibility and authority on issues of importance to older Australians and the age services industry.

Contact: Nick Way 0419 835 449 nickw@lasa.asn.au