At the time of writing this article there is so much happening in the sectors of aged care and disability. I could fill this newsletter with news on audits, strategic plans, funding and upcoming changes. The list goes on!
But the most pertinent issue facing our organisation is undoubtedly the coronavirus pandemic. Particularly in the last month coronavirus-related behaviour and activities have escalated to an unprecedented scale.
As an organisation that supports the most vulnerable people in our society, the consequences of the pandemic have added a new dimension to our daily planning and service delivery. CBS has been pro-active in implementing the highest level of precautionary measures.
Guided by the Department of Health, our executive managers have developed preventative procedures for all staff and clients. These are in addition to the standard health and safety policies and procedures practised by all CBS staff. These measures have been communicated and I reiterate them here for you once again. They are:
- If you have returned to Tasmania from overseas or interstate, you must isolate yourself in your home for 14 days after your return. You must also contact CBS by telephone or email to advise us of your situation;
- If you have informed CBS of the above situation and are self-isolating we will no longer be able to provide services until you have either exceeded the isolation period or have been provided with a medical certificate from your doctor stating you do not have coronavirus. All highly vulnerable CBS clients needing essential services will be reviewed on a case by case basis;
- If you develop symptoms of the virus you must call your doctor, tell them your concerns and follow their instructions. You must immediately inform CBS by telephone or email of the outcome;
- CBS staff will ask their clients a series of questions before entering their home. If they answer yes to any of these questions, the staff member will follow the appropriate procedures.
- CBS staff who have come into close contact with COVID-19 must not come to work and isolate themselves in their homes for 14 days following exposure;
- CBS staff who have returned to Tasmania from any interstate or overseas travel must isolate themselves in their homes for 14 days after their return. They must also contact CBS by telephone or email to advise of their situation;
- CBS staff are not to come to work if they experience any symptoms of the virus. They must contact their doctor and follow their doctor’s instructions;
- Before entering a client’s home, CBS staff must ask their clients a series of questions. They must ask these questions every time they visit (depending on the frequency of services a client receives they may be asked these questions multiple times in a day or week). Staff have also been instructed to wash their hands at the commencement and conclusion of their visit with clients and to wear gloves;
- CBS staff are expected to remain up to date with procedures by referring to the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ page on the CBS website;
- CBS staff have been instructed to contact the main CBS office if they have any concerns.
In line with the Australian Government Department of Health and the Tasmanian Department of Health, we have also made the difficult but necessary decision to temporarily place on hold the CBS social Hubs, Gentle Exercise and Chat groups, social events, as well as our Spring Cleaning and Garden Maintenance services. We will resume all of these services as soon as it is safe to do so.
Although we are in a state of heightened alert, we are not panicked and believe that through these measures we can effectively help limit the spread of coronavirus and meet the needs of our clients and staff.
To ensure you are fully aware of all the measures CBS are taking to reduce the spread of coronavirus we have developed and regularly update a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ page on our website. We strongly advise you visit the FAQs page on our website regularly for updates, advice and procedures.
If you would like further information please call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
No one can accurately predict how the coronavirus outbreak will develop in Australia. Our collective response has to be flexible and collaborative.
Moving away from the coronavirus, and to something more positive, I’d like to welcome our new Executive Manager, Aged Care Services, Craig Triffitt. Craig joins CBS from Mosaic (previously STAR) where he held roles in Client Services, Disability and Respite. Craig joins CBS at a time of significant growth, innovation and efficiencies. He has a passion and focus on clients and professional service delivery. Craig will ensure CBS continues to offer quality services to our clients and improvements in what we do.
I wish you and your families well in this time of adjustment and change. I remain hopeful that I will be able to share more information on our work in the next edition. Stay safe.
CBS services during the coronavirus pandemic
The Australian Government Department of Health and the Tasmanian Department of Health considers Community Based Support (CBS) to be an essential service provider and as such, we will continue to deliver services to you, ensuring that you are well supported during this difficult time.
