Wongaburra residents and staff had their spirits lifted by ADF personnel assisting at the aged care home.
Ten navy personnel, including three enrolled nurses, were provided to assist staff and residents at Wongaburra Garden Settlement Hostel between 5 – 12 May.
A Defence spokesperson said ADF Independent Medical Teams have been tasked to provide rapid relief to Commonwealth aged care facilities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 10 person IMT includes a team leader, registered and enrolled nurses, and supporting personnel.
Wongaburra Marketing Manager, Robert Campbell said all staff members are required to do a RAT (COVID test) before they start work on every shift.
If a staff member tests positive, they are not able to start work. If positive, they are offsite for seven days minimum.
Additional staff members are then called in to cover these shifts.
“Having the Navy personnel here just for a week is a really big help and a big boost to morale.”
“It’s been such a hard time for the residents through COVID with so many restrictions and them missing out on so much. When you get something like this happen that they’re not really expecting it is a bit of an added bonus.”
The ADF personnel have helped with general care of residents, nursing and social activities, including the Mother’s Day function.
ADF personnel helped to bring over 30 residents with varying mobility issues to the Bob Berg Room where the function was held.
They helped to hand out gifts to residents and run activities during the day.
Many residents are veterans themselves and enjoyed the interaction with currently serving ADF personnel.
“We’ve had some really good one on ones with veterans and the navy personnel, sharing stories and just hanging out together,” said Robert.
Joy Murch, who has lived at Wongaburra for two years, loved having the ADF personnel at Wongaburra.
“I have enjoyed seeing the armed forces around Wongaburra and enjoyed them playing and helping with indoor bowls,” she said.
“They look very smart in their uniforms.”
The ADF has provided support to 293 Residential Aged Care facilities.
In the course of the response, ADF personnel have been deployed to all states and territories except the ACT.