Latest News & Updates Archives - Centacare Brisbane

Latest News & Updates

Latest News & Updates

COVID-19 Update 9 – Changes to SIL visitor arrangements

There are currently 12 known cases of COVID-19 in Queensland.

To help protect the safety of our clients and staff, we have made the decision to restrict visitors to all Supported Independent Living (SIL) houses in Brisbane City, Ipswich City, Logan City, Redland City, Gold Coast City and Scenic Rim Regional Local Government Areas to essential visitors only. Essential visitors include Centacare support workers (who are continuing with their shifts as per normal) and other essential health care workers.

This change is effective 3 August and will be reviewed in line with advice from Queensland Health. This precautionary measure mirrors the closure of aged care homes to visitors outlined by Queensland Health.

We know visits are important to our clients and families however, given the current situation, we believe this precaution is in the best interest of our clients and employees. We can support our clients and families to connect with each other via phone and video conferencing.

We will continue to monitor the evolving situation closely and provide regular updates about any actions we need to take to protect the safety and wellbeing our clients and employees.

More information

Please contact us on 1300 236 822.

You can access the latest information and advice about COVID-19 from the Queensland Government and Australian Government.

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On 29 July, Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer, announced three positive test results and the potential spread of COVID-19 in the Logan, Acacia Ridge and Springfield Lakes areas.

To help protect the safety of our clients and employees, we have made the decision to restrict visitors to our Supported Independent Living (SIL) houses located south of the Brisbane River to essential visitors only. Essential visitors include Centacare support workers (who are continuing with their shifts as per normal) and other essential health care workers.

This change is effective immediately and will be reviewed in line with advice from Queensland Health. This precautionary measure mirrors the closure of aged care homes to visitors in the area south of the Brisbane River outlined by Queensland Health.

We know visits are important to our clients and families however, given the current situation, we believe this precaution is in the best interest of our clients and employees. We can support our clients and families to connect with each other via phone and video conferencing.

We will continue to monitor the evolving situation closely and provide regular updates about any actions we need to take to protect the safety and wellbeing our clients and employees.

You can access the latest information and advice about COVID-19 from the Queensland Government and Australian Government.

Read more

Darryl, 68, lives on a property at Amamoor. He loves his farm, his truck and travelling around Australia with his mates. Darryl has some health issues but is determined not to let that stop him living life the way he chooses.

With a Home Care Package and support from Centacare, Darryl is able to continue living on his farm and doing the things he loves.

Centacare supports Darryl with allied health services, delivered meals, cleaning and hospital appointments. When Darryl needed two knee replacements, Centacare organised special knee braces for him.

For many years, Centacare helped Darryl look after his best friend – his 65kg bull mastiff, Harrold. Harrold recently passed away at the age of 14, well beyond his breed’s average life span of eight years.

Knowing how important a best friend is in life, Centacare helped Darryl look after Harrold, including taking him to his vet appointments in Gympie. Funding through a Home Care Package means Centacare can also provide dog walking services, feeding and trips to the groomers.

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Continued reintroduction of group services

Throughout COVID-19 we have adopted a conservative approach to service delivery and have been vigilant in regard to our health, safety and hygiene protocols. In line with the easing of government restrictions, we continue to gradually reintroduce our services in a way that is safe for our clients and staff. The current status of our services is outlined below.

Community centres

On 13 July an additional nine community centres were opened. This means all Centacare community centres (with the exception of Annerley) are now open. Client numbers at each centre have now increased to a maximum of 20 people, provided that the 1.5 metre and 4 square metre rules can be met. Clients are now able to move across groups and days of the week. Screening questions and temperature checks for clients remain in place at this time.

Community centres are now able to welcome back external service providers, including therapists and entertainers, provided that they present a copy of their COVID Safe Plan. All visitors to centres, including external service providers must complete a visitor declaration and have their temperature taken on arrival at the centre.

There have been some changes to the way centre activities are delivered as we seek to ensure these services are provided in a way that is safe for all. These changes will remain in place at this time. 

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When Centacare Support Worker, Kerri, started phoning her clients as part of the organisation’s new ‘in touch’ check-in service, she didn’t expect to have so many conversations about socks.