We understand how challenging these times are for many of our clients and we want to reassure you that your health and wellbeing, and the health and wellbeing of our staff, is our highest priority. We have implemented a strict protocol of actions that all our support staff must adhere to before providing services to you. This includes asking a series of screening questions and washing their hands when they enter your home. At the end of the shift, the CBS worker will exit your home before removing their gloves and placing them into a disposable bag. This helps us to ensure we are doing all that we can to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus.
If you have any questions about what CBS is doing to ensure the health and safety of its clients and staff, please click here to view the ‘coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions’ page on our website.
We also understand that many of our clients are nervous about receiving support in their home right now. Some clients have chosen to temporarily place their support on hold, and we completely understand. However, we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to continue to support you wherever possible. With that in mind, we have been developing a range of alternative services that can assist to keep you socially connected, physically and mentally healthy, and well supported. The first of our free, guided gentle exercise videos is available for you here.
If you have put your services on hold, our staff will call you on the phone, just to check if you are OK and to have a catch up. They can also talk to you about the other service options available to you, simply ask them. Alternatively, you can call us, it’s entirely up to you.
We would like you to know that you can recommence your services at any time you see fit.
The following provides an overview of some of the services* we are continuing to provide:
General Services includes:
- personal care – such as showering, dressing, grooming, medication support
- domestic assistance – assisting with the housework
- individual social support – getting some gentle exercise, going for a walk, over the phone social calls, transport to appointments, wellbeing visits.
Home Maintenance (Handyman) services normally cover a wide range of small repair and maintenance tasks in the home. If you have urgent or potentially life-threatening home maintenance needs, we may be able to help you.
Occupational Therapy is an allied health profession that assists in bridging the gap between what you ‘can do’ and what you would like to be able to do. Our Occupational Therapist can assist you with finding the right equipment, assessing you for home modifications, skills development and training techniques, and assistive devices and technologies. It’s amazing what you can do when you have the right assistance.
24 hour visit (includes 8 hours sleep) This service is provided on a 24 hour basis. Staff undertake normal tasks of daily living plus additional tasks agreed upon. A Care Plan is usually negotiated as a basis for agreed tasks. Staff are expected to sleep for 8 hours during the shift.
Sleepover 10pm – 6am (sleeping shift) This service is provided as a sleeping shift, usually on the basis that the person needing the support requires someone to be available ‘just in case’.
Overnight support (awake shift) is provided after normal business hours (between 8:00pm and 6:00am) and is charged on an hourly basis. The staff member spend the entire shift awake and can undertake some normal tasks of daily living plus additional tasks as agreed by contract. A Care Plan is usually negotiated as a basis for agreed tasks.
Case Management can assist you to achieve a specific goal, or set of goals. This is done by assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating all available options and services required to meet your individual health and service needs.
Services temporarily on hold
In line with government recommendations, some of our services have been placed on hold. These services include social groups, social hubs, exercise groups, spring cleaning and garden maintenance. You can rest assured that we will get these services back up and running, just as soon as it is safe to do so.
Other services and products
The above includes just a few of the services we provide. If there is a service you need, we will help you to arrange it.
*Please note: service availability is guided by each individual’s specific funding criteria.
If you have any questions, please call us between 8.30am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) on 1300 227 827 or email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your invoice: Please don’t worry… We’ve got you!
Many of you make a regular weekly or fortnightly visit to our offices to pay your invoices, we get to see your happy faces and have a chat and a quick catch up, and we miss you!
Some of you have called us on the phone this week, quite distressed about how you are going to get your invoice paid when you are not able to leave your home. Please, to all of you, do not distress. We’ve got you!
If you are able to, there are a number of ways you can do this that requires no human contact at all.
- Paying via Credit Card or Debit Card (with Visa/MasterCard capabilities) – Please call our accounts team on 1300 227 827 and a staff member will be able to process your payment over the phone.
- BPAY – Biller Code: 232728 Ref: ( your CBS Customer number ). This is located on your invoice under the date.
- Internet Bank Transfer – BSB 087-007 Account Number : 943136624. Please remember to reference your payment with your customer number so that we can identify you.
