CEO News August 2020
There is no doubt that we are all living in the strangest of times. We watch the news and listen for those numbers of active COVID-19 cases every day and wonder when we will be able to turn things around and see them decline.
Within all segments of our business, Commonwealth funded beds, State Government supported residential care or within our home care program, senior staff continue to work hard at “what if” planning should we have a positive COVID-19 case.
We are working in an environment that is changing rapidly, sometimes every few hours, and we need to be ready to respond quickly to what is presented to us. The Board of Directors is committed to making sure that we provide the safest possible environment for all of our residents and consumers and has directed the operational staff to do all that we can to put in the best processes to ensure this happens. The Board has been very supportive of the resources required to do this as the measures being put in to place come at an extra cost.
Whilst being very practical around the preparation and planning for a positive COVID-19 case, there is also a very human side to what we are dealing with at the moment. I was deeply saddened over the past few weeks when some residential families expressed to me their sadness of our lack of “post loss” care for them of their loved one. I have reflected on this and realised that indeed things have changed considerably now we are living in this COVID focused world.
Previously our staff would attend funerals to pay their respects, but now, due to restrictions we don’t want to intrude on an already limited number of people who can attend funerals and we need to be mindful of keeping our staff safe. No longer do I have an opportunity to meet with families as I once did just after a resident had passed away, in order to spend some time to chat, pay my respects and reminisce. Whilst I personally have missed this, I perhaps didn’t realise the impact of me not being on site may have in relation to this type of care for you all. Now as we commence a COVID-19 roster in our Commonwealth funded facilities, this will further restrict the access of general staff to pay their respects to the family.
What can we do about this? I will make sure in the future that I make personal contact with families by telephone to offer my condolences and discuss their needs and assist where ever I can. To those individuals and families that MACS has hurt, I sincerely apologise and this is certainly not ‘the MACS way’ of doing things.
During this reflection time, and in talking with fellow staff members, we have realised how much we are all missing that human touch, the hug, the touching of hands or that peck on the cheek. The power of human connection is just so important. I need to reflect more on this, especially about the care of the MACS staff, but also to you the community we serve.
“The human touch is that little snippet of physical affection that brings a bit of comfort, support and kindness.
It doesn’t take much from the one who gives it, but can make a huge difference to the one who receives it.” ~ Mya Robarts
Kind regards and please keep washing your hands and wear a mask!