Brightwater & COVID-19
Brightwater continues to ensure the health and wellbeing of our most vulnerable clients is our top priority.
Click here for our 14 May 2021 update for residential aged care clients and families
Click here for our 14 May 2021 update for community houses clients and families
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below on our pandemic response.
If you have any questions or feedback, please click here and we will respond to you within 48 hours.
COVID -19 Vaccination Rollout
Click here for an update for all Brightwater clients and families regarding the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program
The Australian Government has also produced these information sheets about the COVID-19 vaccine:
- COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for frail older people
- Information on COVID-19 Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine
- Preparing for COVID-19 vaccination
- What to expect on vaccination day
- After your COVID-19 vaccination
Useful COVID-19 resources
- Visitors to Residential Aged Care Facilities Directions (No.7)
- OPAN (Older Persons Advocacy Network) COVID-19 Vaccine Informed Consent webinar
- Department of Health fact sheet for home care clients
- Department of Health fact sheet for residential aged care facilities
- OPAN (Older Persons Advocacy Network) resources
- Advocare resources
Frequently asked questions
Can I take my loved one out on excursions?
While we are in a phase of no community transmission in WA, external outings are permitted when they can be conducted in a safe manner. This means that there are appropriate infection prevention measures in place and an agreement by the resident and family to provide accurate information and engage in risk mitigation procedures whilst on the outing and screening procedures on return. Your Service Manager or Program Leader will be able to provide you with the relevant risk assessment form.
Could I take my loved one out on social leave if there are visitor restrictions in place?
We understand that any legally mandated restrictions on visiting is hard for residents, their families and friends.
As of last year, the Australian Government introduced an emergency leave provision for permanent aged care residents. You can use emergency leave to take temporary leave from Brightwater during the COVID-19 pandemic until June 2021.
If you choose to take emergency leave, you will not use any of your social leave entitlements and you will not be required to pay Brightwater further fees to secure your place.
You will however be required to pay the same fees that you are required to pay when you take social leave.
If you or your family have any questions about emergency leave, please contact your Manager at the relevant Brightwater site.
How can I book to visit someone at Brightwater's aged care homes or community houses?
If you would like to book to visit a client at one of our homes, please click here to book using Zipline, Brightwater's online booking system. Please ensure you are using an up-to-date internet browser.
Comprehensive guides on how to book using Zipline are available below:
What would happen in the case of a COVID-19 outbreak at a Brightwater Residential Aged Care site?
Brightwater has in place a thorough pandemic response plan in case of an outbreak.
This includes details of how we would communicate to you and how we would manage the care of your loved one.
It also includes details of infection control and care to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the home, including the ability to replace staff if required with other staff from within Brightwater to ensure continuity of care is delivered. Our staff are well trained in infection control practices, including the wearing of PPE (personal protective equipment). We also have access to a team of specialists who would support us in the management of an outbreak. This includes a Geriatrician and Infectious Disease Physician from the WA Department of Health. Brightwater also has its own Nurse Practitioners.
Our plan has been developed in conjunction with both the Commonwealth and State Health Departments and it adopts the WA Health Residential Aged Care Facility Outbreak Management Plan. The WA Department of Health will continue to direct us in the actions we take in the case of an outbreak – this will include contact tracing, but they will also advise us on whether or not we continue to care for a positive COVID-19 client on site or if they will be transferred to hospital. It is also important that we have advanced care plans and directives in place for our clients to understand their wishes in this situation.
How would I hear about an outbreak at my family member’s home?
If your loved one received a positive test, you will receive a call immediately.
If we receive a positive test in your family member’s home (even if they are not COVID-19 positive) you will receive an email and text in the first few hours of the result being made known to us. This will be followed up with a phone call from our Communications Support Officers as soon as we can, so please make sure your contact details are correct in our system by contacting your family member’s home if these change.
We will of course continue to keep you updated regularly.
Will I be able to visit my loved one in the case of a COVID-19 outbreak?
We will be directed by the Department of Health in this matter, but it is likely we may have to ‘lock down’ the home to prevent anyone else being infected. However, we would make sure there were alternate means of communicating with your family members including Skype calls, telephone calls and window visits where we could safely do so.
What does Brightwater's Pandemic Response Plan Plan cover?
Our Pandemic Response Plan covers everything from infection control, the provision of extra staff and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the correct use of PPE, and communication in the event of an outbreak. Our Plan and policies include paid pandemic leave for staff who have symptoms and are awaiting COVID-19 test results, or who may have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or in some situations when they have been directed to self-isolate. This ensures our staff are well supported and do not come to work if they are feeling unwell or are at risk of infection. This is in the best interests of our clients, our staff, and the community more generally.
How will Brightwater work with WA Department of Health in case of an outbreak?
Brightwater will work very closely with the WA Department of Health in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak at one of our residential homes.
The WA Department of Health will issue direction and guidance about a number of key decisions in the event of an outbreak including: which clients should move to a separate quarantine area; and whether COVID-19 positive clients will be transferred from the home and where they will be transferred to (for example, to a private hospital or unused care facility).
How will our clients and their families be informed of a positive COVID-19 outbreak at a home?
The Service Manager or appropriate clinical staff member on site who has a strong relationship with the client will advise them sensitively and appropriately. They will be given details about their ongoing care and we will keep families and clients connected through alternate communication means, such as phone or Skype calls.
How will clients be informed if they test COVID-19 positive?
The Service Manager or appropriate clinical staff member on site who has a strong relationship with the client will advise them sensitively and appropriately. They will be given details about their ongoing care and we will keep families and clients connected through alternate communication means, such as phone or skype calls.
How will families find out if their loved one tests positive?
If your relative tests positive to COVID-19, the primary contact listed for that client will be called immediately. Please note, we can only give out health information to the primary contact for the client, so please make sure these details are up to date with your Service Manager or Program Lead. If you are the primary contact, please agree with your family about a plan to pass information onto other family members.
How will Brightwater ensure continuity of care if staff members test positive to COVID-19?
We have in place a surge workforce of COVID-19 trained Brightwater staff, as well as a central pool of other Brightwater care staff we can call on in an outbreak.
Our surge workforce would be deployed in an outbreak as an extra resource. The central pool staff would be called on as needed, for example, if care staff working at a home were unable to come to work due to symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive COVID-19 test.
Will visitors be allowed if there was a COVID-19 outbreak at a residential site?
Visitor restrictions or requirements will be governed by and the WA Department of Health direction at the time. Depending on the circumstances, restrictions may be reintroduced swiftly, but we will endeavour to communicate with you prior to any changes. We will have other methods of communication including phone, Skype calls and window visits, if and where it is safe to do so.