What a year 2020 has been! We started the year thinking the worst thing that could happen to our sunburnt country would be the horrific bushfires that decimated so many communities… we were wrong. The global COVID-19 pandemic hit us hard as aged care became one of first NSW and then Victoria’s worst hit industries. Lockdown after lockdown, Victorians endured and came out the other side with zero cases and a much more sustainable COVID normal environment. Erigo had 20 years in care under its belt in 2020 and as a leader in our field, we took that 20 years of experience and supported our clients through the toughest year they have ever had in aged care.

The bushfires in January and February made for a terrifying reality for some of our clients in affected areas as we postponed vital training. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australian shores and our team transitioned to working from home and remote training and auditing. Having little experience with interactive remote training technologies, we upskilled our team to be able to deliver exceptional quality interactive Zoom based content.

Considering the backgrounds and family situations of our team, and the risk we would provide by entering more than one service, we chose not to enter services. This was decided to manage risk until the pandemic was more settled. We are now fully back on-site as needed.

Working remotely has come with its challenges i.e. accessing information while endeavouring to minimise work for the organisation is an issue where paper-based systems are in use. Electronic systems can usually be accessed remotely with little impact on the service.

In trying to service our interstate clients we have also been greeted with many challenges with the domestic border closures. Our project in the Northern Territory, Arnhem land was postponed and is due to recommence in January 2021. We sought extensions on projects interstate to be able to satisfy our client commitments i.e. Central West QLD; our CEO flew to Queensland on the first day the border restrictions lifted – that’s determination!

Karen and Jackie
Left: Jackie Strachan (Consultant) and Karen Ross (CEO).

During all this flux, we became recertified for ISO and were accepted onto the next Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aged Care Service Development Assistance Panel (SDAP), having been on the panel since 2017. We also developed a new product (our Infection Control: Prevention, action and monitoring package) now available to purchase as a one-off package to assist providers in satisfying their infection control requirements (including the new requirements).

Ultimately our team has flourished through all the turmoil of the year and our workflow has remained steady.

It’s been a very challenging year for us and our clients and I’m sure it’s been challenging for you too. Here’s hoping 2021 is a better year.

From our team to yours, here’s wishing you the best for the Festive Season, happiness, health, success, and prosperity.

See you on the other side!

What are your thoughts?