17 March 2020

 

Dear Holdsworth Community,

An update for Holdsworth Community from our CEO, Ruth Kestermann

At Holdsworth the health and safety of our community is a priority. Based on the most up to date advise from the Department of Health, and to ensure we protect our community from Coronavirus (COVID-19) all group programs will be cancelled until 31st March 2020, effective immediately.

This includes:

  • Gaden Café,
  • After school and Weekend programs,
  • Social and Wellbeing group programs,
  • Dementia support group programs,
  • Playgroup and parenting support programs,
  • Group transport and Bus Hire.

This decision hasn’t been made lightly; we know many people in our community rely on our support. Please know, these social distancing measures are temporary and the safest way we can reduce the spread in our community at this time.

The following support services will continue and will be expanded to meet demand:

  • Home Cuisine – MOW delivery
  • Individual Shopping
  • Individual Transport
  • Home Care Package Support
  • Home Connect
  • HomeShare Support
  • 1:1 NDIS Supports
  • NDIS Support Coordination

Please reach out if you or someone you know needs additional individual support at this time.

While some of our programs and premises will be closed over the next two weeks, we are still open and available. If you have concerns or questions, please contact us via email on info@holdsworth.org.au or phone 02 9302 3600. We are always happy to chat about other, safe ways we can support you during this time.

We understand this is a worrying and confusing time for everyone, and we want to acknowledge the incredible efforts of all our employees and volunteers who are working incredibly hard to support our community. All employees will continue to receive pay and benefits during this period.

In the meantime, we will continue to ensure all of our employees and volunteers are following strict hygiene guidelines recommended by the department of health, including practicing safe working distances and adhering to additional cleaning protocols.

We will be updating our social media channels regularly with tips and ideas on safe practices, connecting while being socially distant and additional support during this time. Please visit www.facebook.com/holdsworthcommunity

For now, here are some preventative actions you can take to minimise the spread of respiratory diseases as advised from the Department of Health:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the rubbish bin.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

For the latest coronavirus advice, information and resources, please visit www.health.gov.au or call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you have concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor or call “000”. For questions about testing or the welfare of people with the virus, contact the NSW Department of Health on 1300 066 055.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will update you regularly via social media (www.facebook.com/holdsworthcommunity) and our website (www.holdsworth.org.au).

Please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 02 9302 3600 if you have any questions or concerns.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Ruth Kestermann

CEO

Monday, 2 March 2020

IMPORTANT NOTICE: NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) – HOLDSWORTH APPROACH TO SAFEGUARDING THE COMMUNITY

In recent days, there has been an increasing number of confirmed cases of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) identified outside mainland China and its neighbouring countries. In particular we have had an increasing number of cases reported in Australia.

At Holdsworth the health and safety of our community is paramount. We have developed a response plan that takes precaution aimed at safeguarding the health and safety of everyone in our community – staff, volunteers, participants and partners. It is important that we do our part to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading within the community.

We are closely monitoring the situation within Australia and internationally and will take a measured approach that addresses the main risks to our people, in line with advice from government and health authorities. We are reviewing our approach daily and will advise any changes or new developments.

As a reminder, the health department recommends everyday preventive actions to minimise the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

For the latest coronavirus advice, information and resources, please go to www.health.gov.au or call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you have concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor or call “000”. For questions about testing or the welfare of people with the virus, contact the NSW Department of Health on 1300 066 055.

We will continue to monitor and share our progress frequently via Social Media and our website. Please don’t hesitate to call on 02 9302 3600 if you have any questions or concerns.

Yours Sincerely,

 

 

Ruth Kestermann

CEO

Holdsworth HomeShare is Thriving

A mutually beneficial arrangement matching older people who are living alone with a room to spare, with a person looking for affordable accommodation and companionship.

We are excited to announce that Holdsworth HomeShare is gaining strong momentum. Since launching in October 2018, we have received an overwhelming response; 120+ enquiries from Owners, 150+ from Sharers across NSW. We have now successfully reached 70% of our second year target matches! Philanthropic support has enabled us to launch this innovative service and now as HomeShare’s popularity and visibility expands, the it is growing to a sustainable scale. The more people we speak to across Sydney, the more we see how much still needs to be done. The number of older people looking for practical ways to remain living at home is astounding as is the wide cross-section of our society struggling to find affordable, appropriate accommodation.