- Posting a cheque to P.O Box 823, Moonah TAS 7009
If these options don’t work for you, please call our accounts team on 1300 227 827 or email them at email@example.com. We are all in this together, and we will work with you to find a solution.
Most importantly, please, please, do not send cash in the mail. Money gets lost in the mail every single day and we don’t want this to happen to you.
Mental health support during this period of isolation
We understand that during this period mental health could very easily become a problem for some people. Even though you might be alone for extended periods, you should know that you are never alone. There are multiple support options for you to access.
People can now have Medicare rebated telephone session with mental health professionals, providing they meet the telehealth criteria.
Beyond Blue has some advice for people about protecting their mental health during the outbreak.
Of course, there are always phone services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People can call for themselves or to get advice about someone else.
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
CBS supports individuals to live the life they choose
Our sole focus as an organisation is to support our clients so they can live independently at home, for as long as possible. Our dedicated staff are committed to our clients’ well-being and do all that they can to help them live the life they choose. We are often inspired by our clients and would like to share the next two stories with you.
Ron stays living at home
Ron Spong, aged 72, lives with his wife Pauline in a leafy part of Hobart. He enjoys photography and bushwalking and has hiked along many of the beautiful lakes of Tasmania. For many years Ron was a prominent cyclist and avid runner.
When Ron was 29, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but he remained fit, healthy and active, and the condition did not affect him too adversely until more recent years. Over the last twelve months, Ron’s condition deteriorated significantly and he now requires more care.
For several years Ron received sixteen hours a week of state-funded support. At the beginning of 2019 he transitioned to Commonwealth funding through the Continuity of Support (COS) program which is designed for clients over 65 who are not eligible for the NDIS. With Ron’s health deteriorating it became increasingly difficult to transfer him to and from his bed using a one-person hoist. CBS Disability Care Coordinator Teresa Temple was able to organise a re-assessment of Ron’s needs. An Occupational Therapist was involved in the re-assessment and advised that Ron would now require the support of two people to safely use the hoist.
Teresa met with Ron and Pauline to navigate a way forward. If the recommendation by the Occupational Therapist of two staff were put in place, Ron’s funding would be exhausted in three months. Another way had to be found.
“The options we discussed,” says Teresa, “included applying for an Aged Care Package, seeking further family support, or applying for additional funding through the COS program. This was a new program and we hadn’t tested the waters so to speak with seeking additional funding. Ron chose to give this last option a go.”
Ron nominated an Advocate to assist. Ron and his Advocate worked with Teresa at CBS to find the best solution possible.
An application was made to the COS program for the maximum amount for extra care, which was three additional hours a week. Although this additional funding was gratefully received, Teresa knew it fell far short of the 32 hours per week that Ron would require. She continued to work closely with the COS program to see what else was possible.
Another application was submitted to COS for consideration of special circumstances, requesting the full 32 hours and some funding to enable Ron to access the community. The application outlined that if further funding was not secured Ron’s only option was to become a resident in an aged care facility. CBS works hard to enable its clients to remain living independently in their homes, and Teresa was not going to give up; not on Ron, not on anyone!
As 2019 came to a close, Ron, Pauline and their family, received the news that the application for additional funding had been approved. As you can imagine, this was life-changing for Ron. The additional funding meant that Ron would be able to remain living at home with his wife and family for many years to come. Ron was overjoyed!
The outcome for Ron was exceptional, but it wouldn’t have been possible without Teresa’s diligent and continued care for her clients, and for that, we are incredibly grateful. CBS remains committed to maximising client independence and to helping them live the life they choose.
Debra Fights Back
Last year was quite eventful for Debra in many unexpected ways. A long term resident of Blackmans Bay, she was “looking for a change of scenery” and moved to a lovely house in Triabunna, just over an hour north east of Hobart. Soon after her move she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Debra was fortunate to have the support of her family and her son was able to accompany her on her weekly commute to Hobart for treatment. A fighter and survivor, Debra made it through her treatment and is now in remission. Her outlook is positive.
