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Back COVID-19 Family and Friends Update

30 March 2020

Dear Resident Families and Friends,

As you know, today is Day 5 in Lockdown. At the Ultimate Care Group, we are pleased we implemented our own lockdown before the requirements, and right now we continue to be infection free. We are working really hard to keep it that way, and thank all our residents, their families and of course our staff in these trying days.
Almost all of the feedback received to date has been positive about our protective ‘No Visitors’ instruction. We recognise it can be incredibly hard on families, and there has been some isolated feedback on a lack of flexibility. Please remember, our Facility Managers, Clinical Managers, and staff are carrying out the Government’s and the Ministry of Health requirements. They are following what is being asked of them to protect our most vulnerable people. It is not their choice, but their obligation, but of course they are always are looking for other ways to enhance communication. Please support them and please be kind.


Exceptions to the ‘No Visitors’ Request
Even in these times, there are compassionate exceptions, as outlined by the Ministry of Health. During the Alert Level 4 Lockdown we have the occasional End of Life resident who may have family visits. These are managed carefully with prearranged times, limited numbers, restricted hours and with appropriate Personal Protection Equipment. They must be arranged with the Facility Manager and can only be permitted if it does not jeopardise the integrity of the facility ‘bubble’.


Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
There is a lot of talk in the media about PPE nowadays. Who should wear what and when, what grade, what works, what doesn’t and there seems to be numerous opinions on this. We are staying on top of all of this. As part of our protective precautions we have ensured our stocks of PPE are managed carefully and are following the Ministry of Health guidelines. There is a helpful resource on the Covid19.govt.nz website if you would like to read more.


Communication with our Facilities
We have noticed the increase in network demands placed on Spark and Vodafone, and particularly over the last weekend this was frustrating. Thank you for your assistance in keeping the phones at our Facilities as free as possible. We are also very happy to print out any emails you wish to send for your loved ones if they do not have a device of their own to keep in touch. Please email info@ultimatecare.co.nz for the facility’s email address if needed.


Finally
Thank you for the encouragement. Thank you for keeping our staff’s morale high as they continue to work hard through these uncertain times. Kindness is an incredibly powerful way to show you are united against COVID-19. Let’s keep it up!

Warmest regards

Jill Darcey
Operations Management