Home | COVID-19 | Visitor survey backs up sector’s COVID-19 strategy: peak

Visitor survey backs up sector’s COVID-19 strategy: peak

Aged care providers remain steadfast in their belief that visitor restrictions are supported by those in the sector and the wider community, and have released more research to back it up.

Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) yesterday said its national survey of members showed the vast majority of staff, and residents and their loved ones, approve of restrictions on visits.

The survey centred on residential care and canvassed the opinions of more than 860 participants.

It revealed that 90 per cent of family and friends, and 82 per cent of residents, agreed or strongly agreed with the restrictions imposed on visits to protect residents from COVID-19.

LASA chief executive Sean Rooney said the 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,” Rooney said. “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’s 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.”

Rooney pointed to data that showed COVID-19 deaths in Australia’s aged care homes represent just over a quarter of national deaths due to the virus. This compares to 62 per cent in Canada, 60 per cent in Ireland, 51 per cent in France and 45 per cent in Sweden.

LASA’s survey followed a similar one commissioned by Aged and Community Services Australia, released last week, showing that 69 per cent of Australians support aged care homes limiting visitors.

Ten per cent opposed visitor bans.

“In most cases, visitors are understanding of the restrictions and we continue to ask for that understanding,” chief executive Pat Sparrow said at the time.

“We are also appealing to all Australians to do everything possible to protect older people and to reach out to support them by picking up the phone.”

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