Disease prevention in aged care has always been a priority. The environment easily facilitates the spread of communicable diseases due to the nature in which people live. Elderly residents are often diagnosed with one or more chronic diseases making them more susceptible to contracting communicable diseases, heavily impacting their quality of life. Gastroenteritis, respiratory viruses, scabies and influenza are just some of the preventable diseases that can easily take hold in such an environment.
From the 30th of May 2021 in Queensland the Government has made it a compulsory measure for those entering residential care to be immunised with the current flu vaccination. This applies to staff, visitors, health practitioners, volunteers and others such as cleaners, tradesman, gardeners and maintenance staff. Evidence of vaccination is required with aged care providers maintaining the records of influenza immunisation status of visitors and other people entering the facility. Evidence may be either a copy of your vaccination certificate, or a transcript from your Australian Immunisation Register record.
Good hygiene such as regularly washing hands, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing and disposing of used tissues also helps curb the transmission. If you are feeling under the weather, rethink visiting an aged care facility. Influenza can be a serious issue, easily spreading throughout these environments and the annual flu vaccine provides the greatest protection amongst residents, carers and visitors.
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