Doutta Galla COVID-19

 14 August 2020 

Dear Residents, Family Member and Friends, 

The last few weeks have been challenging for us all. This is felt firsthand for every person who has a family member or someone close to them living in aged care. In particular, the reports on the news about outbreaks in Aged Care Homes have been extremely distressing. Currently there are hundreds of aged care homes experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria. Doutta Galla has been dealing with such outbreaks at a number of our homes over the last few weeks. Especially challenging has been the outbreaks at our Yarraville and Footscray Homes which we are working hard to control. 

As is the case for many aged care homes impacted by this virus, the situation develops and then escalates rapidly, and the way we must respond to the escalating situation must move equally quickly. We are relentless in our call out to government agencies to assist us, and in the event that a resident contracts the virus, we will continue to advocate for the resident to be relocated to a hospital environment. 

The recently announced Stage 4 lockdown for people living in Melbourne has been, and continues to be, even more difficult for many families. We are following the advice from the health experts and from the Department of Health and the State Department of Health and Human Services on this matter. Our first priority is for the safety and protection of all residents living in our homes. Keeping them safe from this virus is paramount. 

Our staff continue to create moments of fun and joy. Some of you may have seen our residents from Woornack, Avondale Heights and Queens Park on channel 7 Sunrise Program yesterday. The involvement in the Sunrise Program has bought smiles to the faces to many of our residents. According to their fellow residents who watched the show from the large TV screens at the homes these residents are now ‘TV stars’. I understand that the segment (as part of the weather report) was so well received that they are going to do it again. We have lots of residents putting their hands up to appear on national TV. 

Managing in this environment continues to be a massive challenge and we are using every resource we have available to us. We continue to advocate for the additional support and resources we need. 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 your family member, please call the Home where your loved one lives. 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