While on her cancer journey Debra slipped and fell while at the hairdresser. This rather awkward fall dislocated her knee and left her needing surgery, a week in hospital followed by two months in rehabilitation. It was during this painful time that CBS was able to offer Debra some care.
During her treatment Debra’s doctor referred an Occupational Therapist to inspect her home and assess if any alterations or modifications were needed. Any changes would aid in her recovery and assist in the prevention of a similar fall happening again.
Debra experienced her fall in September and the Occupational Therapist’s report was completed within a month. The report outlined that Debra’s bathroom was not suitable, particularly because of her elevated bath which included a shower hose. The risk of a repeated fall was great and it was assessed that the bath should be replaced with a fully compliant shower.
Debra receives a Disability Support Pension and didn’t qualify for an NDIS plan. She did however qualify for Home and Community Care (HACC) funding and CBS was able to assist her every step of the way. Requests for home modifications for people under 65 are rare and this counted in Debra’s favour making funding available almost immediately.
CBS, on behalf of Debra, sourced quotes for the work and once Debra was happy, worked with the builder to get the job done. There were no delays in the work proceeding or hiccups along the way. The whole project, from the moment Debra’s doctor made the referral to a brand new shower took just six weeks.
Debra was very happy with her new shower and grateful for the support she received from CBS. The modification to her bathroom has allowed her to continue to recover after her fall and be safe in the knowledge that a repeat injury is unlikely to occur in her home. She writes: “The work on the bathroom was of a high standard and I’d highly recommended all the workers involved. Thank you sincerely CBS.”
CBS was able to assist Debra at a critical time in her life and help her remain in her lovely home in Triabunna. We are glad to report Debra started the New Year with positive health outcomes.
Natural Living with Jodi
Hi Folks! I hope you’re all safe and well in these strange times. Natural living can help lift our spirits in the unknown days ahead and I encourage you to look around and enjoy the changing seasons over the next few months. The weather is turning a little cooler as we welcome autumn. I’m looking forward to the change of colour in the landscape around me as deciduous trees provide a brilliant palette of colour before they finally drop their leaves.
If you’re lucky enough to have access to these beautiful deciduous trees collect their leaves when they drop, add them to your compost or use them for mulch in your garden beds.
Here’s a project on how to use these leaves. I’ve been fortunate to have enjoyed this little project and then unveiling the product.
Leaf Mould is Garden Gold!
A few different ways to make leaf mould –
Bag It Up: This is possibly the easiest way to get started with leaf mould. Fill large plastic bags with leaves, punch a few holes in bags and place them in a shady spot. This is a tried and true method and as long as the leaves are kept moist you’ll have a fantastic useable leaf mould in around 6 – 12 months. Remember the bags can break down too so it’s important to check them regularly.
Tarp It: The same as bagging up the leaves but on a larger scale – think a large leaf-filled bon bon, in a nice shady spot.
Cage It: Create a roll out of chicken wire and position it upright in a dark, shady spot in the garden. Drop as many leaves into the cage as you can; really pack them in. Almost any leaves will do, even Eucalyptus but avoid the leaves of Plane Tree (such as the sycamore tree) as they are slow to decompose and can cause allergies. Keep the leaves moist during this process. Lining the cage with cardboard or palm fronds before you start can assist in minimising water loss. Cover the cage with hessian or shade cloth and walk away for around 6 to 8 months.
How to speed it up
- Run over the leaves with a lawn mower or run the leaves through a mulcher before bagging;
- Add chicken manure or organic fertiliser to the pile;
- Keep leaves moist throughout the process;
- Turn or fork pile every month.
How to use Leaf Mould
Leaf mould can be used anywhere you would use a homemade compost. You can use it as a mulch or as a soil improver. Unlike compost leaf mould is quite low in nutrients and rarely contains viable seeds making it ideal for homemade seed raising and potting mixes.
Fresh in season produce
At this time of year we have a huge variety of fresh produce available at our fantastic markets dotted around the state. We have been asked to stay at home during the pandemic but we all need to eat and you may have a local food producer who is close by or delivers. Support them if you can. You may even be lucky enough to have your very own garden!
