Fri, 15 May 2020

Restrictions are being eased across the country …

There is no doubt that the entire Nation has been waiting for this day to come, however this is no time to become complacent. This is the time where our social distancing, hygiene practices and sanitisation procedures will really make the difference when it comes to staying safe!

Interchange Australia as per advice from the Department of Health will be slowly introducing some of our peer support and other group activities, they will however remain local at this time, but it gives everyone an opportunity to catch up with friends over a meal and some fun activities while practicing safe distances and good hygiene at all times. All equipment and venues will be sanitised before and after each use.

If you would like more information on which group activities are now available please contact Jane on 02 4868 6688 or email [email protected]

Please note that at this time group numbers will be limited due to space and distancing requirements.

Tue, 21 April 2020
Aussie Spirit Alive and Well at Interchange Australia …

During these tough times, the Aussie spirit is alive and well at Interchange Australia as our caring staff continue to provide services to our wonderful clients. As providers across the state and country continue to scale down and close their doors in the face of the COVID 19 pandemic, we at Interchange Australia prefer to ask the question: “How can we operate in this new world?”

The answer of course, takes thought, innovation and creativity, but also an advanced WHS policy whilst ensuring that everyone is compliant with the latest government regulations and advisories.

There is still much we don’t know about COVID 19 and the knock-on implications of it, but we are starting to see trends, and the general consensus is that we will be living with this “new norm” well into 2021. So time to roll up our sleeves, and dig out that good old Aussie Spirit; because we have been serving our clients since 1986, and we are not going to stop now.

Interchange is currently looking at a number of new technologies and projects that can benefit out clients (who still need our services), as well as provide work to our staff.

In addition, we are still very much open for a number of services, including Personal Care, Domestic Assistance, essential Social Supports and Day Options.

For more information on our programs, or to talk to someone at Interchange generally, give us a call on 4868 6688.

Fri, 3 April 2020
We are Here for You…

With many restrictions now in place across NSW and the COVID-19 situation taking hold Interchange Australia would like to reassure
both our Aged Care and Disability Clients that we will be here to continue to support you in this time of need.

The staff at Interchange Australia are meticulous when it comes to infection control and continue to stay up to date with the latest
control information as it comes to hand in relation to COVID-19 as well as any other active virus strains.

On behalf of all of the staff at Interchange Australia we would like to reassure you in this time of uncertainty that we will be continuing to provide all of your essential services as requested. In addition to this we have the capacity to offer any additional essential services that you may need during this time as well as any new clients who may be unable to receive their regular services at this time.

A full list of our services available at this time, in compliance with Department of Health and Government advice are as follows:

  • Support coordination
  • Plan management
  • Personal care
  • Domestic assistance
  • 1:1 in home supports
  • Other essential services – such as grocery shopping and attending appointments
  • Day programs for those who require care Monday to Friday
  • Short-term accommodation and Respite
  • Social supports such as band, drama, men’s groups and Peer Support have been temporarily suspended until further advice from Department of Health in relation to COVID-19.

Interchange Australia is committed to maintaining services for all of our participants in line with recommendations from the Department of
Health to ensure that your quality of living remains unaffected during this pandemic.

It is important to note that all of our Interchange Australia vehicles are thoroughly sanitised before and after each use and support staff will not be rostered for work if unwell. Client services will also be temporarily suspended if displaying symptoms of COVID-19 to minimise the risk of exposure.

We understand the seriousness of which this situation continues to evolve and would like to assure you that we are doing all we can to ensure the safety of both our clients and staff.

If you would like to know more about the services available through Interchange Australia at this time call us on 02 4868 6688.

Support services are available 7 days a week.

Please refer to the Department of Health website for regular updates and information on how you can stay safe at this time.

Thur, 26 March 2020
Meeting Your Needs in Uncertain Times …

With the current COVID-19 pandemic continually evolving it is understandably causing considerable concern amongst the community resulting
in uncertainty for those who require essential supports and services in order to maintain their everyday quality of life.

Interchange Australia is committed to maintaining essential services and supports for all of our service recipients in line with recommendations from the Department of Health.

Interchange Australia staff have undergone and will continue to undergo training meeting highest possible health and safety standards in line with the Department of Health recommendations. We will continue to deliver the highest quality essential supports and services to all our service recipients.

As the Covid-19 pandemic changes and new information comes to hand we would like to assure you that Interchange Australia will take immediate action to adapt our services and supports to continue to meet the recommendations of the Department of Health with as little disruption to your regular supports and services as possible.

