HelloCare Aged Care News, Health & Dementia

  • It’s crucial we address COVID vaccine hesitancy among health workers. Here’s where to...
    by HelloCare Mail on January 20, 2021 at 4:08 am

    Holly Seale, Associate professor, UNSW Health workers are at higher risk of COVID infection and illness. They can also act as extremely efficient transmitters of viruses to others in medical and aged care facilities. That’s why health workers have been prioritised to get a COVID vaccine when it becomes available in Australia. But just because health workers are among those first in line to receive a COVID vaccine, it doesn’t necessarily mean they all will. Our health systems represent a microcosm of the community. Just like in the broader community, there will be health workers highly motivated to get the COVID-19 vaccine, driven by concern about risk to themselves, their family, and their patients. There will also be those who have medical conditions, those that may not be able to get vaccinated, and staff who are hesitant. There will also be health workers with questions about the vaccine, who […]

  • Temperatures scanners in the spotlight as research shows they have ‘limited value’ in...
    by Rianna Manuel on January 19, 2021 at 5:39 am

    By now, we are all familiar with presenting our foreheads for temperature monitoring when we walk into public spaces. In the new world of COVID-19 precautions, tracking people’s temperature has become one of the many additional screening and prevention methods adopted by organisations. But with studies showing that people who have contracted COVID-19 can be contagious for days before developing a fever, does temperature checking play a useful role in infection control? Research says temperature scanners have ‘limited value’ in detecting COVID-19 A number of recent studies have explored the usefulness of infrared thermographic screening - or non-contact thermometers to use the more common terminology.  Non-contact thermometers determine temperature by measuring the heat emanating from the surface of a person’s body, often the forehead.   However,  research by […]

  • The Pfizer vaccine may not be the best choice for frail people, but it’s too early to make...
    by HelloCare Mail on January 18, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    Nathan Bartlett, Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, University of Newcastle. Reports of about 30 deaths among elderly nursing home residents who received the Pfizer vaccine have made international headlines. With Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) expected to approve the vaccine imminently and the roll out set to begin next month, this development might seem like cause for concern around the safety of the vaccine. But there are a few reasons it shouldn’t be. What we know We haven’t seen this issue reported in any other countries which are rolling out the Pfizer vaccine. Norway has reported about 45,000 people around the country have been vaccinated against COVID-19 so far. Their vaccine program has mostly focused on residents in nursing homes. In other countries, there may be more of a […]

  • Pfizer vaccine reportedly safe for Australians despite reports of Norway deaths
    by Rianna Manuel on January 18, 2021 at 6:14 am

    Australia is gearing up to roll out the first round of coronavirus vaccines, expected to be administered in February. But following the deaths of older people in Norway, government bodies and public health watchdogs have been put on high alert.  According to reports coming out of Norway, 30 older people living with existing health conditions and diseases have died following the receipt of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Following the roll out of over 40,000 inoculations, those who died reportedly experienced known side effects, which in these cases proved to be fatal.  According to a statement released by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, “The deaths were associated with fever, nausea and diarrhoea, which are relatively common short-lived effects that a number of people experience after vaccination. It is not expected that these common adverse reactions following immunisation will be of significance in the vast majority of […]

  • The nightmare reality of home care waiting lists continues…
    by Rianna Manuel on January 18, 2021 at 4:41 am

    A new press release from Shadow Minister for Ageing and Seniors, Julie Collins, has revealed the incredible numbers on home care waiting lists. These new figures allege that across the country, almost 100,000 older Australians are still waiting for home care packages. “This is yet more evidence of the Morrison Government’s neglect of our broken aged care system,â€� Mr Collins says in the press release.  “Older Australians are fed up with waiting for care at home when they have already been approved for it. “It is completely unacceptable that the Morrison Government hasn’t done more to fix this crisis.â€� A table supplied in the press release revealed that in NSW alone, over 30,000 older people have yet to receive their home care packages, despite their application being approved.  According to News.com, Northern Sydney alone has […]

