Healthy North Coast in partnership with the NSW SES is hosting a series of workshops to support residential aged care home managers and community aged care providers to prepare, plan, respond and recover from emergency situations within the local community.
There are many risks and challenges that older people face in emergencies and disasters no matter where they live, and as a community they need support to be prepared.
Healthy North Coast CEO, Monika Wheeler said there have been many learnings and experiences in recent years.
“The bushfires, flood disasters and COVID-19 are all still very fresh in all our minds, and it is important that we take the key learnings that we experienced in supporting older people and the aged care sector during this time and translate these across the entire region,” said Ms Wheeler.
“These workshops are all about looking after the wellbeing of our older community members, facilitating discussion on changes that need to be made, ensuring sustainable plans are in place, and that everyone understands the critical role they play during a disaster.”
NSW SES Community Capability Officer Steve Lawrence said, “The workshops are a very practical way for aged care providers and emergency services to work together to help protect some of the community’s most vulnerable residents during natural disasters.”
Workshops have been conducted in 5 locations in the Northern Rivers, and most recently in Coffs Harbour and Kempsey, with more than 150 representatives from the local aged care industry, emergency service teams and local agencies in attendance.
The workshops have introduced and explained the roles of first response agencies, connecting them with local residential aged care homes, care coordinators and community providers.
Local Health District and Healthy North Coast representatives have built a greater understanding of what is required to ensure the health and well-being of aged care residents during an emergency.
Participants have worked through numerous scenarios including understanding where residents and staff are located, what food, water, and medicines are required, how will a potential evacuation be coordinated, and how everyone will communicate and work together to ensure residents are safe.
Those interested in learning more about preparing for local disasters are encouraged to visit the NSW SES website ses.nsw.gov.au.
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