Home for the elderly limits visitors

The Mapuifagalele Home of the Aged has cut the number of visitors the elderly residents can see as it begins steps to prepare for the threat posed by the coronavirus.

Little Sisters of the Poor sister-in-charge, Sister Alosia, told Samoa Samoa that they have limited the number of visitors to one person per group.

She said the representative can visit the home and make presentations to the residents on behalf of his or her group.

“There are no more visitors now. Only the people that come to bring the goods and donations for the home can come. But if they come, no groups, only one person comes to represent the whole group,” she said. 

The family members of the aged care facility’s current residents are also aware of the recently declared state of emergency (S.O.E.), added Sister Alosia, which explains why they have not had any visitors.

“The family of the residents, I suppose they heard the announcement, so nobody has come at the moment. When they do come they ring the bell at the front and the Sisters come to the front and see what they want,” she added. 

But if there were instances where seeing a patient is necessary, Sister Alosia said the resident will be brought out but in accordance with safety guidelines, which includes maintaining a social distance of one metre from each other. 

“If ever they really want to see their patient then we bring them out in the open air and make sure they are one meter away from each other then they talk for five minutes then they go,” she said. “There is not so much of that now because everybody is trying to protect themselves.”

When asked if the aged care facility is prepared for the virus, she replied in the affirmative and added that they had everything they needed.

“We are trying our best to take care of the old people and we put out all the necessary things that are needed such as hand sanitizers and disinfecting the house. That’s all we have at the moment, nothing else.”

The staff at the aged care facility have undergone training, according to Sister Alosi.

“Dr John Adams came in and trained us to prepare for the disease. We are prepared as the doctor directed us what to do. Isolate the person if they ever come to contact the disease. Wear masks and wash hands. We have put signs at the front door for the visitors,” she added.

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