04 Jun Flu shot the key to maintaining access to TDHS
Aged care resident Sam Bamford, 82, loves when friends and family visit and he counts his lucky stars every day that it’s still possible at Timboon.
While COVID-19 restrictions have changed who can and cannot enter Timboon and District Healthcare Service (TDHS), a simple flu shot is the key to maintaining access.
TDHS chief executive officer Rebecca Van Wollingen said that from May 1 the government had made it mandatory for all visitors, staff and contractors to have the 2020 influenza vaccine before entering aged care facilities.
“As a multipurpose facility that includes aged care, we are taking all reasonable measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and support our community during this time,” she said.
“Before entering, everyone is now required to show proof of their flu shot as part of our thorough screening process. Here at TDHS, we are producing proof of influenza vaccination cards for people after we have sighted proof from their GP.
“The screening process at reception requires visitors to answer a few short questions, sanitise their hands, show evidence of their flu shot and have their temperature taken. It’s all quite simple and quick, but an important part of keeping everyone safe.”
Sam’s brother Allen and sister-in-law Heather live in Colac. They travel to Timboon quite regularly to spend time with Sam in his room.
“We’re pretty lucky that Timboon didn’t go into full lockdown like some other aged care places and that we can still come and see Sam safely,” Heather said.
“I suffer from asthma and have always had my flu shot anyway on the advice of my doctor. Allen has also been getting his the last few years, so that wasn’t an issue for us.
“Having the shot not only keeps Sam safe, but it safeguards us as well. When we visit, we do the screening and if everything is normal, like our temperature, we can visit.”
Heather said they communicated with other family members to work around the limitation of one visit each day, by no more than two people, for a maximum of two hours.
“Sam is going really well. He was at home on his own in Ecklin just over a year ago and it wasn’t a good situation, so everyone was really happy when he got a bed here,” she said.
“The nursing staff are absolutely wonderful with him – they pop in and out all the time.”