COVID-19 Information for Residential Aged Care

The safety and wellbeing of our staff, residents, clients and volunteers are our highest priority.

We will continue to closely monitor the spread and impact of COVID-19 in the community and keep you informed.

We greatly appreciate your understanding, patience and support during these exceptional times. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with your Residential Manager or Care Coordinator.

Latest COVID-19 Update

Keeping You Safe & Connected

Restricted Visitation Arrangements

Whilst the spread of COVID-19 has slowed in the community recently, it remains an extremely high risk for the elderly who are most vulnerable to infection and we therefore must continue to be cautious.

For this reason, visits in person should only be done where it is absolutely necessary to do so. We encourage you to continue to stay in contact with your loved ones using the variety of alternative methods available.

Juniper’s extended visiting arrangements are in accordance with the WA Government’s Visitors to Residential Aged Care Facilities Directions No2 (25 April 2020).

Please note that failure to comply with the Directions may result in penalties for both individuals and Juniper. Juniper’s arrangements are as follows:

  • All visits must be pre-booked directly with the facility during designated visiting times which may differ across sites. Please contact your site’s Residential Manager for available visiting times;
  • Visits are not permitted during meal times;
  • Residents are limited to one visit per day of up to two people. Please coordinate these visits with your family members;
  • Visits must occur in the resident’s room. There is no access to common areas;
  • Visits should be as short as possible, to a maximum of 2 hours. We recommend no longer than 30 minutes duration to allow the management of bookings and social distancing at sites;
  • Visitors must enter through the main entrance which will be unlocked by a staff member;
  • Visitors are required to comply with hand hygiene, cough etiquette and social distancing of 1.5m from all residents and staff at all times;
  • Visitors must complete the Visitor Screening Checklist and show evidence of having had the 2020 influenza vaccination on entry to the facility; Appropriate evidence can be a download your vaccination record from Medicare Online, or the Express Plus Medicare mobile app, or a statement or record from your GP or Medical Practitioner.
  • All visitors are also required to have their temperature checked on arrival and recorded on the Visitor Screening Checklist; and
  • Visitors are required to sign in and out.
  • Residents can leave the facility for essential medical appointments but should not leave the facility for social leave or non-essential appointments.

Government Restrictions - entry and remaining on premises

There are also Government restrictions in place that mean the following people must not enter or remain on the premises of any Juniper Residential Care Facility:

  • People who have returned from outside Western Australia (whether from overseas or interstate) in the previous 14 days;
  • People who have, or have been in contact with someone who has, a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days;
  • People who have fever (over 38 degrees) or symptoms of acute respiratory infection (eg. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath);
  • People who do not have an up-to-date (2020) influenza vaccination or valid medical exemption (from 1 May 2020); and
  • Children under 16 years of age, unless for end of life support of a resident.

For more information on Juniper’s restricted visiting arrangements, please do not hesitate to contact the Residential Manager or Clinical Nurse Manager at your site. More information from our FAQs below.

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Our Stories Your Stories

We have been using creative and fun ways to engage residents in safe and enjoyable activities.

We are sharing our many happy moments on our @JuniperCares Facebook page, join us and 'like' our page to share updates and stories.

There are many other ways to stay in touch:

  • Care packages are welcome, our residents love these little surprises
  • Connecting with phone and video calls with loved ones, our staff are always ready to assist
  • Write a letter! Pen pals are a great way to share stories

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We thank residents and families for your patience and understanding in these exceptional times.

Can I visit my family member in a Juniper Residential Care Facility?

In line with the WA Government’s Visitors to Residential Aged Care Facilities Directions No 2 (25 April 2020), Juniper is extending restricted visiting arrangements to continue to protect residents and aged care workers from COVID-19. Penalties apply for failure to comply with these entry conditions.

The following people may not enter or remain on the premises of residential care facilities:

  • People who have returned from outside Western Australia (whether from overseas or interstate) in the previous 14 days;
  • People who have had, or have been in contact with someone who has had, a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days;
  • People who have fever (over 38 degrees) or cold or flu-like symptoms (e.g. cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath);
  • People who have not had an up-to-date (2020) influenza vaccination or valid medical exemption (from 1 May 2020); and
  • Children under 16 years of age, except for the purposes of providing end of life support to a resident (approved by the Residential Manager).

