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Aged Care: 5 tips to prepare your team this Christmas

As Aged Care starts to re-emerge from a very dark and long Pandemic Tunnel, we can breathe a small sigh of relief, but as any good operator will tell you, this is not the time to let our guard down.

One of the next challenges faced by operators will be the Christmas and New Year Period. After eight months of pressure and overload in our sector, the next challenge facing us is the holiday season. And if you’ve been busy just getting through COVID-19, you may need to dedicate some time planning how your facility can manage what may be a very different summer holiday period.

5 tips to prepare your team and organisation this Christmas:

1. Staffing levels 

Does your team have Pandemic exhaustion? For many, there has been no opportunity to take a break, and the risk of burnout is high. Is now the time to put on some extra casuals, or do you need to develop a relationship with an agency to facilitate mandated minimum staffing levels and skill mix?

Are you getting the funding you need? In the last eight months, many residential Aged Care facilities would not have had time to review funding, and resident needs may have changed significantly. Is it time for a Healthcare Audit to review your current ACFI documentation to compare against eligible subsidies?

2. Communication with families

The popular media has been filled with many stories of families isolated from each other over the pandemic. Do you have a plan in place to accommodate the influx of families over the festive season? Keep in mind that some of these visitors may not have visited for a while and could be unfamiliar with your procedures and policies around COVID-19?

Consider how you are communicating your Christmas plans. An email to next of kin is appropriate, as is advance signage at the facility, but as more and more aged care facilities embrace social media, consider messages on your website and Facebook page also. It may also give you an opportunity to grow your audience.

3. Family Arrangements

Do you have a dining room booking system with a way to select meals from a designated Christmas Menu?

Does your facility have guidelines for how many people can visit at one time?

Can families take loved ones out for Christmas celebrations either before or on Christmas Day?

Has your facility's guidelines changed since last Christmas?

4. Education

Education and Training requirements for staff continue and if your organisation has not had the capacity to undertake any training, consider the January period for this. Planning for this now will allow you to organise and tick off one to-do that may have been shelved with other recent priorities.

5. Celebrations within the Aged Care Facility 

How can you still get into the holiday spirit and social distance at the same time?  Is there space in a carpark for carols? Can you safely participate in a Secret Santa? What alternatives suit your facility? Get creative or survey your team members.

Get your free LMS demo

HCA provides online learning courses that have been designed by Australian aged care professionals in line with the Australian Aged Care Standards. If you require flexible training for your whole organisation to prepare for Christmas, click here to download your free demo.

 

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