Supported Independent Living services

Information for current residents in supported independent living, their families, and visitors

Last updated 14 July 2020

We are supporting customers to understand and follow the Government’s directions to stay at home, practise good hygiene and social distancing.

A key part of our response is making sure our services have the information, support and resources needed to support customers in SIL homes safely.

Here are some of the key actions we are taking:

Practicing social (physical) distancing

Scope has implemented social (physical) distancing including:

  • Self isolating and staying home if we are unwell or displaying flu-like symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat
  • Limiting visits to homes wherever possible
  • Keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between people whenever possible

We’re also supporting customers in our supported independent living homes to practice social distancing.

Directions issued by the Chief Health Officer

Taking your family member home

Scope is following the Victorian Government’s visiting restrictions which state:

  • You can no longer visit friends and family who live at another household, except to see your intimate partner, or for caregiving or compassionate reasons, or providing services.

Scope will continue to do everything we can to help you remain connected to your family member. We are supporting customers to use telephone, video calls and other digital tools to connect.

New rules for visitors

We are also are introducing new visiting rules, based on the latest updates from the Victorian Government. All visitors should wear a face covering. 

  • Visitors (including family) are only allowed to enter a SIL home to provide care giving, therapy, health or advocate
  • A resident may have only one care and support visit each day, including no more than one person and the visit must be for no longer than one hour.
  • Visitors who have returned from overseas or been in contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days will not be able to visit a resident.
  • Visitors who have fever or symptoms of a respiratory illness will not be able to visit.
  • We recommend you have your influenza vaccination in order to visit a service.
  • Visits should be short, and conducted in the resident’s room, outside, or in a specific designated area (where this is available).
  • As per the Australian Government’s guidelines, we recommend only having five visitor in the house at any one time.
  • Visits by children 16 years and under are discouraged except in special circumstances.
  • All visitors will be encouraged to practise social distancing, including to stay away when unwell, and where masks as an additional protective physical barrier to protect you and your loved ones.
  • In cases where the residents are medically vulnerable, visits will be permissible only if absolutely necessary.
  • All visitors will need to wash their hands-on entry to the home and before entering and leaving a resident’s room.
  • If a customer is suspected to have COVID-19, all visiting will be suspended.
  • Visitors must contact the coordinator / house supervisor to arrange visits.

Wearing Masks: Information for visitors

Scope is following the government’s directions for the use of masks. Our service delivery teams in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire have been advised to wear masks during their shifts.

The government has advised disability service providers to use masks where physical distancing cannot be maintained. The very nature of our services means physical distancing is difficult to maintain and we want to do all we can to prevent exposure to the virus.

We will support our customers to stay connected with family and friends by phone and video calls.

Families can help by limiting face to face visits and following the Victorian Government’s directive to stay home.

Using personal protective equipment (PPE)

In line with advice from the Department of Health, our guidelines for using PPE are:

  • The house will move to self-isolation when a customer is tested.
  • The staff member assigned to the customer who was tested will wear PPE because that customer has symptoms.
  • As per the Chief Medical Officer’s advice, we are not using PPE as part of everyday other than what would normally be used for daily support.
  • Staff are to support all other customers applying social-distancing principles.
  • If a customer is tested and the results are positive, full PPE will be worn by the employees providing support to that person. If necessary, customers who are able to wear PPE will be supported to do so.

With limited availability of PPE across Australia, we are making sure to follow the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines in using this resource.

Practicing Good hygiene

We continue to remind everyone including customers, practice good hygiene:

  • Coughing and sneezing into our elbows or a tissue,
  • Washing our hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet,
  • Using alcohol-based hand sanitisers,
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces regularly.

Established a response team

We have a response team and action plan ready to manage the situation if a customer tests positive for COVID-19. We will notify families and customers if another customer in the home tests positive and will also inform you of actions taken to protect all residents of the home.

Ensuring supplies

We have worked with services to ensure they have supplies and also have central supplies team in place to coordinate sourcing and delivery of supplies.