Kapiti Retirement Trust CEO Wendy Huston says as we move to Alert Level 3 the main message is still Stay Well, Stay Safe, Stay at Home.
"As we move to Alert Level 3 and follow the Government guidelines around this level, we remain absolutely committed that the decisions we make maximise the physical safety of our residents; all whom have chosen to make their retirement home within accommodation options operated by the Kapiti Retirement Trust."
Ms Huston says they acknowledge that the group at most risk of COVID-19 are those aged over 70 and/or with underlying health conditions. This is the population within both the Trust's Sevenoaks-Midlands Gardens Retirement Village and within the care facility The Lodge.
Our Sevenoaks - Midlands Gardens Village
"In following Government guidelines released with Alert Level 3 as applying from 28 April, we do not expect to see significant changes in how life in the Village will operate for the duration of this level."
Ms Huston says at Alert Level 3, the Level 4 requirements around personal bubbles and social distancing of two metres remain. This, along with all residents following the guidelines around good hygiene protocols, provide them with the best protections to ensure they remain well.
Signage reinforcing the risks and controlled access to the Village via main entrances will remain. Deliveries and drop offs of groceries and other personal deliveries will continue to be limited to a recommended turn-around time in the village of no more than 15 minutes.
Ms Huston says Residents should continue to remain within the Village unless it is vital for them to leave to attend critical appointments. They should be avoiding places such as supermarkets where the risks associated with face-to-face contact are greater. As at Level 4, they have the opportunity to enjoy walks through the many pathways around the Village.
"Visits from the general public to those living in the Village are still not possible. Those under the age of 18 should under no circumstances be entering Village sites. This is on the basis that young people have been shown to have a higher level of being 'asymptomatic' to the virus (ie, could have it but not show any symptoms). Young children are also less able to comply with physical distancing, cough etiquette and thorough hand hygiene, says Ms Huston."
What Will Change under Level 3
Approved tradespeople, along with the Trust's grounds and maintenance teams will be more obvious in the Village. Changes allowed at Level 3 will see them able to work on the refurbishment of villas and carry out general village maintenance; providing stringent health and safety protocols including 2 metre physical distancing are followed.
"All villa viewings have been suspended while the Alert Levels remain. Prospective new residents may at Level 3 view available properties but again, with very strict screening, hygiene, and physical distancing measures in place."
Our Care Facility (The Lodge)
"With the move to Alert Level 3, following guidance from the Ministry of Health, little will change for our residents in care or their families," says Ms Huston.
The latest MOH recommendation states:
"Aged residential care visitor policy.
Family visits only for palliative care residents – on a case-by-case basis, subject to public health direction and provider assessment. There will be no general family visits."
Ms Huston says while they understand families are anxious and extremely keen to resume normal visiting, following the above guidelines provide the best protection for frail residents.
"Family members are welcome however to drop items for residents to the main reception for delivery; whether this be their favourite food treats, a letter or photos.
"Staff are available to assist in every way possible for meaningful dialogue between families to take place. Regular and ongoing communication with families continues. Alongside this is the increased use of technology such as Skype, Zoom or Facetime contact to occur between family members," says Ms Huston.
"At Level 3 we continue to follow the same principle as when operating at Level 4 – Stay Well, Stay Safe, Stay at Home.