The ‘Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19’ has been released by 13 aged care peak bodies and consumer advocacy organisations. The Code creates a nationally consistent approach that ensures residents can receive visitors while minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19.
The Code was finalised after public consultation with both consumers and aged care providers. It cements a human rights approach to care that both protects and respects aged care residents and their visitors. The Code acknowledges the work that providers and staff are doing to keep people safe during the pandemic.
The Code includes the respective rights and responsibilities of providers, residents and visitors. It outlines that homes should allow residents to meet their visitors in ways that minimise the risk of COVID-19’s introduction to, or spread within, a residential care home.
The Code will be reviewed in three weeks to address any implementation issues and ensure it will respond to current concerns.
The Industry Code on Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes was reviewed on 26 June 2020 by consumer and provider advocates.
The review noted significant increased adoption of the Code across aged care homes and broadly positive feedback about visits being received from consumers, families, advocates, providers and the public.
The Code was updated to reflect that:
At the time of the review a number of suburbs have been identified by the Victorian government as “hotspots” and have been subject of a public health ‘stay at home’ order. It is appropriate for aged care homes in these “hotspot” suburbs to adopt increased visitor restrictions, consistent with the Code and the updated AHPPC advice.
Other homes across the country may apply additional restrictions, consistent with the Code, on visitors who have been in these “hotspots” over the past 14 days.
FAQs have been published to assist consumers and aged care homes use and understand the Code.