“Keeping warm has been the single biggest concern for our older clients,” said Kerri. “They are really feeling the cold and the struggle to get warm has been a common complaint.”

When Kerri heard that Jill, 84, from Windsor, was wearing three pairs of socks to bed, Kerri generously gifted her a pair of thermal socks. The socks have made all the difference for Jill, who was freezing through the night. “I actually feel warm now,” said Jill. “I’m just so relieved and so grateful”.

Jill’s plight to get warm inspired Kerri to create the Winter Woolly Drive. Centacare is now calling for the community to donate or knit socks, beanies, scarves and gloves to help people who are suffering in the cold. Centacare clients and staff have jumped on board and are donating or knitting items for Winter Woolly Packs. 

“We don’t tend to think about people being cold inside their homes, but the problem is very real,” said Kerri. “Many of our clients, like Jill for instance, live in old Queenslanders, which are known for being cold. The wind whistles around the verandah and they are notoriously difficult to heat. While heating might be installed, it can be can be costly to run so many are reluctant to use it.”

A 2015 study in The Lancet found cold weather killed 2600 Australians every year. The health impact of cold homes include damage to respiratory and cardiovascular systems as well as indirect effects on mental health and nutrition.

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Heeding the advice of public health authorities, Jade, 25, from Broadbeach, withdrew from group and community activities in March and went into lockdown.

This week, she joined 60 other participants for a long-awaited return to group activities!

Centacare threw open the doors at six community centres across South East Queensland on Monday – the first step in the organisation’s gradual return to group activities. A further 12 centres will reopen on Monday 29 June, along with community-based activities for small groups of people.

An active participant in Centacare activities on the Gold Coast, before COVID-19 Jade was used to being on-the-go. She adapted as best she could to the change in routine, enjoying quality one-on-one time with her Centacare support worker and weekly performing arts workshops, which Centacare delivered online.

How does Jade feel to be back at the Broadbeach community centre? Service Delivery Manager Jillian Luman says her smile said it all. “Jade’s two great loves are music and people,” said Jillian. “This week she has been surrounded with both – joining the group guitar playing and singing sessions with gusto. She’s filled with joy.”

“Bingo!” is something that hasn’t been heard in a while. And the clients at Aspley community centre were only too happy to let their cries ring out.

“I’m glad to be back,” said Greg, 69, from Burpengary. “We’ve had a fantastic day. We’ve enjoyed golf, quizzes and of course, a great lunch. It’s amazing what you can do as a group while keeping 1.5 metres apart!”

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Government restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 have created big challenges for our community as we adapt to changes in the way we live, work, communicate and engage with the world.

Seeing first-hand the impacts on people’s daily lives, Centacare is calling on the South Burnett community to help combat social isolation and share a message of positivity and hope by making origami butterflies.

The campaign has generated a great response from the community since launching in early June.

The campaign is the brainchild of Support Worker Shelley Hayden, who works with the Centacare Neighbourhood Centre in Kingaroy.

“We’re all about forging connections in our community,” said Ms Hayden. “The groups and events we usually hold have temporarily ceased due to COVID-19, so we wanted to unite people in different ways.

“The campaign has resonated with a wide cross-section of the community, which has surprised us. People of all ages and from all walks of life have jumped on board. It’s been interesting to see how everyone gets something different from the project.”

One of the participants, Jan, has busied herself making butterflies because she enjoys embracing new opportunities and challenging herself to learn new skills.

Another participant, Laurelle, said she enjoys the sense of belonging the project gives her and feeling like she is part of something bigger. “Even though we are separated by distance, we are working together to create something beautiful,” said Laurelle.

And what will happen to all the beautiful butterflies?

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Return to centre and community-based group activities  

The past two months have been an incredibly challenging time in our community. Throughout COVID-19 we have adopted a conservative approach to service delivery and have been vigilant in regard to our health, safety and hygiene protocols.

While we know many of our clients are keen to return to our group and community activities, we will be making our return to these activities slowly and carefully, keeping the safety of our clients and employees as our number one priority.