To find out what’s in season take a look at this wonderful website https://www.eatwelltas.org.au/whats-in-season-autumn/
Here are just a few things that are in season:
Apples, avocados, apricots, figs, plums (greengages are my personal fav!), blackberry bushes are producing loads of ripe fruit, lemons, strawberries, peaches, pears
Oregano, Chives, Thyme, Parsley
Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cabbages, Capsicum, Eggplant, Garlic Zucchini, Rocket, Spinach, Kale
Get your fresh produce from local producers if you can – we are so very lucky to have such high quality fresh food right at our doorstep and you’ll feel healthier for doing so.
With Easter just behind us, we have all had a taste of some lovely Hot Cross Buns. But with this recipe, you won’t have to wait until next Easter to indulge again. Try this recipe, with a chocolate twist… Chocolate hot cross buns*. Yum! Can you taste it already?
- 1 tbs dry yeast
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup warm milk
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 60 g butter (chopped)
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 2 tbs cocoa
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 egg
- 1 tbs marmalade
- plain flour
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 cup water
* We found this recipe on the kidspot website, so we would like to give them the credit for an awesome recipe.
Staying busy, active and occupied during periods of isolation
The coronavirus has impacted all of us and we are aware that there might be periods where you are probably less socially active than normal. During these periods it is important to keep yourself occupied and connected. People have become more innovative and there are a lot of resources out there that you can use. We did some research and chose a few ideas to share with you.
There are a few games that you can download on your phone, play as single players or play as a group together. This is great because you can get all your friends to join the fun. You might not be in the same room but you are all playing in real-time and this will make you feel connected. It’s loads of fun. Here’s a list* of some of the games you can download and play (only available for download on tablets and handheld devices):
Download the Scrabble Go app and get ready to argue for hours on end with your friends or loved ones. We all have a friend trying to pass off slang like ’arvo’ as a valid Scrabble word. It’s all part of the fun! A sense of normalcy is a good thing in these hard times, right? The game allows up to four players.
Get it on the App Store
Get it on Google Play
8 Ball Pool
We can’t play pool at the Community Hubs right now so why not do the next best thing? There’s a virtual version that lets you compete one-on-one or in eight-player tournaments. You can sign up through Facebook and challenge your friends from the comfort of your couch.
Virtual exercise classes
Exercise is one of the most important activities you should do in the absence of social excursions like visiting the Hubs, participating in a CBS gentle exercise group, water aerobics or going shopping with your Support Worker. The CBS gentle exercise groups are very popular so we’ve developed a series of exercise classes you can view online. The classes were specifically developed for our clients and you can access them by clicking here. If you struggle to access them or do the exercises please do not hesitate to ask your Support Worker for help.
Craft activities are some of the most popular activities at our Community Hubs. We also know that many of you still continue to practice your creative hobbies at home. We discovered a great website that shows you hundreds of ideas for craft activities. It allows you to print out the directions making the activity easier for you.
If you run out of craft supplies please ask your Support Worker to pick some up when they next do your shopping or if you want to specifically arrange some shopping for you (unaccompanied), please contact us and we can schedule it for you.
You either love gardening or you don’t. You may love it but due to circumstances are not able to do it outside. We have a really fun indoor plant alternative that allows you to be creative with the indoor pot plants as well. Here’s a number of ideas for creative DIY pots. So while you wait for your lovely plants to flower, your pots will brighten your home! Managing indoor plants is easy too – take a look at a series of helpful tips from Bunnings and enjoy watching your flowers and herbs grow. Here are the links:
Go on a virtual tour
Visit the National Gallery of Victoria
While galleries and museums are closed to the public you can still get your art and history fix online. The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) has gone all out to provide art lovers with online access to 90 per cent of the 75,000 works in its collection and is offering a virtual tour of the gallery.
Check out the art at the Australian National Portrait Gallery
Art lovers may also like to visit The Australian National Portrait Gallery. Memorable paintings include Howard Arkley’s portrait of musician Nick Cave.
