Latest News & Updates Archives - Centacare Brisbane

Latest News & Updates

Latest News & Updates

Please note: The following update is applicable to services only in our Brisbane North, Brisbane South, South West, Moreton Bay and Logan areas, effective 22 January 2021.

In response to the Queensland Government’s easing of restrictions across Greater Brisbane on 22 January, we have made some changes across our services in the Brisbane North, Brisbane South, South West, Moreton Bay and Logan regions.

Supported Independent Living (SIL) Visitor arrangements

As of Friday 22 January, personal visitors will once again be permitted to our Supported Independent Living (SIL) houses.

Personal visitors are considered to be friends, family and children. Our standard booking and screening procedures will remain in place, and visitors are asked to contact their local Service Delivery Manager on 1300 236 822 to arrange a visit.

No other service providers are to enter a SIL house, with the exception of therapists (e.g. physiotherapists, occupational therapists).

Centres

Our centres will revert back to the rule of one person per 2 square metres, with physical distancing guidelines of 1.5 metres enforced.

Performers and other providers are welcome back to our centres if they have a COVID Safe Plan.

Dancing is now permitted providing physical distancing guidelines are adhered to.

Community Groups

There is no limit to the number of clients permitted in a group, however activities must follow government guidelines. All activities will have risk assessments conducted prior to commencement and will follow COVID Safe Plans.

Short Term Accommodation

Short Term Accommodation services are operating at 100% capacity and restrictions on visitors have been lifted.

Regular cleaning protocols are being strictly adhered to across all sites and screening requirements remain in place.

Transport

Drivers are required to wear masks when transporting our clients.

One-to-one support services

One-to-one support services are continuing both in homes and out in the community.

Mask Use

Our employees will wear masks when social distancing is not possible or when transporting clients.

Safety and Hygiene Protocols

We continue to maintain strict hygiene protocols across all sites. This includes:

  • Regular sanitising of frequently touched surfaces
  • Signage outlining hygiene protocols
  • Hand sanitiser provided and regularly replenished at key touch points
  • Sign-in and sign-out logs kept for all visitors
  • Temperature checks and screening questions conducted on arrival at all sites
  • Employees staying home and not attending work if they are sick

More information

Please contact us on 1300 236 822.

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

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Please note: The following update is applicable to services in our Brisbane North, Brisbane South, South West, Moreton Bay and Logan areas. Services across the Gold Coast, Beaudesert, the Sunshine Coast, Fraser Coast and Kingaroy will remain fully operational.

Centacare continues to monitor the public health response to COVID-19 and follow advice from health authorities. 

Supported Independent Living (SIL) Visitor arrangements

On Thursday 7 January, the Queensland Government declared all disability accommodation services across the Metro North, Metro South and West Moreton Hospital and Health Service regions closed to all visitors, with the exception of essential workers.

In response to the above directive, we have made the decision to restrict visitors to our Supported Independent Living (SIL) houses in the affected areas. This change is effective immediately and will be reviewed in line with official public health advice.

We understand regular contact is important to our clients and families. We will continue to support connection between our clients and their families via phone and video conferencing.

Centres, group, community access and transport services

On Friday 8 January, the Queensland Government announced a three-day lockdown, effective from 6pm Friday 8 January until 6pm Monday 11 January, in the Greater Brisbane region.

Throughout this lockdown period, all Centacare centres, group programs and community access in the Brisbane North, Brisbane South, South West, Moreton Bay and Logan areas will be closed. We are working to notify affected clients.

Transport services will only be delivered where essential, for example if clients need to attend a medical appointment.

Short Term Accommodation

Short Term Accommodation services in affected areas will continue as usual. However, clients who live outside of the Greater Brisbane area must follow necessary restrictions upon their return home from an STA.

Home Safety Services

 All Home Safety Services in the affected areas will be suspended during the lockdown period.

One-to-one support services

One-to-one support services will continue, however will only take place in the home and not out in the community during the lockdown period.

