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Update to Aged Care Visits During COVID-19

Update to the Code for Aged Care Visits

In May 2020, Industry code for visiting aged care homes came to exist. Currently, restrictions placed on aged care visits in response to COVID-19 only allows one visitation per day. Additionally, no more than two people can visit at a time. This is the case for all states in Australia. All states and territories won’t allow anyone under the age of 16 to attend a residential aged care facility except on compassionate grounds. Also, all visitors must have had an influenza vaccination from May 1, 2020 in order to enter the facilities.

elderly mother and daughter visits aged care home

Leaving the Facility

It’s come to light that aged care facilities have restrictions on residents from leaving the aged care home as well. The Department of Health’s current advice is that external outings are on hold until further notice.

Presently, at all facilities, a resident isn’t permitted to leave the facility unless it’s to access health care, and in the case of an emergency. Additionally, they can leave for end of life care or to attend a funeral.

Updates to the Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Facilities (COVID-19)

Since the release of the code there’s been improvements across the board in numbers allowed to visit homes. But the understanding was that there would be feedback from consumers and peak bodies during the process. The Review to the industry code for visiting residential aged care homes during COVID-19 took place on 29th May 2020. This was in response to feedback from consumers, families, aged care providers and the public.

Matters Raised During the Review

During the review, considerations for some issues that were brought up are to occur. This includes the limits that placed on visit times. Other factors under consideration include the use of window visits.

Furthermore, the dealing of medical appointments is under review.  Currently residents must wear surgical masks if they need to leave their rooms.

Further Help and Support

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) have a helpline for families who wish to discuss matters in relation to visitations to residential aged care homes. You can call them on 1800 237 981, between 6am-10pm (AEST) 7 days a week.

If you need advice or support regarding the implementation of the national visitation code, OPAN can help you. They can help you with visitation issues, and work with you and your aged care provider. For more information, visit www.opan.com.au.”


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