CEO News April 2020 and message from the Board Chair

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Dear friends,

Message from the Chair of the Board Spiro Fatouros.

“On behalf of my fellow Directors can I extend to you all our sincere thanks for the support you are showing our staff during this very challenging and unprecedented time. It is the intention of the Directors that the health and safety of our Residents, Home Care Consumers and Staff remain our highest priority. As Directors we are constantly being briefed by our CEO, Joy Leggo, as circumstances change in this rapidly evolving environment.

I also wanted to let you know that over the past few weeks as a Board we identified an opportunity to achieve one of our strategic objectives of growing the scope and services of MACS. Through an expression of interest MACS has purchased a significant parcel of land within COGG at 297-307 Roslyn Road, Highton, which has in place a planning permit from the COGG to build a 122 aged care bed facility.  We will take possession of this land around 21 April.  No final decisions have been made as to what may be built on this site. Given that our current site is now land-locked, Directors felt that this was a strategic opportunity to purchase a significant parcel of land within the COGG.

Our focus however at this time remains on supporting you all as we work together as a community through these difficult times.   No developments will be made on our new site for the foreseeable future.

Should you wish to speak to me about any issues relating to MACS, please contact me through Joy.” Spiro Fatouros, Chair, MACS Board.

Without a doubt March was a challenging month.  Our lives have been changed in ways we would never have thought possible.  Here at MACS as we care for the most vulnerable in our Community we take our responsibility very seriously and are working very hard in caring for our Residents and Home Care Consumers under difficult circumstances.  Working under a risk management framework, we took the decision to close our facilities, Borrela House, Mary Costa House, Annie O’Malley House, Gerda’s House and Bella Chara, to visitors in late March.  I am appreciative of the support shown to us in taking this decision by families, recognising that this is very hard for family members and friends not to visit.  

Our Home Care Consumers also face a challenging time, with the Prime Minister announcing on 29 March that they recommend anyone over the age of 70 self-isolate.  Our Home Services team led by our Well-being Coordinators will be doing everything they can if family cannot assist, that food and medication is delivered to you. We are also missing our home care consumers who can no longer come in to our Mindful Moves program at MACS.  Home Services is reviewing its work practices daily in light of the Coronavirus rapidly changing control measures. The Home Services team is taking every measure to reduce community transmission. Please call us if you have travelled overseas or been in contact with anyone who has travelled overseas in the last two weeks or if you have any cold or flu symptoms and contact your Wellbeing Coordinator if you have any concerns regarding the Coronavirus. They will direct you in any steps you need to take recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services. To discuss any of this information or any other enquiries, please contact the Home Services office on 5202 5380 or email at homeservices@macs.org.au

Sadly we have also had to suspend our Volunteer program at this time.  Amongst all of this upheaval though, we have wished our Volunteer Coordinator Ilaria well as she goes off on maternity leave and we welcome Nina Chegini as she takes up Ilaria’s position. Nina will be part of the well-being team whilst we have no volunteers on site.  We will continue to have daily activities for residents in each house during the lockdown period run by the wellbeing coordinators. We will be increasing our presence on Facebook, posting as many happy shots of Residents engaged in activities as we can.  So, if you aren’t already a friend of MACS on Facebook can I suggest you simply ‘like’ our page? 

Whilst COVID-19 continues to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind, as an organisation we continue to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  I acknowledge with deep respect the wonderful staff who continue to care for our Residents and Home Care Consumers.  Be they Nurses, Carers, Wellbeing Workers, Housekeeping, Laundry, Food Services, Administration or Maintenance staff, they come to work despite their own anxieties about how the Coronavirus may affect or has affected their families.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has undertaken a desk-top audit of all Commonwealth funded aged care providers verifying that our infection control procedures are appropriate.  I can assure the MACS community that we have always had strong infection control procedures and there is currently a team of people working on different scenarios as the pandemic continues to evolve.

At a recent whole of staff, staff meeting, the last we will be holding for quite some time, I talked about the importance of staff looking after themselves and also about keeping things in perspective.  We are working hard here at MACS to be a glass half full organization rather than a glass half empty!!

You may also like to see April’s edition of MACS News with some happy snaps of residents. 

Wishing you all a safe and happy Easter.

Warm regards,

Joy

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