Doutta Galla COVID-19

11 September 2020

Dear Residents, Family Member and Friends,

As you know Doutta Galla has been and continues to respond and manage COVID-19 outbreaks.  We have been working closely with the Government agencies to ensure we get all the support that is available to us and also to use all of our resources we have as we navigate our way through this difficult period.

It is pleasing to advise you that our Footscray and Yarraville Homes have achieved significant milestones this week.  The residents at both homes are now able to move around their Home and enjoy familiar routines and activities.  Both Homes are well on their way to receiving full and final clearances.  Our thoughts and prayers remain with every resident, their families and our staff at these Homes.

Unfortunately, as we begin to see the light at the end of the long journey at our Footscray and Yarraville Homes, we are now experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak at Doutta Galla Woornack in Sunshine.  Once again, we have moved quickly to resolve this outbreak as soon as possible.  Our focus is on our residents and families who have been affected by COVID-19.

Aged care continues to attract a lot of attention in the media.  The spotlight is on the way aged care is responding to this crisis and how it is being supported by various Government agencies.  This week I came across an article written by an experienced aged care nurse whose story about working in aged care was published in The Guardian.  The article can be read by following this link.  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/01/were-doing-our-best-with-the-resources-available-im-distressed-by-the-public-shaming-of-aged-care.  This article captures the honour and privilege that many people working in aged care feel.  I hope it brings some comfort and joy from reading it and enables you to feel proud of the many dedicated people working in aged care.

As you know the State Government has extended Stage 4 restrictions in Victoria and has provided all Victorians with a timeline to ease restrictions.  We are hopeful that the number of COVID-19 cases will continue to come down giving us greater opportunities to welcome families back to our Homes to be physically reunited with loved ones.

In the meantime, the Homes will continue to assist you to keep in regular contact with your family member via telephone, video conferencing and window visits.  I understand that the Manager of the Home has been communicating with all of you about the visiting arrangements regarding ‘family hub visits’ that are in place, and I hope these are going as well as can be expected in the circumstances.

We continue to review and update our processes and actions and I will endeavour to keep you updated on key events and changes across our Homes, as we continue our battle with the COVID-19 pandemic.

A reminder that If you or your family would like more support during this difficult time, please reach out to OPAN (Older Persons Advisory Network) on 1800 237 981.  They are available 6am-10pm, 7 days a week.  The other organisation that can assist you is Elder Rights Advocacy Victoria who can be reached on 1800 171 866 for support and advice.

We will let you know as soon as possible if there is a change in your or your family member’s health status.  If you have an enquiry or concern about yourself or a family member, please call your Home.  The email address for written questions or concerns is covid19questions@dgas.org.au.

Thankyou once again for your support during this challenging time.

Yours sincerely,

Vanda Iaconese
CEO