Safety and Hygiene Protocols

We continue to maintain strict hygiene protocols across all sites. This includes:

  • Regular sanitising of frequently touched surfaces
  • Signage outlining hygiene protocols and room capacity displayed where necessary
  • Hand sanitiser provided and regularly replenished at key touch points
  • Sign-in and sign-out logs kept for all visitors
  • Temperature checks and screening questions conducted on arrival at all sites

Additionally, we have reintroduced the use of masks for all support workers in affected areas. Office-based employees are being encouraged to work from home and if this isn’t possible, they are required to wear a mask throughout the lockdown period.

More information

Please contact us on 1300 236 822.

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

Read more

The end of 2020 was a time of significant celebration for Winn Stehbens and her family, with the much-loved Imbil local marking her 100th birthday.

On Friday 18 December, Winn was joined by family and friends – including members of Centacare’s Gympie team – for a full day of celebrations.

The celebrations were a chance to reflect on Winn’s accomplished life which began in Brisbane’s Kelvin Grove on 18 December 1920.

Winn’s faith was a large part of her upbringing, and her work at Kelvin Grove’s local Sunday school saw her attend an Easter Rally in Gympie in 1939 where she met Rob, who she went on to marry in 1945 shortly after his return from World War II. Despite the distance between them during this time, Winn and Rob’s relationship blossomed, with Winn receiving almost 400 love letters from him – all of which she still has today.

Since moving to Imbil in 1945, Winn established herself early on as a custodian of the local community, with her faith being a main driver for her work. Winn’s strong commitment to her faith has continued to this day and was acknowledged in a message from Archbishop Mark Coleridge at the celebrations who described the “faithful love” Winn has given as “a great gift to your family, church and the whole world”.

Winn was the Superintendent at Imbil’s local Sunday school and inspired many young people to pursue their faith. Once she ended her time in this role to focus on having her four children, Winn continued to educate others on spreading faith across the community. Winn remains staunchly community-minded to this day, and over the years has been involved in many initiatives including local art and craft groups, seniors groups and the Country Women’s Association. Her 1955 publication on the history of Imbil remains a proud achievement for Winn and her family. Gardening is a passion of Winn’s and locals look forward to seeing her contribution each year to the Imbil Show.

Winn has shown no signs of slowing down in the past 10 years. She’s travelled both domestically and internationally, climbed Mt Cooroora and remains a member of the Country Women’s Association. Winn’s often surrounded by her large family, which includes eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. She was thrilled to have five generations present at her birthday celebrations.

Most importantly over the past century, Winn has seized every moment of her life. The rich sum of experiences throughout her 100 years have inspired her number one piece of life advice which is simply to “be thankful for every new day”.

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Desley Chorlton has worked for Centacare for 20 years and says her clients and colleagues are her favourite part of the job, along with “injecting fun” into the workplace.

Starting out as as an Activities Officer at Centacare’s Aspley Community Centre, Desley has progressed through the organisation to her current role as an Area General Manager for Community Services in the Brisbane North and Moreton Bay regions.

“I still get a buzz when I see the positive difference we make to the lives of our clients,” Ms Chorlton said.

Desley is inspired by her aged care and disability clients every day, especially throughout 2020.

“COVID has really taught us to be resilient and our clients have been a great source of inspiration during this time.”

Desley was one of more than 100 employees celebrating 10, 20, 25 and 30 Years of Service at Centacare as part of its annual recognition program.

This years’ program is a departure from Centacare’s traditional central awards event. COVID-19 restrictions prompted a rethink of the Centacare Awards and opened up the opportunity for an organisation-wide program that celebrates the collective achievements of all employees under the theme, Stronger together in 2020.

Local events were held both virtually and in-person as an opportunity for teams to reflect on the year and recognise employees celebrating significant service milestones. Videos including a message from Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge were shared with teams across South east Queensland.

More than 70 employees and volunteers across Centacare Community Services, Pastoral Ministries, Family and Relationship Services, Catholic Early EdCare and corporate services celebrated 10 years of service.

