Important Update: COVID-19 and Community Houses Visiting Restrictions

Posted on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

I previously wrote to you on 19 March 2020 to advise of the visiting and community access restrictions we were introducing at Brightwater sites to keep our clients safe. 

As you are aware, this was a very difficult decision, and I am pleased to advise that we have had no cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst our clients or staff during this time.

We committed to reviewing these restrictions after four weeks which we have now done.  Based on the best available advice and Government direction, we will be extending the current restrictions for a further four weeks.  At the end of that period, we will again review and communicate with you.

I appreciate that it is really difficult for our clients to not be able to access their normal community activities.  It is also challenging for them and you, their families, to not be able to visit with each other.

The decision to continue with restricted visiting and community access is made in the best interests of our clients, who are particularly vulnerable to the virus.  It is critical that we continue to work together to keep our clients’ safe.

Thank you to all those families who have emailed or telephoned in support of our position - this is much appreciated.

Supporting the health and wellbeing of clients is critical at this time and Brightwater has commenced programs to keep you connected with your loved one as much as possible over this time. 

Activities and Family Connection

Our team is working on the following to assist our clients to remain both physically and mentally healthy, including:

  • Coordinating on line connections with family and friends
  • Supporting clients to participate in home based activities of their choice
  • Helping clients to learn about keeping themselves safe through fun activities such as “social distancing dance offs”
  • Ensuring that clients are involved in activities across all seven days of the week including helping out in the house
  • Access to some external services such as Support Coordination via Skype
  • Screening of movies

We are also implementing a number of new initiatives:

  • Introducing alternatives to free to air TV, including Netflix
  • Increased cleaning staff on each of our sites over and above current cleaning arrangements
  • Implementing a process of temperature checking of all staff coming to work
  • Implementing a process of staff changing clothes when arriving at work and then leaving work
  • Enhanced staff training on infection control, over and above our already strict protocols
  • Implementing Brightwater Buddies – a way for community volunteers to connect with your loved one during this time through letter, paintings or phone calls.

I recognise how hard the last month has been for everyone, and I thank you for your continued support and understanding during this time.

Yours sincerely,

Jennifer Lawrence
Chief Executive Officer