Updated Residential Aged Care Visitor Access Code released
An updated ‘Industry Code for Visiting Aged Care Homes, which aims to balance best practice safety measures in aged care with the rights and mental health of older people across Australia, has been released today, 23 March 2022.
The revised Code, developed by 12 aged care consumer and provider organisations included the Older Persons Advocacy Network led by Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia, follows extensive consultation with key stakeholders, including the general public, sector stakeholders, and health authorities.
The Code includes an ‘Essential Visitor’ policy which requires that residents are always permitted to have at least one visitor, regardless of the COVID outbreak status. The Code defines three classifications of such Essential Visitors – ‘Partners in Care’, ‘Named Visitors’ and ‘End of Life Care’. The Code outlines three levels of visitor access, each with its own infection prevention and control measures, ranging from Green when there is little or no COVID threat to Red when there is an outbreak in a facility. There maybe times where the public health orders may require tighter restrictions. In the absence of these, visits should then occur in line with the Industry Code. Speak first to your provider and ask them about visits in line with the Industry Code.
The March 2022 update incorporates updated definitions of an aged care exposure to COVID-19 and an aged care outbreak of COVID-19, in line with the updated Government guidelines.
As an older person receiving aged care services, family member, or carer you may have questions and concerns about the implications of COVID-19 and visiting aged care, please view our COVID-19 information page.
This news article was originally published on 22 December, 2021 and updated on 23 March, 2022.