Several employees from different parts of the organisation marked 20 and 25 years of service, while two Pastoral Ministries volunteers were recognised for 30 years of dedication to caring and showing compassion for members of the community who need it most.

Centacare Executive Director Peter Selwood was pleased to be able to attend various local events and hear about the unique contributions of each employee and volunteer.

Stronger together in 2020 has been a great opportunity for the whole organisation to step back and see the remarkable way they contribute to the community.

“Whether they’re on the front line or behind the scenes, each employee and volunteer is to be congratulated on the way they live out Centacare’s mission and values each day.

“Additionally, seeing the high volume of Years of Service recipients is a reflection of the commitment and drive our employees and volunteers demonstrate each day which is truly an inspiration to all.” Mr Selwood said.

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On Wednesday 11 November, Beaudesert First Nations peoples joined Centacare clients and employees for a lunch in celebration of NAIDOC Week.

The event was an opportunity to come together on Yugambeh land to celebrate Indigenous traditions and generate a deeper understanding of Indigenous culture in the local community.

Aunty Geraldine Page, a local Mununjali Elder, appreciated the chance to gather with her family members and the Centacare team to mark this important week.

“NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate, and today is a day of celebration,” Aunty Geraldine said.

“Being able to share our stories and songlines is a beautiful thing for us.

“Coming here today has meant a lot to us…as Mununjali Elders, it’s an opportunity for us to move forward and celebrate everything we do and who we are.” Aunty Geraldine said.

Centacare Community Services Area General Manager Peter Stodolak said:

“Today’s event marks the beginning of a new chapter in engaging with local community members.

“We are committed to a very positive working relationship between Centacare and the Mununjali Elders in our community.”

Visit the NAIDOC Week website here to get involved in activities in your local area.

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During Sexual Violence Awareness Month, Centacare is working with local communities to increase awareness and education around sexual consent.

In July this year, the Queensland Government introduced draft laws proposing changes to the definition of consent. Under the changes, the law will expressly state that a person cannot be thought to give consent just because they do not say “no”.

There were 4,859 recorded victims of sexual assault in Queensland last year. Almost one quarter of victims were aged between 15 and 19 years.

Centacare Family and Relationships Services Director Di Swan said that sexual violence is absolutely something that can be prevented.

“As a community, we don’t always provide young people with information about sexual consent and negotiating romantic or sexual relationships as part of sex education,” said Ms Swan. “Doing so has the potential to contribute to the prevention of sexual violence.

“While it may be awkward or embarrassing to talk with young people about sex and relationships, research shows how important it is to initiate discussions about ethical and respectful relationships from a young age. This gives young people the skills to discuss, negotiate and articulate their own sexual boundaries and to respect those of others.

Burnett Today Managing Director Daniel Pelcl said the newspaper was pleased to support Centacare by publishing a five-part education series covering various aspects of sexual violence.

“Sexual violence is something we can help reduce by increasing our awareness and understanding of what sexual violence is and that everyone has a part to play in doing this,” said Mr Pelcl.

The following information is taken from Week Four of Centacare’s five part series on sexual violence, published in Burnett Today.

What is sexual consent?

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John Quinn, 70, from Wynnum lives with younger onset dementia. Like many people living with dementia, John has faced some significant challenges as a result of COVID-19. But his message during Dementia Awareness Week is clear – there is light at the end of the tunnel.

John and his partner Glenys Petrie work with Centacare as part of a local dementia alliance aimed at creating a more accessible and inclusive community for those living with dementia.

COVID-19 restrictions and the closure of services had somewhat of an impact on John’s quality of life.

“I’m quite a social person and I find it beneficial to get out in my community,” said John.

“Normally I’d go up to the shops and on the way back sometimes call into the local coffee shop. I also enjoy swimming so I missed being able to visit the local pool. Many of the social activities that I was accustomed to were taken away during COVID.”

Recognising the devastating effects of prolonged physical separation and isolation on people living with dementia, Centacare introduced a number of new ways to provide services and support. This included regular In Touch phone calls or video calls, which has been a great way to help clients feel safe and connected.

