A national survey of Members conducted by LASA shows the vast majority of staff, residents, relatives and friends of residents in aged care homes approve of restrictions on visits.

The survey – centred on residential care and covering more than 860 participants – found that the majority of respondents ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ with the specific decisions of their homes to limit entry in order to protect residents from COVID19.

Specifically, 90% of family and friends and 82% of residents strongly agree or agree with the protections implemented.

An Essential Research survey of the general public carried out earlier this week found 69 per cent of 1,093 participants supported aged care homes restricting visits to protect residents from COVID-19.

“Both surveys indicate strong support for enhanced protections for older Australians in care during the pandemic,” said LASA CEO Sean Rooney.

“The LASA survey shows how important the voices of residents and their families are when putting in place measures designed to keep older Australians in care safe.

“To further ensure we get the balance right with providing good quality, compassionate care, alongside appropriate protections to keep older Australians in care safe, we support the new Visitor Access Code. Currently under consultation, the code will serve to clarify the obligations of aged care homes, their residents and visitors, to streamline the safety of residents.

“It sad that COVID19 has resulted in the deaths of some older Australians in care and our thoughts are with their families and friends. Overall Australian aged care facilities are doing a good job in protecting residents from coronavirus when compared to most overseas countries.”

The latest data shows 26 coronavirus related deaths in Australian aged care homes which represents 27% of Australian COVID deaths.

COVID19 related fatalities among recipeints of institutional care in other countries includes:

  • Canada (62%)
  • Ireland (60%)
  • France (51%)
  • Sweden (45%)

“The efforts of our dedicated workforce and the focus and investment by aged care homes in bringing in additional staff, implementing enhanced infection control measures, providing extra recreational activities and finding novel ways to link residents with their loved ones has been exceptional,” said Mr Rooney.

“Aged care workers are to be praised, working on the frontline of care against coronavirus to keep residents safe and happy.

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