An updated ‘Industry Code for Visiting Aged Care Homes, which aims to balance best practice safety measures in aged care with the rights and mental health of older people across Australia, is being released today, 22 December 2021.
The revised Code, developed by 12 aged care consumer and provider organisations included the Older Persons Advocacy Network led by Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia, follows extensive consultation with key stakeholders, including the general public, sector stakeholders, and health authorities.
The Code includes an ‘Essential Visitor’ policy which requires that residents are always permitted to have at least one visitor, regardless of the COVID outbreak status. The Code defines three classifications of such Essential Visitors – ‘Partners in Care’, ‘Named Visitors’ and ‘End of Life Care’. The Code outlines three levels of visitor access, each with its own infection prevention and control measures, ranging from Green when there is little or no COVID threat to Red when there is an outbreak in a facility.