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Friday 27 March 2020

Residential Care Full Lockdown

As you are aware the Federal Government has recently mandated restrictions on visitors to residential aged care facilities in order to enhance protection of frail elderly residents from exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We have complied with this requirement and have limited visitors to booked times, established areas away from residents and subject to strict infection control protocols.  Our approach has been to balance protection of residents with maintaining some level of physical connection between them and their family and friends.

However, with the rapidly spreading virus in the community around us, our concerns about the increasing risk of exposure to residents has escalated.  Despite personal precautions that should have been taken, every visitor connecting physically with a resident has the potential to transmit the virus even if they are not showing any symptoms.  It only takes one incident like this to introduce the virus into the facility and that could lead to the premature suffering and death of numerous residents.  Many aged care providers have already implemented a total lockdown of their residential aged care facilities and the advice I have received from our clinicians is that we now need to do the same.  Therefore, from midnight on Saturday 28th March visitors will no longer be able to have any physical contact with residents.  We don’t do this lightly but our primary concern is to do all we can to protect residents from this terrible virus.

The only exception to this direction will be if the resident is assessed by their doctor to be at a palliative stage.  In these circumstances we will make special arrangements to allow access while still protecting all other residents.  This is consistent with dictates of the Federal Government.

We are working to set up other methods of connecting residents with their loved ones during the lockdown.  This includes the use of telephones, Facetime, Skype and the like.  We are setting up tablet computers for this purpose with connections to be facilitated by staff redeployed from some of our community services.  We hope to have this in place by Monday.  Residents can also be brought to windows and balconies to see loved ones.

It is indeed a sad day to have reached this point and we all hope that it will not be for too long.  Just how long will be determined by the Federal and State Governments.

Ross Dawson CEO

Additional Information

Below are a number of resources and fact sheets providing information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from both the Australian Government Department of Health and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. 

Victorian Department Health and Human Services Resources

Reduce your risk of Coronavirus

Protect yourself and your family:

Wash your hand regularly_English

Wash your hand regularly_Chinese

Cover your cough and sneeze_English

Cover your cough and sneeze_Chinese

For further information, please go to the Victorian Department Health and Human Services website:  https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19#more-information-and-resources

Australian Government Department of Health

Home Care Information Sheet

Fact Sheet for Older Australians 

Fact Sheet for families and residents on restricted visits to residential aged care facilities

Fact Sheet for workers in residential aged care facilities

Isolation guidance_English

Isolation guidance_Simple Chinese

Isolation guidance_ Italian

For further information, please go to the Australian Government Department of Health Website: https://www.health.gov.au/

Resources for looking after your wellbeing

During this challenging time, it is essential that everyone continues to looks after their wellbeing – physical, mental and emotional. The following resources may be of help:

Beyond Blue

Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

Australian Psychological Society

Maintaining positive mental health

Dementia help Sheets

Tips for Carers, Families and Friends of People Living with Dementia

Tips for home care providers


Grevillea House Planned Activity Group was invited to participate in a pilot project on evaluating the effectiveness of the Montessori Method.  An outcome of the pilot project was the video above.  

Please feel free to share this resource on the Montessori Methods with friends and family of people living with dementia.  For more information, see Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria’s resources.

The latest 2018/19 Annual Report can be viewed online by clicking below:


We have several publications to keep MannaCare residents and their families, plus staff and the wider community up to date with what we’re doing.