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COVID-19 Update – 7 January 2022

Written by Indra Arunachalam, Chief Operations Officer with integratedliving

Hello everyone, 

We understand that the current COVID-19 situation in Australia is concerning and stressful. We also acknowledge our clients and their family members who have been unwell with COVID-19 and send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to everyone affected.   

We also wish to recognise our staff who have been affected by the current surge in the highly transmissible Omicron variant. We are so proud of our team’s commitment to your health and wellbeing during the pandemic and remain dedicated to supporting both you and our staff through this challenging time.   

Challenges we are facing 

As you know, positive cases are growing, Government definitions and responses changing, and testing is challenging. Like every provider of health and aged care across the country, the rapid increase in cases is having an impact on our staffing levels as people isolate and recover from infection.   

We want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to minimise service disruption, but the reality is that we are currently experiencing staff shortages in some areas. This could mean service cancellations and alterations are necessary while we manage clients’ essential services.  

We are doing everything possible to minimise service interruption and will communicate with you as early as possible to let you know if there are any changes to your services. 

Keeping you and your staff safe

Of course, our priority is to keep both you and our staff as safe as possible. The measures integratedliving have in place to protect you and our staff include:  

  • The use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Please note that in some situations our staff will need to wear more PPE than usual. Putting on and taking off PPE might slightly impact on service time, so we thank you for your patience, so that we can keep you safe.  
  • Screening of staff, clients and any contractors. It is vital that you let us know if anyone in your home is a close contact or positive. You can call us on 1300 782 896 or inform our staff when they ask you the COVID Screening questions at your home.  
  • Our staff and contractors will not attend services if they have any symptoms of COVID-19, are a close contact of a positive case or are yet to be cleared after known exposure.   
  • Hygiene measures and physical distancing.  
  • Mandatory face masks and COVIDSafe plans at all integratedliving centres and clinics.  
  • All frontline staff are vaccinated as per Public Health Orders.   
  • Following all aged care provider recommendations to reduce risk.  

How you can help

To further protect yourself and our staff members, we highly recommend that you wear a surgical mask during service delivery and where possible remain distanced or in another part of the house, depending on the type of services you are receiving. Opening windows to allow air circulation is another good safety measure.  

Please notify us on 1300 782 896 if you or any member of your household tests positive for COVID-19 or is symptomatic. We are experiencing a high volume of calls so thank you for your understanding and patience, if you experience longer wait times.  

Importance of getting your booster

If you are vaccinated and have not yet received your booster dose, we encourage you to organise this as soon as possible. Based on recently released data from the United Kingdom, the third dose of the vaccine is providing high protection against hospitalisation for infected people. If you have not been vaccinated, we encourage you to do so unless medically contra-indicated.   

We're here for you

We appreciate that you may feel unsettled at this time. Our Customer Service Centre team, Case Managers and Disability Support Officers are available to speak to you if you require assistance or reassurance. We encourage you to call with any concerns.  

We apologise for any inconvenience if your services are regrettably affected in coming weeks. We are working hard to minimise any disruption and appreciate your understanding.  

Thank you for helping us by informing us if you or anyone who lives with you tests positive for COVID-19 or is symptomatic. We will support you through this time if that occurs.   

Given the COVID-19 landscape is changing rapidly, please continue to visit our website for the most up to date information regarding our response, or our social media channels, like Facebook and Instagram.  

You can also call our friendly team on 1300 782 896 between 6am – 7.30pm, 7 days a week. 

Sometimes, just having a chat with someone can make a world of difference. You can also access: 

  • COVID-19 support line for older Australians and their carers (Mon-Fri 8.30am – 6.00pm) – 1800 171 866 
  • Lifeline – 131 114 
  • Beyond Blue – 1800 512 348 
  • Visit the Head to Health website 

Don’t forget we offer Social Support Calls as part of our suite of services to keep you feeling well and connected. 

Please take care of yourself and reach out for support if you need it. We are here to assist you.   

Yours sincerely,   

Indra Arunachalam   

Chief Operating Officer