The aged care sector has welcomed the Federal Government’s acknowledgement of the aged care workforce being on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, and the hard work they are doing, in difficult circumstances, to minimise risk of infection to older Australians.

The development of the draft Visitor Access Code (VAC) announced today will further assist in the fight against COVID19.

LASA CEO, Sean Rooney said “We have worked with other provider peaks and consumer groups to produce a draft VAC and will be inviting feedback from our Members. We look forward to finalising the VAC to get the balance right in providing good quality, compassionate care alongside the appropriate protections for aged care residents.”

LASA also welcomes the announcement of a $205 million emergency funding package to support providers to continue the fight against COVID-19 on the front line.

Already under financial pressure, nursing homes are spending millions of dollars on extra items like additional staffing, equipment, technology and cleaning to keep aged care residents and their dedicated workforce protected from COVID-19. We thank the Government for acknowledging the additional costs being incurred.

The additional funding of $900 per occupied residential care bed in metropolitan regions and $1,350 per occupied bed in rural and remote areas is welcomed to cover some of those additional costs to protect the health of older Australians in care.

“We welcome this support for residential aged care as this will assist in covering the extra costs required in protecting the over 200,000 elderly Australians in our care from coronavirus. This additional funding will help us to continue the fight”.

Looking ahead we will continue to work with Government and the community as the fight against COVID-19 progresses and we look forward to additional support if and when required to keep older Australians and the people who care for them safe.