Information for home-care clients and families
We are continuing to provide essential care and support for older people living at home, albeit with more rigorous health, safety and hygiene protocols and practices in place.
Our amazing team of care workers have been delivering services in accordance with our strict infection control procedures. This includes using personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves and checking that you are feeling well and asking if you have been in close contact with a positive case of COVID-19 before entering your home or providing you with transport services.
Our staff also monitor their own health daily and know that they cannot come to work if they have tested positive to COVID-19, been a close contact of someone who has tested positive, or if they are experiencing even the mildest of COVID symptoms. This is to ensure your safety and reduce any spread of the virus.
The cooperation of our clients and respective family members in helping our staff manage the risk of infection to the people in our care has been excellent and we appreciate your ongoing support.
Positive COVID-19 cases
Our team is actively tracking staff, and consumers who have tested positive for COVID-19, have COVID symptoms, or have been a close contact of a positive case. We will call you directly if we believe you may have had exposure to a COVID-positive staff member and will support you through the next steps of testing and isolation.
We are also regularly checking in with our local Public Health Unit and the NSW Department of Health to make sure that we are up to date with any changes or developments and following the correct risk mitigation and reporting processes.
Please be reassured that Helping Hands will continue to provide what the guidelines consider are essential services to you if you test positive for COVID-19 (regardless of the source of infection), and we will support you throughout your isolation and recovery period with the provision of contactless shopping etc if required.
It is important that if at any time, you experience difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain, tightness, or heart palpitations that you call an ambulance and have a medical team assess you.
To help us minimise the risk of infection, when being visited by a Helping Hands care worker or volunteer we ask you to please:
- Increase ventilation by opening doors and windows during the service
- Wear a mask when a team member is in your home. Our staff can provide masks for you and your household if you don’t have any
- Keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres during the service if possible
- Please inform Helping Hands immediately on 6555 8977 if you (or a person in your household) has tested positive for COVID-19, has COVID-19 symptoms, or has been in close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Our priority has always been the health, safety and wellbeing of our clients and our staff, and with your support and assistance, we will continue to focus our efforts on keeping you all safe and well.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us for more information.
Our infection control measures
Helping Hands is following the advice of the NSW Department of Health to manage and contain the spread of COVID-19 and other contagious illnesses. These guidelines are in line with the infection control measures we already have in place.
Our immediate and top priority remains the health and wellbeing of our clients and team members, in close coordination with the relevant agencies. This includes providing advice and guidance to our services about immediate actions to take, and ensuring they have the necessary supplies, including protective equipment.
The infection control measures Helping Hands is taking include:
- Following universal standard precautions and simple hygiene measures that help control the spread of infection. All employees have undertaken infection control training.
- Asking employees who are unwell to stay away from work and seek medical attention.
- Encouraging regular employee COVID-19 testing, including supporting our employees to get mandatory testing when required.
- COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory for all home care aged care workers in Australia from mid-September 2021.
- We are strongly encouraging and supporting all other Helping Hands employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
- Starting our annual Influenza vaccination and management program. All employees are expected to have the vaccination and we encourage clients and their families to do so as well.
- Continuing to review our infection control measures and outbreak planning.