 

The HomeShare Concept

The Holdsworth HomeShare service is a community led response addressing two of the biggest areas of social need facing Australian society – a housing affordability crisis and growing isolation amongst an ageing population.

The mutually beneficial arrangement allows older people (Owners) to remain living in their own home, while offering an affordable accommodation option for younger people looking for companionship (Sharers).

“When you have somebody living nearby, not with you all the time even, you feel less lonely. I feel more connected to my friends and family now. They’ve taught me to use my iPad and I can speak to loved ones regularly,” – Owner. 

 

Promoting the Idea

Throughout 2019 our focus was on raising awareness, interest and engagement in the HomeShare concept particularly with older people. Since our launch we have released a series of fictional stories about HomeShare entitled “The Spare Room”, Holdsworth HomeShare has featured across various media platforms including the ABC, Radio National, Channel 7 and The Domain. We have also worked closely with ABC’s Compass show to film a segment on HomeShare to air in coming months. “This a very important topic and we hope to reflect the values and integrity of the concept in our program, and for our viewers to discover the stories and personalities of the people involved,” Producer – ABC Compass.

 

Our Current Matches

We have current, ongoing matches supporting older people in their homes in Woollahra, Waverley, City of Sydney and Randwick LGAs. The Sharers range in demographic from overseas and local students to women who are in transition points in their lives and need an affordable way to stay close to family and work. We have seen incredible outcomes for both sides of these matches, with genuine friendships forming across generations and in their wider communities.

Our targeted promotion has supported our matches across Sydney and has put us on track to meet our current three year Business Plan towards financial sustainability.

 

What’s next?
We are committed to the continued growth of Holdsworth HomeShare! We believe Sydneysiders are becoming more familiar with the Holdsworth HomeShare service and the opportunities it offers to older and younger people challenged by life in our city. Our challenge is to continue to build our service further and continue to respond to the unique circumstances of individuals. We hope to be able to broaden our offering to support more vunerable women, refugees and migrants as well as people living with a disability.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Holdsworth HomeShare and our shared community!

Please share our news about Holdsworth HomeShare or refer people to find out more on our website https://holdsworth.org.au/homeshare/ or email homeshare@holdsworth.org.au.

ROYAL COMMISSION INTO AGED CARE QUALITY AND SAFETY.

A word from our CEO, Ruth Kestermann.

 

Dear All,

Re: Royal Commission releases its Interim Report “Neglect”

You may be hearing a lot of comments and seeing media stories about aged care at the moment. This is because the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety delivered its Interim Report which they called Neglect.

At Holdsworth we think this report is very important and want to share its information with our participants, their families and our wider community.

The report proposes that the aged care system needs a fundamental overhaul to deliver the quality of care that older Australians and their family’s need with a renewed focus on compassion and kindness.

We at Holdsworth Community have zero tolerance for poor, inattentive care or any form of abuse of vulnerable people. We strongly believe that the instances of poor care and neglect exposed by the Royal Commission and in its interim report are not acceptable.

The Commissioners identified three areas of priority that require immediate action which we support:

  • Provide more Home Care Packages to reduce the waiting list.
  • Fix an over-reliance on chemical restraint in aged care.
  • Stop the flow of younger people with disability going into aged care.

If you have any concerns about the care you or your loved one is receiving, please contact us at Holdsworth Community. In the first instance, your queries can be directed to Holdsworth Community via Wendy Francis, Manager – Services for Older People, at wendy.francis@holdsworth.org.au or by telephoning 02 9302 3600.

If you prefer or feel more comfortable, you can directly contact the following agencies for advice and support:

Older Persons Advocacy Network: www.opan.com.au/advocacy or 1800 700 600

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission: www.agedcarequality.gov.au; 1800 951 822 or info@agedcarequality.gov.au

 

Yours sincerely,

Ruth Kestermann

CEO

 

You can download a copy of this letter by clicking here.