“It’s ok to have home care”: Department of Health issues flyers for home care staff to hand to clients

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An indication that the Government is aware that many home care recipients are putting their packages on hold during the during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two-page information sheet explains that home care staff are taking all necessary measures to keep clients safe – but they don’t need to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) unless they, the care recipients, has been diagnosed or is showing symptoms.

Providers tell us that around 15 to 20% of their home care clients have suspended their services because of fears of contracting the virus – and they do not have the supplies of PPE to allow their staff to use it while visiting clients.

Last week, the Aged Care Minister Senator Richard Colbeck announced that the Government would be conducting welfare checks on home care clients who have suspended their services.

“We don’t want people to fall through the cracks,” he said.

“Of course, it’s their choice to receive or not receive care – but we remain determined to ensure those who need support are still receiving it.”

Will a phone call make up however for missing out on support services such as cleaning, home maintenance and nursing care that could prevent an older person from deteriorating further?

There is also the risk that if clients suspend their services for too long, they will lose their package – and need to return to the home care prioritisation queue.

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