With the current lock down affecting so many businesses, heads are turning to the healthcare industries; how are we coping, and what can be done to help us as key workers dealing with vulnerable clients on a day-to-day basis?
Our priority at Saffron Support (elderly care agency) is to follow the government guidelines in protecting the vulnerable adults we care for, and to adapt our way of working to protect the clients and care staff from Covid-19. For example, carers’ rotas have been re-coordinated to ensure that the same carer is visiting the same client on a week-to-week basis, and personal care contact with the client is kept to a minimum whilst wearing our masks. This means we are adhering to social distancing guidelines while all personal care is completed. All care staff have been issued with masks in addition to their usual PPE consisting of uniforms, gloves and aprons. Saffron Support have made clear that all staff members are to comply with their Infection Control Training, which is updated on a yearly basis.
The clients have been affected by the current situation more than most, as government guidelines have put them all into lockdown. Some of these clients have been left with no contact to their families or friends because they do not understand FaceTime, Zoom etc. The only people they are seeing is the staff from Saffron Support. In some instances, staff have been helping the clients keep in touch by Facetiming family and friends using their own personal phones, laptops etc. This has been vital for families to be able to keep in touch.
Besides social contact, their mobility is also a concern that carers need to consider. For example, some of our clients walk to the shops every day as a form of exercise, but now they are being told to stay in. Here at Saffron Support we have adapted our care plans to help support this and are now doing chair exercises on a daily basis with some clients, as well as supporting them with physio exercises. This has brought quite a few giggles with clients and staff. One staff member even informed me she has been feeling the benefit herself, and the client was showing her how to do the exercises.
Shopping for Careers
Finally, a problem facing not only the Saffron Support care team, but all caregivers, is shopping in big supermarkets. Unfortunately, we had not been given priority in getting into the stores like NHS workers, until Waitrose finally conceded on Wednesday of this week. Before this, we had been queuing for up to an hour to get shopping for the clients, which put us behind schedule for the next client. We have also been faced with restrictions on food, which means we have to go more frequently than once a week or a fortnight for each of our many clients. Hopefully, with the reduction of stockpiling, this is now all calming down and the restrictions will be lifted soon.
Here at Saffron Support we would like to thank all staff and their families for persevering and continuing to work in this very difficult time, we understand the risk you are all taking. We will all get through this together. Please can I ask that everybody who is not a key worker stays at home and protects the NHS, care staff and keyworkers.