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Families reunited after Victorian aged care home creates visiting pod

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 30/07/2020 Lauren Ferri For Daily Mail Australia

Families have been reunited after an aged care centre created special 'visiting pods' to allow people to interact face-to-face separated by a glass partition.

Multicultural Aged Care Services in Geelong, south-west of Melbourne, came up with the innovative idea to allow families to see one another.

The aged care centre has converted a shipping container into a visitors pod, dividing two rooms where people can spend time with their family member.

Families are separated by a glass partition but there are microphones and speakers installed to help people with hearing problems.

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a person standing in front of a building: Families have been reunited after an aged care centre created special 'visitor's pods' to allow people to interact face-to-face separated by a glass partition © Provided by Daily Mail Families have been reunited after an aged care centre created special 'visitor's pods' to allow people to interact face-to-face separated by a glass partition

Chief executive of MACS, Joy Leggo, said the pods have made an 'amazing difference' and kept 'human connection' at the aged care centre.

'It's allowed our families to come in and see and have a visit and have a chat in our pod,' she told the Today Show on Thursday.

'We've got two sections to it. We've got a hearing loop install sowed our residents who are hard of hearing can have a conversation.'

The pods are wheelchair and comfort chair accessible and runs seven days a week from 10am until 7pm at night.

'To see the joy on the residents' faces as they come out, but also the families as well,' Ms Leggo said.

'Because they have actually been able to see their loved ones and see that they are well and they are happy is just so heartwarming.'

a man holding a glass of wine: Multicultural Aged Care Services in Geelong, south-west of Melbourne, came up with the innovative idea to allow families to see one another © Provided by Daily Mail Multicultural Aged Care Services in Geelong, south-west of Melbourne, came up with the innovative idea to allow families to see one another The aged care centre has converted a shipping container into a 'visitor's pod', dividing two rooms where people can spend time with their family member © Provided by Daily Mail The aged care centre has converted a shipping container into a 'visitor's pod', dividing two rooms where people can spend time with their family member

Ms Leggo said the pandemic was the most challenging time the aged care sector had faced.

She continues to monitor cases closely and MACS has not had a positive case but given the spike in Melbourne - 72km away - the centre remains ready to lock down.

'The numbers in Geelong, the active cases in Geelong are quite low, but we are watching that very closely on a day-to-day basis,' Ms Leggo said.

'It's the unknown that we are dealing with and we're just pleading with everyone to wear those masks do that social distancing all of those sorts of things.'

Figures released by the Victorian government on Thursday show 913 active cases linked to aged care, including workers, with 87 facilities having active outbreaks. 

a woman standing in front of a building: Chief executive of MACS, Joy Leggo (pictured), said the pods have made an 'amazing difference' and kept 'human connection' at the aged care centre © Provided by Daily Mail Chief executive of MACS, Joy Leggo (pictured), said the pods have made an 'amazing difference' and kept 'human connection' at the aged care centre a large brick building: The pods are wheelchair and comfort chair accessible and runs seven days a week from 10am until 7pm at night © Provided by Daily Mail The pods are wheelchair and comfort chair accessible and runs seven days a week from 10am until 7pm at night

Former chief medical officer Brendan Murphy, now secretary of the federal Department of Health, said more elderly people will die from the virus.

'There will be more deaths with the number of aged-care recipients that are infected,' he told reporters in Canberra.

'We know that it is a certainty. We will see deaths every day - and that is a tragedy.'

Victoria is set to break the record for its single daily increase in coronavirus cases, with 723 infections to be announced on Thursday.

The expected figure is more than double Wednesday's 295 infections and far exceeds the state's previous record of 532 cases on Monday.

Premier Daniel Andrews is also expected to report an additional 13 deaths amid more than 80 outbreaks at aged care facilities. 

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