Vic homes prepare for swine flu

ACCV has praised providers and the DHS for their efforts to protect older Victorians from teh H1N1 virus.

The Victorian industry association has welcomed the action taken by providers and the state government in preparation for the possible impact of the H1N1 virus on aged care facilities.

For a number of weeks Aged and Community Care Victoria (ACCV) has been working with the Department of Human Services to minimise the effects of swine flu on Victoria’s frail, elderly population.

“At the outset I can say we are doing all we can to limit the impact on aged care homes,” said ACCV CEO, Gerard Mansour.

Staff members at the state’s homes are maintaining usual hand-washing measures and preparing to introduce control and isolation procedures if necessary.

Mr Mansour also urged family members of residents to assist by exercising sensible precautions.

“If aged care facilities are forced to implement isolation procedures please be understanding,” he said.

“Don’t visit mum or dad in an aged care home if you are unwell, and in particular if you have flu like symptoms.

“Please make sure you take precautions such as regular hand-washing [and] covering your nose and mouth if sneezing and coughing.”

The symptoms of human swine flu are similar to other strains of the flu and include fever, coughing, sore throats, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue.

Like seasonal flu, H1N1 may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions, including many commonly experienced by frail elderly people.

“Aged care providers do have an outstanding record in containing and managing infectious diseases such as influenza or gastro but we do need the support and understanding of the community,” said Mr Mansour.

Tags: infection-control, swine-flu, victoria,

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