The following information about the status of our services is current as of Friday 25 September 2020.
Unfortunately, due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we may not be able to provide much notice before we suspend some of our services. We understand this is frustrating, but we are doing all we can to minimise the risk to the health of our clients, residents, staff and volunteers.
This page has our most up-to-date information regarding our impacted sites and services. Please check back regularly for the latest updates.
COVID-19 stage 4 restrictions
The health and safety of the people we support across all of our services is our paramount concern.
Like all Victorians, we are saddened by the worrying increase of cases and the introduction of stage 4 restrictions by the Victorian State Government on Sunday 2 August 2020.
Our aim is to ultimately protect the health and safety of everyone in our care. Visits to our sites are restricted and we discourage visits to most residences and sites unless absolutely necessary. Special circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Rest assured, we are taking extreme caution with safety measures at all of our aged and disability services including strict cleaning, social distancing and hygiene measures.
All VMCH staff working at our residences and while providing services delivered in people’s homes in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will be wearing face masks as per government directives.
If you would like more information on these restrictions, please contact your Residential Service Manager (Aged Care) or Team Leader (Disability Services).
Aged Care Residences
We have introduced the following rules around visits to comply with the Victorian State Government stage 4 restrictions and as a response to the worrying escalation of COVID-19 cases across Melbourne.
All our aged care residences are currently closed for visits; we will regularly review this situation.
These arrangements are, as usual, subject to case-by-case circumstances such as for compassionate reasons.
Please contact your Residential Services Manager for further information or to discuss your circumstances.
As a precautionary measure, the following aged care residences are now in full lock down until further notice: none. All residents are being closely monitored. Should any signs of ill health appear, VMCH will seek medical attention immediately and inform families.
Retirement villages and apartments
Community spaces within our villages are closed for all group activities. Gyms, pools, cinemas and billiards tables are closed until further notice.
To minimise risk and protect our staff, enquiries to our retirement village coordinators and managers are to be conducted via phone or email rather than face-to-face contact.
Open house inspections in group settings are closed, however please contact us to arrange a private inspection.
At-Home Aged Care
Personal and domestic services are necessary to healthy living and these services are deemed ‘essential’. We continue to provide these services following strict procedures and measures to protect your health and minimise risk, including wearing face masks while in your home.
In addition to these essential services, now may be the time to consider receiving services you have not required previously. The aim of these services is to help you continue to live as ‘normal’ a life as possible and may include personal shopping, cleaning, well-being check and social connection and technology/safety.
Before entering your home, our staff will ask you some key questions. This is to protect your safety and ours.
Please tell us if you have travelled overseas or have been in contact with anyone at risk of having COVID-19 before our staff come to your home.
It is likely that our care workforce will be impacted and therefore, some shifts may be cancelled.
Allied Health services
Please take note of the following changes to our Allied Health services, remembering that our aim is to keep everyone safe.
Our staff will ask you some key questions before you attend our centre, or before our staff enter your home. Again, this is simply a measure to protect your safety, and ours.
Please tell us if you have travelled overseas or have been in contact with anyone at risk of having COVID-19.
Community-based day programs and overnight respite (aged care)
Services are closed at Shanagolden Community Centre, Kialla House, Carinya House, White Road Community Centre and the Multicultural Wellness Centre. We will review reopening programs at the end of stage 4 restrictions period in September 2020. Our staff have contacted clients and families to discuss closures and possible alternative supports.
The health and safety of our clients, residents, volunteers, staff and valued customers is paramount and closing these services will assist in ensuring our people remain as safe as possible.
Disability day services (Gateway) in Melbourne
Disability day services at Gateway Wantirna, Kew and Mount Waverly are closed. At this stage these services will be closed until the end of the stage 4 restriction period in September 2020. As soon as we are advised it is safe for you or your loved one to return to the centres, we will notify you immediately.
Disability day services in Ararat
Most of our regular group activities are running, within accordance to social distance guidelines and restrictions. Our usual programs may have smaller numbers and limited activities that comply with government health and safety directives. Please check with your VMCH staff contact for more information.
Specialist Disability Accommodation
Our Specialist Disability Accommodation is open to residents as usual. We ask that people please do not visit the house, unless prearranged with VMCH staff to ensure we adhere to government restriction directives. Visits that have been agreed to must take place in your loved one’s bedroom and not in the communal areas.
Children’s and Adult’s overnight respite (disability services, short term accommodation)
Our children’s respite houses in Croydon, Ivanhoe, Kew, Lilydale and Wheelers Hill are now closed to children unless they live with us permanently. Our adults’ respite house, Porter Road in Heidelberg Heights is also closed. However we are able to offer supports in home, including respite, should you require extra support.
Holidays, weekend and short breaks (flexi-respite) in Melbourne
All group programs in the community have been cancelled. We have contacted clients and families to discuss possible alternative supports. All short breaks (camps) are postponed until further notice.
Day programs, school holiday programs, after school programs and camps in Wangaratta and Ararat
Most of our regular group activities and programs are running, within accordance to social distance guidelines and current State Government restrictions. Our usual programs may have smaller numbers and limited activities that comply with government health and safety directives. Unfortunately our camps are currently postponed until further notice. Please check with your VMCH staff contact for more information or to discuss extra one-to-one supports.
Help at home or in the community (direct care disability services)
One-to-one supports or direct care will continue in people’s home or in the community however we will not visit public places with large gatherings of people such as public pools or the cinema, as per Victorian Government directives in restricted areas.
Our staff will ask you some key questions before entering your home and wear face masks while with you. This is to protect your safety and ours. It is likely that our care workforce will be impacted and therefore, some shifts may be cancelled.
Please tell us if you have traveled overseas or have been in contact with anyone at risk of having COVID-19 before our staff come to your home.
All support coordination services continue, however when possible support will be provided over the phone.
Early Childhood and Therapy
Early Childhood and Therapy will continue at this stage, with some alternations. We are working with families and children using alternative technology to ensure our children and families are supported.
St Paul’s College
St Paul’s College, Balwyn students returned to online learning on Wednesday 5 August 2020.
Case management continues as well as some on-line supports, however all carer group events in the community are cancelled until further notice.
Our Op Shops are currently closed however, we will reassess if we can open again over the coming weeks.
We have asked volunteers to take a short break from volunteering with us at our sites, however some of our volunteers will continue to provide support through programs such as our TeleFriend telephone service.
Thank you for your ongoing support. If you have any specific questions about our services please contact your VMCH staff member or service directly.