Enhanced Window Visits
mecwacare installed glass partitions in all 13 residential aged care facilities across Victoria within a week – the first aged care organisation in Australia to provide this safe visiting option during the coronavirus pandemic. This was called an ‘enhanced window visit’. The benefits of the simple gesture were extraordinary.
mecwacare has worked tirelessly over the past few months to ensure the ongoing health and safety of its special residents in the face of the coronavirus.
One of the most difficult decisions was to limit visitors to essential visits only, which meant the not-for-profit organisation had to find new, creative and safe ways for its residents and their loved ones to stay connected.
iPads were set up to facilitate face-to-face communication via Skype, Zoom and Facetime and families were encouraged to do outdoor “window visits”.
“But we needed to do more,” mecwacare Chief Executive Michele Lewis said. “There was a lot of anxiety among the mecwacare community and limiting visitor access was having a huge impact on our residents and their loved ones.
“We had to think outside the box, so we came up with the idea to install glass partitions inside our facilities to enhance window visits while minimising risk to our residents.”
These visits provide family members with the opportunity to enter the home, out of the elements, for a limited time and see their loved one in person, which helps to alleviate some of the anxiety people have been feeling during this period of isolation.
At the mecwacare Simon Price Centre in Mont Albert, the daughter of a couple who has been married for 74 years, was able to visit her parents on Mother’s Day in the “glass viewing room”. It was an emotional reunion after weeks of separation. Another resident at the mecwacare Malvern Centre received a daily visit from her husband of 60 years before the pandemic, but he initially chose to stay away for safety reasons. Once the window was installed, he was able to visit twice a week and enjoy a cup of tea with his wife.
Window visits were common across the aged care industry to ensure visits could continue during the pandemic, but we wanted to enhance the connection and communication safely between loved ones. The installation of glass partitions inside the centres was an innovative solution that provided residents with greater social opportunity.
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