There were smiles behind facemasks this week at Blue Haven’s Bonaira Residential Aged Care Facility as visitors were welcomed back after nine weeks of hard lockdown due to COVID-19.
Around 660 fully vaccinated visitors signed in to see loved ones at Blue Haven in the first week after lockdown restrictions were eased from Monday 11 October.
Residents are allowed two visitors per day between 9am and 4pm.
To expedite the process and ensure all documentation is in order, Blue Haven’s admin staff have set up a dedicated email address so visitors can submit their vaccination certificate prior to arrival. This also helps ensure contactless sign-ins.
“It’s been delightful for our residents to once again welcome visitors into Blue Haven,” said Kiama Council CEO Jane Stroud.
“It’s been a long lockdown for everyone and we’re very happy to finally open our doors, in a COVID-safe way, so things can start returning to normal and residents can reconnect with their friends and families.”
“Although no one really enjoys being locked down, our staff have done an amazing job to ensure our residents were entertained and engaged throughout. It has also been an opportunity for many residents to embrace new forms of communication and interact virtually with their loved ones.”
“All that said, nothing beats the human touch and seeing each other face to face. I think I can speak for most of us when I say we’re all very relieved to be moving out of lockdown.”
During the pandemic, Blue Haven, which is owned and run by Kiama Council, worked hard to ensure all its residents and staff could get vaccinated. Efforts included securing a supply of vaccines and creating pop-up clinics on the premises to vaccinate residents and members of staff.
Blue Haven announced 100% vaccination rates for all residents who were willing and eligible in mid-August. Staff were fully vaccinated several weeks before the NSW State Government’s 17 September deadline for mandatory vaccination of all aged care staff.
Blue Haven occupancy rates
The Blue Haven Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) currently has a 94% occupancy rate. This is above the industry standard, which has fallen across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time Blue Haven has increased its occupancy considerably.
Kiama Council also has 260 independent living apartments for seniors in Kiama over two locations. At our Terralong site there are currently 6 vacancies with an occupancy rate of 97%. All independent living units at the new Bonaira site have been sold, or are under deposit.
Photo: Blue Haven resident Valerie Brookes welcomes her daughter Lisa Geoghegan. With Claire Ryan on reception.