Centacare’s Memory Cafes will begin to reopen across South East Queensland in the coming months. John said the cafes were a wonderful opportunity for people living with dementia and their carers to connect with others in a welcoming and safe environment.

Some of John and Glenys’ work with Centacare involves engaging younger generations to help “change the narrative” around dementia. They recently shared their lived experience with Year 12 students at Iona College and have been invited to present to students studying a Masters of Gerontology at Queensland University of Technology.

“We believe younger people are the agents of change for the future,” said John.

“We’re educating them on what it’s like living with dementia and what it’s like caring for someone with dementia. This way we can start to change the stigma that goes along with the diagnosis.

“There’s too many doom and gloom stories around dementia. It’s possible to live well with dementia. You just need the right support to adapt to living with it.”

John’s love of physical activity extends into his advocacy work through his participation in the Moreton Bay Dementia Alliance’s ‘Walk With Me’ virtual walk – an online alternative to its traditional annual three-kilometre walk in the Moreton Bay region during Dementia Awareness Week.

“The idea of ‘Walk With Me’ is to get the message out to people living with dementia that they’re not alone,” said John.

“This sentiment is more important now than ever. For those people living in isolation during the pandemic, we are with you.”

To learn more about ‘Walk With Me’, visit the website.

To learn more about Centacare’s Memory Cafes and other services for people living with dementia, contact 1300 236 822.

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On 22 August, in response to a number of new positive COVID-19 test results, the Queensland Government put in place new restrictions in some local government areas in South East Queensland.

Centacare has implemented these new restrictions in our supported living environments. We are continuing to provide other services including in-home support and group activities for older people and people with a disability, with rigorous COVID Safe plans in place.

Disability accommodation

In line with the Queensland Government’s Disability Accommodation Services Direction, visitors to all Supported Independent Living (SIL) houses in Brisbane City, Ipswich City, Logan City, Scenic Rim Regional, Moreton Bay and Redland City Local Government Areas are restricted 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 and service staff.

This change is effective 22 August and will be reviewed in line with advice from Queensland Health.

We know visits and regular contact are important to our clients and families and we will continue to support them to connect with each other via phone and video conferencing, wherever possible

In-home and group services

We are continuing to provide our in-home, community and centre-based support services for aged care and disability clients, in line with government directions. There have been some changes to group activities at our Aishling centre.

When providing services, our number one priority is protecting the health and safety of the clients we support as well as that of our team members. We continue to employ strict infection control, hygiene and social distancing protocols, which includes an enhanced level and frequency of cleaning when carrying out in-home services.

We continue to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where required, in line with advice from public health authorities.

On advice from Jeanette Young, Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, we are also encouraging all employees and clients to be extra vigilant in regard to social distancing in the community at this time. This will also be reflected in our planning for all our community-based group and one-on-one activities.

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.

More information

Please contact us on 1300 236 822.

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

Read more

This Senior’s Week, we are encouraged to nurture our intergenerational connections as a show of solidarity in the face of a pandemic.

This week, as Centacare celebrates its 8,000 older clients and connects young and old through activities across its regions, aged care Support Worker, Tony, 53, says the connections he forms with our seniors is a gift.

Tony works at Centacare’s Aspley and Enoggera community centres and helps run ‘Talk N Tools’ and ‘Menshed’, two of the more popular activities on offer at the centres’.

“I have the best job in the world,” said Tony. “I work with older people, men and women, to restore furniture and other projects we think are worth doing. I have to pinch myself every morning, knowing I’m about to spend my day forming connections with the most remarkable people in our community.

“I recently had the unique opportunity to work side by side, for eight weeks with one of my clients, Colin. This was because group activities were temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

“Colin is 83 and is living with advanced stages of dementia. We worked in the Enoggera shed to finish a bench seat that the Aspley group had started back in January. Colin and I worked three hours on a Monday and three hours on a Wednesday sanding back and varnishing the slats. We started in April and finished in May. I noticed Colin was quite restless in his home environment during the lockdown and so we came up a plan to rescue the seat, which we did.

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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.

Read more