How will the restrictions affect my visit?

If you do not meet any of the above categories, you are permitted to visit a Juniper Residential Care Facility, however the following conditions apply until further notice:

  • All visits must be pre-booked directly with the facility during designated visiting hours which may differ across sites;
  • Visits are not permitted during meal times;
  • Residents are limited to one visit per day of one person or two people at once. Visits should be coordinated with family members and the facility;
  • Visits must occur in the resident’s room. There is no access to common areas;
  • Visits should be as short as possible, to a maximum duration of 2 hours. We recommend limiting visits to 30 minutes;
  • Visitors must enter through the main entrance which will be unlocked by a staff member;
  • Visitors are required to comply with hand hygiene, cough etiquette and social distancing of 1.5m from all residents and staff at all times;
  • Visitors must complete and sign the Visitor Screening Checklist and show evidence of having had the 2020 seasonal influenza vaccination, or a valid medical exemption (from 1 May 2020) on entry to a Juniper residential care facility;
  • All visitors are required to have their temperature checked on arrival and recorded on their Visitor Screening Checklist; and Visitors are required to sign the Visitors Book on entry and exit of the facility.

Should I visit my family member/friend in a residential care facility?

Visiting an older person in care should be carefully considered and only done when deemed absolutely necessary as older people are vulnerable to infection of COVID-19. Although visits are permitted, limiting the number and duration of visits will also help to reduce the risk of accidental infection to your family member, other residents and staff, and will also limit your own potential exposure to COVID‑19.

We recommend keeping in touch in other ways using the phone, letters, video calls or other means of communication. Juniper staff have been using creative ways to engage residents in safe and enjoyable activities throughout the day to lift spirts and help everyone feel connected, safe and happy during this time.

Why is COVID-19 so dangerous to older people?

The risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 increases with age and older people are among the most vulnerable – particularly those with underlying health conditions or a weakened immune system.

As there is currently no cure or vaccine for COVID-19 and no immunity in the community, we must all work together to protect older people from infection, particularly those living in aged care.

What else can I do to protect my loved one in aged care?

There are many other ways to protect your loved ones from infection. Even if you feel well, it is important to practise good hygiene, cough etiquette and social distancing when interacting with others to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Australian Government health advice includes:

  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue;
  • Disposing of tissues immediately they are used, into a dedicated waste bin and washing your hands;
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet, and when you have been out to shops or other places;
  • Using alcohol-based hand sanitisers, where available;
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces you have touched;
  • Where possible, stay 1.5 metres away from others as part of social distancing;
  • Ensure you get vaccinated against influenza (flu) before 1 May to enter aged care facilities; and
  • If you feel unwell, phone the National Corona Virus Helpline on 1800 020 080 or your GP who will provide you with further advice.

Are residents able to leave the facility with family, to go to the shops, or for an appointment?

Residents are able to leave the facility for essential medical appointments however they should not leave the facility for social leave and non-essential appointments due to the high risk of infection of COVID-19 in older people.

Do any Juniper residents or staff have COVID-19?

Currently no Juniper staff or resident has tested positive for COVID-19.

Does everyone entering a residential aged care facility need to be vaccinated against influenza?

Yes. From 1 May 2020, all staff, volunteers, visitors and contractors to Residential Aged Care Facilities are required to have a current 2020 seasonal influenza vaccination.

In WA, influenza vaccination exemptions are permitted for specific medical reasons, however a valid medical exemption must be obtained from your medical professional and provided as evidence on entry to a Juniper residential care facility. Exemptions for religious or cultural reasons are not accepted.

Do residential aged care providers still need to provide free flu vaccinations to staff and volunteers?

Yes. All Australian Government subsidised residential aged care providers are still required to offer staff and volunteers free access to annual flu vaccinations at the provider’s cost.

Juniper’s influenza vaccination program is currently in progress to ensure all Residential Care staff are vaccinated by 1 May 2020.

Where can I get further information and updates on COVID-19?

  • 24-hour Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080
  • Australian Government Department of Health website: www.health.gov.au
  • Health Direct helpline 1800 300 243
  • Public Health Information Line on 1800 004 599

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