As the holidays draw near, it’s time for the team at Australian Ageing Agenda to log off for the year.

Wednesday 16 December is our last regular newsletter for 2020. And what a year it has been.

It started with most aged care eyes on the ongoing aged care royal commission.

But like everywhere in Australia and around the world, the focus soon moved to the emerging pandemic.

Australian aged care leaders got an early glimpse of the impact of a COVID-19 outbreak in residential aged care through their counterparts in North America and Europe.

Early outbreaks in New South Wales showed Australian aged care was naturally just as susceptible to the same outcomes.

Then we all saw just how much as the second wave took hold in Melbourne, affecting all aspects of the community, and most devastatingly residential aged care.

Many people around the world are putting their hopes for a return to normal on a vaccine.

The second week of December saw a 90-year-old woman in the United Kingdom become the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine there.

The UK’s vaccination program is giving priority to the elderly and frontline heath workers.

Will there be a similar priority here?

This holiday season, we think of the people affected by the pandemic, those who are no longer here to celebrate with us and our loved ones we can’t be with.

And we thank everyone working in aged care for continuing to turn up, day after day, in the most trying of times, to look after our elders.

In the coming weeks, our holiday newsletters will showcase our most read stories of 2020, magazine features about provider implementations and several new contributions.

Our regular newsletters will return in the second half of January.

We wish you all a safe festive season and a happy, healthy and hopefully pandemic-free 2021.

Best wishes,

Natasha Egan, Sandy Cheu, Mark Ryu and Mark Kuban.

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