In line with the Queensland Government’s roadmap to easing restrictions, we have developed a plan to gradually recommence some centre and community-based group activities for our clients. Services will recommence slowly over the coming months, and we will keep clients informed of the details for local services as they become available. There will be changes to the way centre and community-based group activities are delivered as we seek to ensure these services are provided in a way that is safe for all. These changes will include reduced days or times of operation, a reduced number of participants, limitations on Centacare-provided transport and adjustments to activities. Because of this, clients may find that, for now, they are not able to participate in centre and community-based group activities in the same way they did before.

We understand our services play a vital role in peoples’ lives and that some of our clients will be eager to resume some face-to-face interaction and activity in the community, while others will be more cautious. Everyone will need to consider their own health conditions and other circumstances and decide what is best for them. With this in mind, we will consult with our clients on an individual basis to ensure they are supported in a way that meets their needs and goals and keeps them safe. For those for whom it is not advisable or who don’t feel ready to return to centre and community-based group activities, we will continue to support you in your home, one-on-one in the community, via a regular scheduled phone call or participation in our new online programs.

When providing services, our number one priority continues to be protecting the health and safety of the clients we support as well as that of our team members. In gradually resuming some centre and community-based group activities, all staff and participating clients will be required to understand and embrace a number of new health and safety protocols designed to keep everyone safe.

We will continue to update our clients as we further develop the details of our plan to recommence some centre and community-based group activities.

More information

Please contact us on 1300 236 822.

You can access the latest information and advice about COVID-19 from the Queensland Government and Australian Government.

Read more

Derek, 79, from Burpengary East has been driving motor vehicles of all shapes and sizes, military and civilian, for about 66 years. He loved nothing more than hitting the open road. But when his health deteriorated following retirement, he made the difficult decision to surrender his driver’s license.

“Losing my independence was tough,” said Derek. “The freedom to travel was gone and, for the first time in my life, I was forced to rely on other forms of transport to access essential services. My health then worsened to the point that walking short distances became difficult. Things that used to be simple were now almost impossible. It was a hard time for me.”

Derek uses government-subsidised transport services, provided by Centacare in the Moreton Bay region, to attend medical appointments and social outings in the community. He turned to his Service Delivery Manager at Centacare, Christine, for advice on how to further improve his quality of life.

“Christine was brilliant,” said Derek. “She recommended additional support services and helped me purchase a mobility scooter through my Home Care Package.

“My scooter has given me my life back. Just today, I went on my first ‘business trip’, running errands and posting two letters at the local shopping centre. Scooting around my village, soaking up the sun and visiting my mates (while maintaining social distancing!) brings joy to my heart.”

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During National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June 2020) we speak with Toni Janke, Indigenous Services Co-ordinator Centacare.

The date of the annual National Reconciliation Week commemorates two milestones — the 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision. We talk with Toni, about how we can reconcile the relationship between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for a unified future.

Why is it important for Catholics across Australia to acknowledge this week?

I think Reconciliation Week is a time to stop and reflect and acknowledge what reconciliation really means for us as a nation. As Catholics, we tend to speak about reconciliation in the sacramental sense – saying sorry for past wrongs we have committed and seeking forgiveness. As a nation, we need to think about the grave injustices that have been inflicted on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to stand up against discrimination, racism and all of the historical wrongs so that they never happen again. We need to acknowledge the need for deep healing and to move forward together with respect and understanding. One of our biggest challenges is acknowledging the truth of this country and the historic justices that have occurred in the past.

It’s 2020. Have times changed when it comes to reconciliation?

Sadly we have still so much to do as our families and communities are still vulnerable or struggling with life challenges and many complex issues. It is not acceptable. We need to constantly review the way we treat Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and how services are being provided. It is not acceptable in 2020 for any family to be denied access to basic services such as health, housing and education. It is not acceptable for us to stand by and see others suffering without speaking up and offering support wherever we can. But this is something we must all do. Everyone is entitled to live well and enjoy fundamental freedoms. Reconciliation is not just about increasing our awareness and understanding of the issues. It is an ongoing process of healing through responsibility and action.

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