At this time:

  • Our day options program will continue for service recipients who require this service from 9:00am to 3:00pm Monday to Friday, pending government/funding body advise and need.
  • The following changes have been implemented within our Day Options program which adhere to current government policy and requirements, these procedures will continue until further notice:
    • Entry into all day options properties is now restricted to service recipients and support staff only.
    • All attendees will be practicing social distancing at all times.
    • Groups numbers in all houses will be limited to requirements as advised by the Department of Health at all times.
    • Learning topics will still be covered in a modified format to prevent risk of exposure to COVID-19.
    • No activities in the community
    • Rigorous sanitising procedures will be enforced and monitored for everyone who enters any of our properties, sanitising will again occur upon exit of the properties.
  • Our in-home supports will continue to operate at this time, including:
    • Domestic Assistance
    • Personal Care
    • Flexible Respite
    • Social Support individual, for essentials only: i.e. shopping and appointments.
  • Short-term accommodation will continue to be offered at this stage, however, this is subject to assessment of each individual’s needs. Available for essential purposes only.
  • All of our Interchange Australia vehicles are sanitised before and after each use.
  • Support staff will only be rostered for work after having met health guidelines and not displaying symptoms of COVID-19
  • Service recipients will be isolated and asked to return home immediately, or have at home services suspended if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Support staff attending to 1:1 in-home supports and social supports also have a very strict protocol to which they are following. This protocol adheres to the Department of Health recommendations.
  • All other external group activities will be temporarily suspended as of 25th March 2020 and will be reviewed according to the COVID-19 situation on Monday 20th April 2020.
    • Peer Support
    • Band
    • Drama
    • Tuesday and Thursday morning social groups
    • Thursday night social groups

Interchange Australia understands the seriousness of which this pandemic continues to evolve and would like to assure you that we are doing all we can to ensure the safety of both our service recipients and staff. If you require changes to the services you are currently receiving due to
self-isolation please contact Interchange Australia and we will be happy to assist you in your time of need.

Interchange Australia will be here for you during this time of great uncertainty and will continue to provide your essential supports and services within the guidelines of the Department of Health.

If you would like to know more about the services being provided by Interchange Australia at this time please contact your account manager on 02 4868 6688.

Support services are available 7 days a week. Please refer to the Department of Health website for regular updates and information on how you can stay safe at this time:

Wed, 18 March 2020
Our Reassurance to You…

On behalf of the Interchange Australia Board of Management, we are aware that the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing considerable concern amongst our community particularly with cases steadily on the rise globally.

We want to reassure you that the health and safety of our clients as well as our staff is our number one priority at Interchange Australia. We are liaising regularly with the Department of Health to ensure that we have the most up-to-date advice to act upon.

What are we doing to keep our clients and staff safe?

We have a range of measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at Interchange Australia, including:

  • Establishment of a dedicated COVID-19 Incident Management Team
  • Enforcement of government directives related to travel and self-isolation
  • Unwell clients and staff sent home as soon as possible
  • Increased frequency of cleaning for high-touch surfaces
  • Steps to ensure that hygiene standards in our workplace are maintained, and that appropriate cleaning will take place in response to any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • Enforcement of social distancing measures, including cancellation of organised gatherings of 50 or more people (e.g. Interchange Australia Events and Performances)
  • Peer Support outings to highly crowded areas such as Sydney will be replaced with local area outings.

A full list of cancellations and/or postponements has been included at the end of this letter. Replacement activities in the case of Peer Support will be advised in due course.

It is important to remember to be extra vigilant with our health and safety practices to avoid possible spread.

What you can do

If you or a member of your family experiences COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and seek medical care as soon as possible. We understand that many of our clients are vulnerable to COVID-19 so it is important to notify Interchange Australia as soon as possible if you become unwell to prevent further spread.

The most important thing to remember is, this is not cause for panic. We are taking every reasonable step to protect the health of clients and staff, and to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

However, the advice of government and medical experts is that we can expect some restrictions to services in the near future, and it is a good idea to be prepared for the possibility that our services may be required to close temporarily. Things you may want to consider include:

  • Who will pick your loved one up from Interchange Australia in the event of a sudden closure?
  • Is someone available to provide care for yourloved one if self-isolation is required?
  • If your loved one is required to stay home due to self-isolation periods, how will you limit their exposure to public places?

The most effective thing you can do to protect yourself and your family is to follow the advice of health officials:

  • Stay at home if you are sick
  • Practise good hygiene (washing hands well with soap and water or sanitiser; coughing and sneezing into your elbow or tissue, disposing of the tissue straight away and then washing your hands)
  • Maintain 1.5 metres distance from other people wherever possible
  • Avoid unnecessary travel and mass gatherings (especially involving 50 people or more)

What are the symptoms? Symptoms can include any or all of the following:

  • Cold or flu like respiratory symptoms
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Breathing difficulty

It is important to note that Interchange Australia staff have the right to refuse or cease service at any
time in the event they feel that their health or safety could be jeopardised.

What to do if you have been around anyone displaying these symptoms, if you have been overseas recently or in close contact with anyone who has arrived in Australia from overseas in the last fourteen (14) days:

  • Speak with your Interchange Australia Account Manager for advice on appropriate action.

Upcoming Cancelled Events

Camden Show 28/3/2020 –
Replacement activity TBA

World Autism Awareness Day
2/4/2020 – Postponed date TBA

If you have any questions or concerns on the above please contact your account manager on 02 4868 6688.

Please refer to the Department of Health website for regular updates and information on how you can stay safe at
this time.