Explore the current collections at Museums Victoria
You can’t visit the museum in person right now but you can explore their collections, including an intricately carved 1847 Aboriginal shield and the Melbourne Museum’s star attraction since 1932, the magnificent taxidermy of Phar Lap. You can also check out the best of the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks and Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at the Museums Victoria website.
Peruse the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria’s online museum
The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria – the mob that puts on the Royal Melbourne Show – has a virtual online museum with archival records, artefacts and photographs from the 1870s to today, highlighting Victoria’s rural heritage. Budding genealogists can search the show’s exhibition catalogues from 1872 to fill in gaps in the family tree and find out whether Great Aunt Mavis truly did win a ribbon for the best pumpkin scones.
Visit the Australian Museum’s Capturing Climate Change exhibition
The Australian Museum has an online exhibition on Capturing Climate Change through the camera lens of wildlife warrior Robert Irwin from Australia Zoo, Australian photographer Stephen Dupont and others.
Robert has zoomed in on wildlife affected by climate change, including Australia’s green sea turtles, as well as animals from around the globe such as giraffes and rhinos. Stephen’s images include the recent devastating NSW and Victorian bushfires from flaming trees to burnt earth.
There are monthly guest contributors and the museum also asks ordinary folk to submit images capturing climate change.
Spy on animals at the Royal Melbourne Zoo
Forget productivity! You can waste hours watching the animals live at Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo. Zoos Victoria has set up live stream cameras around the grounds so instead of background television noise why not let the zoos’ gorgeous baby snow leopard cubs, lazy lions or hungry giraffes keep you company all day, every day.
Go on Safari
Every day a Safari Lodge in South Africa does a morning and afternoon game drive and broadcasts it live via Youtube. Listen to the commentary of the insightful game wardens and see some spectacular animals. The broadcast starts everyday at 2pm our time, which is early morning in South Africa.
MONA might be closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live-stream one of Hobart gallery’s most intriguing artworks; Tim. Since 2011, Tim – a former tattoo-parlour manager from Zurich and human work of art – has sat at MONA for more than 3,500 hours. His back, which features a tattoo by artist Wim Delvoye, is the canvas, and he’s live streaming it from 10am to 4.30pm daily.
Go to the Louvre
Further afield, the Paris Louvre has online tours of some of its exhibitions and galleries, including its Egyptian antiquities collection.
Wander Through The Victoria And Albert Museum
In London, the Victoria and Albert Museum allows you to search its collections, from jewellery to paintings.
Click Through Themed Collections From The Uffizi
The Uffizi museum and gallery in Florence, Italy, has themed online collections like The Easter Story with artworks on the Passion, death and resurrection of Christ.
These are just some of the hundreds of things to do in the comfort of your home. But if you feel you need more support we can personalise resources especially for you. Please contact us on 03 6208 6600, even if you just want to schedule a chat.
CBS is ready to help you in any way we can. Despite the current restrictions, we are an essential service and we will always be open and here for you.
Advocacy Tasmania in times of need
Advocacy Tas works with older people, people living with disability or mental health issues, and people who use alcohol or drugs.
They help you when:
- There is something you don’t understand.
- The way you’re being treated doesn’t feel right.
- You are not getting what you’re asking for.
Their Advocates listen to you and help you work out a way forward.
‘Your say’ advocacy is all about helping you to be heard and understood.
If you are unable to speak for yourself, or find it difficult, their Advocates can help you.
They can provide information about your rights, and help you to deal with problems or complaints.
Even though they are not providing face-to-face support, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, they are still available for you to reach them on 1800 005 131, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or SMS on 0457 806 963.
Kathleen is 100 – not out!
We will end this edition with a fantastic milestone. Kathleen, a long time client of CBS, recently turned 100!
She’s received her letter from the Queen, but wonders why people make such a fuss over a century.
Kathleen spent her 100th birthday at home with family and friends.
ABC Reporter Joel Rheinberger popped in to hear her remarkable story. Listen to her interview.
(Check that your sound is turned up)
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