  • Social robots helps Wollongong resident stay connect during COVID-19
    by HelloCare Mail on January 17, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    A retirement village resident of IRT Links Seaside Wollongong has caught a glimpse of the future after being selected to test drive an Ohmni telepresence robot in his home. The robot was loaned to IRT by Canberra-based Robots 4 Good in the midst of the pandemic last year to test how the technology could help overcome social isolation and uninterrupted access to care for home care customers during lockdown. IRT Group Executive General Manager of Home Care Ross Gallagher says the pandemic has forced us to consider new ways of doing things, especially how we stay connected when we’re required to stay physically distant. “If you want to see what the future of ageing in place looks like, telepresence robots could well be part of it,â€� Ross said. “The robot has applications from a social connectivity perspective and a caring perspective. We’re really excited about […]

  • Gone are the days of three scoops on a plate: chefs transform the aged care dining experience
    by Caroline Egan on January 15, 2021 at 7:28 am

    In nursing home kitchens all around Australia, chefs are mastering the art of using food moulds in determined efforts to improve the dining experiences of aged care residents. Their creativity is not only enabling older people in residential care to gain greater enjoyment from their food, it is also providing residents' health and wellbeing with a much-needed boost. We spoke to two chefs about the moulds they use, their tips for success (and what to avoid), and along the way we learned about one particularly unusual texture-modified meal. Malnutrition as high as 65% in aged care A research paper from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety put the rates of malnutrition in residential aged care in Australia at between 25 per cent and 50 per cent of residents. However, some studies have found the rate to be as high as 65 per cent. [caption id="attachment_21558" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Lamb shank. Image Tibor Paller.[/caption] Regardless […]

  • The musical volunteers bringing joy to Londoners in isolation
    by Rianna Manuel on January 15, 2021 at 6:33 am

    London is back in lockdown, and as anyone who has lived through harsh restrictions will tell you, it becomes more difficult the longer it goes on. However, the situation is made all the more difficult if people are living alone and in total isolation from all others.  This is where Give a Song volunteers come in. The musical group travels around South London, knocking on doors to give doorstep performances, brightening the days of the people listening on.  Mostly made up of musicians who have been out of work since the first lockdown back in March 2020, Give A song has performed to more than 2000 people and counting. Recipients of the private concerts can either request a performance themselves, or are nominated by friends and family who feel like they need a pick-me-up.  Speaking to local news outlet My London, Give A Song founder Chloe Edwards-Wood said it has been incredible to see the change in people who receive the performances.  […]

  • Visitor allegedly flouted nursing home rules, potentially putting lives at risk
    by Caroline Egan on January 15, 2021 at 2:00 am

      A family member has ignored an aged care home's visitor restrictions, failing to disclose they had been in a COVID-19 hotspot and sneaking in even after being banned, putting the lives of both staff and residents at risk, according to a member of staff who reached out to HelloCare. The visitor was seeing their centenarian parent, and allegedly failed to tell staff they had recently been in a COVID-19 hotspot.  The person also allegedly made excuses to avoid having to wear a mask and have their temperature taken. They refused a swab test and supplied a false phone number, according to our source. Though banned from the home after this incident, days later they are said to have forced their way back in and caused an uproar, declining to leave and threatening legal action. Staff at the home in question, like aged care staff all over Australia, and indeed the world, have made constant sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect not only their own health but also […]

  • Should the public invest more in aged care?
    by Rianna Manuel on January 15, 2021 at 12:39 am

    In Israel, a world first is occurring. An Israeli social enterprise has taken to crowdfunding a new initiative aimed at helping tackle loneliness and isolation among older people.  Traditionally, social impact bonds are funded by one or two big financial backers, investing the money to ensure the rollout of the project to make the biggest impact on society. But this latest bond is believed to be the first to get funding from the general public through crowdfunding. While the bond has already received financial contributions from investors and philanthropic funds of around AU$653,000, they have turned to crowdfunding in the hopes of raising another AU$285,000.  Social Finance Israel, the organisation behind the social impact bond, says the money will go towards easing the effects of loneliness and isolation of around 200 older people in Tel Aviv over the next two years.  The program will see social workers and volunteers visit older people, offer […]

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