Topic: Aged care Facilities’Communication with Families

Day: Monday 12 October 2020

Time: 1:30pm-2:00pm AESDT


The role of the OPAN network, through its state and territory member organisations, is to provide a national voice for aged care advocacy. It offers free, independent and confidential services that focus on supporting older people, their families and representatives, especially to ensure that they understand and exercise their rights. This is an especially poignant
responsibility during the current coronavirus pandemic.
The OPAN network has conducted a number of Zoom meetings for families who have loved ones in affected RACFs in both NSW and VIC. Up to 28 August 2020, these facilities include:
• Newmarch House
• St Basil’s
• Kalyna Care
• Glenlyn Aged Care
• Florence Aged Care
• Grace of Mary
• Twin Parks
• Cumberland Manor
The aim has been to give families a voice, allowing them a space to air their grievances, ask questions and seek answers. The OPAN network has collated the families’ questions and concerns and acted as the conduit between them and the facilities, the Department of Health and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Throughout this process, OPAN
has compiled a set of learnings.
Christine will discuss several identified areas of concern to residents and families, including:
• Communication with Families
• Repatriation
• Infection Control Protocols
Communication with families emerged as a prominent issue. In response, the OPAN network developed a Communications Toolkit. Its purpose is to assist RACFs with best practices around how to keep families informed if the facility experiences a COVID-19 outbreak. The toolkit includes fact sheets, posters, phone scripts and checklists to help facilities provide appropriate, timely information to families when they need it most. During
the presentation, Christine will explain the toolkit collateral and the support it provides.


Christine Day is the Operations and Special Projects Manager for the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN). Her special projects responsibilities include COVID-19 management in her capacity as Crisis Response Management Team (CRMT) Manager.