As at Wednesday 26 March 2020
Our Care Facilities, Serviced Apartments and Villages are deemed to be essential services and will continue to operate at a reduced capacity.
As a Company, we recognise the vulnerability of our village communities, and believe we have a duty of care to provide a safe and supported living environment for both our residents and staff. Accordingly, there will be precautions and protocols put in place within the village to ensure we adhere to the requirements of the nation. Village operations will be adapted to meet the priorities of our village community over the next month.
The following outlines our revised operating protocols for our Care Facilities and Villages whilst Alert Level 4 is activated.
1. Care Facility Access
- Our Care Facilities and Serviced Apartments will continue operating with imposed lockdown protocols.
- Access considerations will be given by Village Management for compassionate grounds and family visiting those in palliative care or end of life care.
2. Gate Security
- Village gate access will continue to be centralised to provide greater security and screening.
- Gates will be manned between 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. The gates will then be closed and signage will advise that only essential visitor access is allowed.
- In line with Alert Level 4, we would strongly discourage residents from inviting persons to the village.
- Whilst residents are encouraged not to leave the village, they can continue to use their fobs and remotes to access village gates.
- All essential service providers and staff entering the village will be required to complete a health declaration, and all details name, contact number, purpose of visit will be recorded. Should the health declaration indicate that the person is unwell, has been overseas in the last 14 days, and/ or are living with someone in self-isolation – they will not be allowed to enter the village.
3. Village Access
- No external visitors [other than essential service providers] are allowed within the village perimeter.
- For clarity:
- Families & Friends can drop essential items [such as groceries and medical supplies to our gates] between the hours of 8am and 6pm, and we will arrange for it to be delivered.
- The same would apply for supplier deliveries for individual residents [e.g. mail, online groceries, medicines]
- Deliveries that are essential to village continuity will be allowed access i.e. Food, clinical, medical services, care products, IT, safety systems.
- Home Care Workers are deemed an essential provider for health care services and access will be allowed on a case by case basis. To avoid any misunderstanding, can residents please advise village management of any services being received.
- All construction activity onsite will be suspended during the Alert 4 period.
4. Emergency Procedures
- Emergency services will continue to have unrestricted access to the village as per the current arrangements i.e. Ambulance, Fire Brigade, Police.
- Nurse call systems - all response protocols will continue as normal.
5. Village Community Facilities
- Alert Level 4 requires that village communal facilities will be closed for the following month – this includes:
- All Food & Beverage Outlets
- Craft Rooms
- Activity Rooms
- Hair Salons and Treatment Rooms
- Swimming Pools
- Bowling Greens
- Communal Lounges within Community Centres
- Whilst some lounge areas cannot be fully locked down due to emergency egress requirements, these areas are closed to resident access.
- Kitchens will remain operational to facilitate catering requirements for Care Facilities and Serviced Apartments and any resident receiving a care packages.
- We are exploring options for the provision of a food offering into Independent Living.
6. Self-isolation for village residents in Lockdown
The retirement village industry has been extended “essential service” status based on the inherent vulnerability of the resident age group, however it is expected all residents strictly adhere to the requirements surrounding self-isolation.
The government has asked all New Zealanders to stay at home and help stop the spread of COVID-19. Village residents are not excluded from this directive. Hence:
- You can leave your house to access essential services.
- You can leave your house to go for a walk or get some fresh air.
- Noting for both the above that the two metre distancing protocols must be adhered to.
- You cannot have anyone over for a cup of tea, attend any functions or engage in interactive recreational activities e.g. bowls.
The entire nation is being challenged with these restrictions, we acknowledge that our social interaction and mental wellbeing will be tested. But this is a time for a united approach.
7. Village Team
- As previously outlined, at this time village operations will be adapted to meet the priorities of our residents, ensuring we meet the safety and wellbeing of all.
- Villages will be operating in a reduced staff capacity. The daily rostered team will include:
- Kitchen brigade as appropriate
- Resident wellbeing team members
- Overnight presence
- Maintenance/ garden for a basic level of service
- Gate presence
- We are also incredibly conscious of our team members’ wellbeing through this difficult time, and we are in constant communication and have support structures in place to assist.
8. Resident Support
We are working through as a team, a number of initiatives that may be deployed over the next month to support resident welfare. We will communicate with you more on these initiatives in the coming days. Given the speed of events unfolding, we will be continuing with the adopting the “Message My Way” platform to communicate in short form any urgent communications to our residents. These messages will be supplemented by our regular updates.
While the above measures may appear severe, given the circumstances there is simply no choice. There will of course, be some situations that we have not foreseen, and some exceptions may be necessary on practical or humanitarian grounds. However, we will do our best to adhere to both the spirit and the directions given under the Level 4 Alert.
There is no doubt that these measures will inconvenience and cause stress for both residents and staff. The Executive Team will spend each day for the next month communicating and supporting the team and we ask you to do same. It is essential that you keep managers informed of your health both physically and mentally. The older generation can sometimes maintain a degree of stoicism and privacy, so as not to “bother” anyone. This is not the time for that approach.
Generus Living Group Leadership Team