Byron Aged Care has setup a 1800 number for families of residents with any queries about their loved ones.
Byron Aged Care has setup a 1800 number for families of residents with any queries about their loved ones.

‘We are now in lockdown’: Aged care facility’s big decision

A NORTHERN RIVERS aged care facility has gone into preventive lockdown.

Byron Aged Care confirmed it went into lockdown on Monday, August 3, at 9am.

A spokeswoman for the centre said the facility is home to 38 residents and offers jobs to 39 care staff, including cleaners and cooks.

"We are now in lockdown at Byron Aged Care and will be reviewing this on a weekly basis in line with NSW Health and Queensland Health," the spokeswoman said.

"No-one may enter Byron Aged Care apart from staff, treating medical personnel (GPs, physiotherapists, allied health professionals who provide ongoing care for our residents, and emergency personnel).

"Essential services, including laundry, cooking and cleaning, are all performed on site by our staff.

"At Byron Aged Care, we make our own decisions. We do the right thing by putting our residents and staff first."

According to its website, in February 2015, Byron Aged Care aligned itself with Alzheimer's Association Queensland.

The centre is a community-based not-for-profit organisation governed by a voluntary board of directors.

"Byron Aged Care introduced face masks three weeks ago," the representative said.

"Given the increasing COVID-19 numbers in New South Wales, we chose to err on the side of caution in order to best protect our residents and staff, by ensuring we enforced the same lockdown measures across the board.

"Implementing a lockdown at Byron Aged Care was a prudent measure taken by the centre."

The spokeswoman said the feedback from families has been positive.

"We have not received any complaints.

"To the contrary, the families of our current residents have stated we are doing the right thing and are ahead of the curve.

"We activated a 1800 number from Monday this week. This phone is being manned 24/7 by our senior nursing officer.

"We have put alternative arrangements in place for those who have contacted this 1800 number, including the facilitation of phone calls, Skype or other forms of communication for those who are feeling distressed, during this unprecedented time e.g. booking a time for a loved one to visit in full PPE (gown and masks) in the resident's room, strictly for one hour)."