From our CEO: Hang in there.

I don’t want to keep talking about COVID-19 but how can I not? Sometimes when we are faced with a major upheaval in life, we manage by focusing on “getting through it” until we come out the other side. Perhaps we put on our armour and resist being changed by the experience. Many of us have a great intolerance of the unknown.

Time to call on your spiritual resources. What endures for you? What beliefs, traditions, rituals and practices are you able to maintain? What new ones are emerging? What is your source of strength? If what you have called on before is inaccessible now, don’t just give up. Keep exploring and gently allow an inner relocation to occur. You are in a between-time. Usually these are uncomfortable. They include an invitation to growth.

If you are working in direct care with older people, you are no doubt focussed very much keeping people safe, to manage threat of infection or actual infection. We have talked before about the incredible importance of viewing ‘safety’ holistically. We need to ensure that every single person feels loved, valued, and protected in every way. This is calling on your creativity. Thank you.

As I write this column, masks are a requirement in parts of Victoria, and increasingly they are in use in other places. This poses a major challenge to those important connections between older people and care staff. We are very worried about how people will know they are with people who care about them if they can’t see their faces. Even worse if the older person is hearing impaired, or has some cognitive challenges.

Last week we released a new quick guide, Wearing Masks with Heart. See below, or use the link for more information. Please let us know if you are using this approach, how it is working, and if we can make any improvements to our guide. We were keen to promote clear masks but alas the ones we found, which show the carer’s whole face, are not shipped to Australia. We have received advice from the Department of Health that as long as we are not making any medical claims the Therapeutic Goods Administration does not have a problem with us promoting clear masks for use in aged care.  Can you help us find a clear mask that is available locally? See below for information about a new bundle of resources for homes with a COVID outbreak.

In other advocacy news, we approached the Department of Health about the Workforce Retention Bonus and the importance of including team members who contribute to holistic care. Sadly, these roles are not recognised, and so our advocacy work continues.

I hope to see you all at the e-launch of our latest resource – a wonderful guide to using a change management approach for integrated spiritual care. Packed full of practical action plan templates to save you time, which we know is a major struggle for the sector. Book in here.

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