Addressing the seemingly impossible question of safe care during the Coronavirus epidemic
All industries across the globe have been forced to hold up a mirror and answer some pretty uncomfortable questions because of Coronavirus. None more so than the healthcare industry, whose duty (and happily “willingness”) to care has never been more evident or moving. The home care sector has been forced to ponder some highly complex questions to respond to Coronavirus, the biggest one being:
How can #StayHome and Home Care happily co-exist?
At SweetTree, we are fully invested in the government’s #StayHome/#SaveLives mantras and do everything we can to minimise risk for our clients and our wonderful staff. Like any dutiful care provider, we have invested significant amounts into PPE equipment as well as other initiatives to try to tackle this problem to the best of our ability.
The unfortunate truth, however, is that Coronavirus does not change the fact that there are vulnerable people who cannot simply lock the door to the outside world or meet their needs by utilising a delivery service which is itself trying to cope.
Indeed, for the majority of our clients, SweetTree is in the privileged position of being the chosen resource that allows them to stay safely, comfortably and independently in their own home. Personal care, in particular, does not happily co-exist with social distancing measures, but that cannot mean that those unable to wash or dress should simply exist for the unknown duration of this crisis.
Families across the world are currently tackling these kinds of emotionally exhausting questions in their day to day lives. We see it first hand – SweetTree has had a surge in heart-wrenching calls from concerned relatives who are unable to visit their loved ones, family carers who wonder whether they should continue to provide care and from those with an identified care need, whose primary carer has been forced into isolation and are left without the care they need.
We do not hold a magic wand that can completely eliminate the risk, however we do see Regulated Live-In Care as one of the safest solutions.
As well as all the normal benefits of a regulated live-in care set up, such as the building of a key and trusting relationship, and having a regulated care provider continuously oversee and review the setup, there are obvious added benefits at this time.
For people who receive live-in care, they are part of a single household with the person who can meet their care needs, which naturally means it’s easier to comply with government advice and minimise the risk. The added benefit of course is that this means the same is true for the Support Worker themselves.
Food can be sought and deliveries set up by the dedicated support worker, who can prove a useful liaison when helping to set up calls or update families. Due to key worker status, Live-In Support Workers have priority access to pharmacies and supermarkets, to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society really do get what they need and fulfill the good intentions of the retailers who have set up this facility.
At SweetTree, knowing that the risk is minimised for both our clients and our support team is a great comfort to us. Although we know this isn’t the solution for everyone, we are rapidly expanding our Live-In team and promoting the wonderful work they do as we see this as the best way of continuing to support our communities and the best route to uphold the SweetTree mission in these uncertain times.