Some time back during one of our regular Braemar senior leadership meetings in 2017, we decided to take the lead in protecting our residents from influenza by offering complementary flu vaccines not just for our staff and residents, but also volunteers and the families of those in our care.
This week, free vaccinations were available at Braemar Cooinda and Braemar Village, while next week we will be providing the vaccines to those at Braemar House.
This move predated the recently announced Government plan to mandate all aged care providers to provide free flu vaccines to their staff. It was a decision we took as we felt it was an effective way to help reduce the risk of influenza entering the aged care environment.
The idea to expand the service to families and volunteers was developed by the Braemar team under the direction of Renee Reid, General Manager of Workforce. When chatting to Renee, she expressed the team’s desire to ‘meet and exceed best practice levels to reduce the risk of our health and care professionals contracting flu or passing it onto our residents,’ which to me demonstrates a commitment to resident health and wellbeing across the organisation.
As a ‘sweet’ incentive, every person vaccinated is being treated with a home-made crepe which I am cooking at the facilities. We have also included free barista coffee and ice creams for everyone to create a bit of a festive atmosphere and help promote the positive impact of flu vaccines to the greater community.
The turnout so far has been wonderful, and while the festivities have been fun the overwhelming feeling among staff is an agreement that flu vaccines within an aged care environment is a positive step forward for resident health.