It is widely documented that the number of people accessing health services for conditions unrelated to Covid-19 has dropped dramatically recently. Public Health England and the NHS are encouraging people to seek assistance via the normal channels for all health concerns and the message is official; the NHS is open as normal.
The repercussions of delayed treatment for conditions are yet to be seen, as are the mental health and wellbeing repercussions of isolation. It is widely accepted that isolation and a lack of human contact are not good for the health of most people. Some studies even suggest that loneliness has the same mortality rate as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.
The most at-risk group for loneliness are those that are also most vulnerable to the Coronavirus. So, in a Covid-19 world, how can you receive safe care and support in your home?
Home care providers such as Right at Home have always trained carers in infection control and the safe use of PPE. Incorrect use of PPE can be as infectious (if not more so) than no PPE and all of our carers are trained in the correct process of donning and doffing PPE. Covid-19 has, however, increased the level of PPE that Right at Home has introduced, including:
• Carers digitally recording their temperature before every care call
• Covid-19 testing kits available at all times
• Fluid-repellent face masks for all care calls
• Clear face visors for all care calls
• Increased handwashing and hand sanitisation protocols
• Antibacterial disinfectant provided for all care calls
• Aprons and appropriate gowns for care calls
As well as increased and appropriate PPE, it is important to keep the number of visitors to a minimum. Care providers such as Right at Home, who match carers to the needs of their clients, are able to create small teams of carers for each client group. This reduces the social circle and risk of wider infection.
For individuals with increased health needs, there is now an obvious fear of going into nursing/residential homes. For this reason, there is an increasing demand for live-in care. This allows the individual to remain in their own home and to have one carer living with them. It is also a cost-effective alternative to a nursing home whilst providing the safest and most person-centred care.
In a Covid-19 world, it is more harmful than ever to ignore your health and wellbeing and you are encouraged to reach out for the right care and support.