KELLOCK Lodge chair Larry Fallon has provided an update on Kellock Lodge, and was pleased to report that the aged care facility has been lucky enough to avoid COVID-19.
He added, “The residents have been terrific. They’ve been supportive of anything that has been introduced and only too happy to abide by all of the decisions of the government, with the lockdown and visitors needing to stay away from Kellock. They just never grizzle.”
There are limits on visitors at Kellock Lodge at the moment, but “It changes daily,” Larry said. “It’s currently two people per resident per day, but the visitors must be double-vaccinated.” The vaccination rates are also very high among the residents, with 48 out of the 50 residents already triple-dosed.
Since the departure of Jo Cavill in November, Linda Dover has been the acting CEO at Kellock. Linda is an experienced nurse and has had many years of experience in running aged care facilities. “We’re very fortunate that she came along,” Larry said.
Linda did some work for Jo Cavill, and after Jo resigned, Linda was able to step in. Larry commented that it’s an extremely difficult time to appoint a CEO. “Linda’s happy to help us until such time as it all settles down and the environment is stable,” Larry said, adding that he’s delighted with how well Linda is coping with the challenge.
Kellock has also had two board members, Tony Pammer and Alex Chernov, resign. “They have been excellent on the board for the last three years, Alex with his legal background and Tony with his business background, they’ve both been terrific. We’ve found a replacement for one, and we’re looking to appoint one more.”
Someone with a legal background “would be handy” in the vacant seat, but “our skill set is good. We’ve got two with nursing backgrounds now. One more wouldn’t hurt. The more you’ve got to stabilise the safety of the nursing side of Kellock, the better chance you’ve got of running it safely and competently.”
Financially, “with the extra $10 per day supplement, it’s helping our finances, and right at the moment we’re well ahead of budget,” Larry said, adding, “You never know what’s around the corner in aged care places. You need to be well ahead of budget. We probably could have spent some money but we haven’t because we wanted to get ourselves a buffer.”
There has been a national push towards increasing pay rates for people who work in aged care. Larry said, “The government is now going to give each aged care staff member two payments of $400 each, on separate dates. I think they should get paid more, as long as the government realises that if they do get paid more, we have to get more back off the government. Most aged care facilities are running at a loss, in fact it’s 70 per cent, so we’re very lucky to have ourselves ahead of the game at the moment.”
The pay bonuses are only until the next federal election as, “By then, there’s supposed to be a new funding arrangement,” Larry said.
It’s a difficult and specialised job, and “If you can’t look after your aged, who do you look after? They can’t look after themselves, so they should be kept in a manner which they’ve had in their life. They have to be looked after.”
There’s also a new Friends of Kellock committee and they’re negotiating a project with Linda Dover at the moment. They’ll be out campaigning and running some events to raise funds to replace the carpet in 20 rooms with lino. The cost is about $3000 per room, so they’ll be looking at raising $60,000.