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Choosing a care home in the pandemic

Choosing a care home in a pandemic

We know that choosing the right care home for yourself or your loved one can be a difficult decision, made even harder recently due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we want to reassure you that you can still settle comfortably in one of our homes where we will look after you and take care of all your individual needs.

Whilst many things have changed as a result of the pandemic, one thing you can be certain of is that the quality of care you will receive in our homes from our experienced and dedicated team of healthcare professionals, has not.

They have shown themselves to be true heroes supporting residents and their families through these unprecedented and challenging times, keeping everyone’s spirits high when it’s been needed most.

They continue to work with GPs, hospitals, health professionals, local authorities and of course relatives to ensure all residents are being admitted safely into their chosen Coverage Care home.

Below you will find some questions and answers which you may find useful when considering a place in one of our homes, but we’d always encourage you to get in touch with us if you would like further information, as we understand that each person’s needs are different.

I’m currently looking for a care home. Will I be able to view one of your homes before deciding whether I want to move?

Yes of course. Deciding on a care home is a life-changing and significant decision and we understand how important it is for people to get a feel for what their new home may be like. Initially, staff will provide a virtual tour of your chosen home via Zoom or Skype so you can become familiar with different areas of the home, how big it is and what it looks like. You will be shown key areas, such as a bedroom, living areas, dining spaces and any garden or outside areas.

If you like what you see, either yourself as the resident or a designated family member will then be invited to visit the home. It may not be possible to show you all parts of the home during the pre-visit, but we do our best to ensure you see enough to get a good feel for the services we offer and the friendly caring environment we provide. Anyone taking part in a tour will be asked to sign our visiting protocol, undergo an LFD Covid-19 test, have their temperature taken and be asked to wear PPE in line with our infection control guidance. Visitors will be asked not to touch surfaces, equipment or doors during their visit.

How will you assess my care needs before coming to stay at one of your homes?

We are conducting exactly the same thorough assessment of individual care needs as we did prior to the pandemic; the only difference is these are carried out via telephone calls and internet calls with new residents and their families rather than in person. Our care teams also liaise with other health professionals, local GPs and any home care providers to make sure we have as much information as possible to enable us to put together a detailed individual care plan ahead of your arrival.

Before I come to stay, what else will you do to help me adjust and get ready for the move?

Prior to your arrival, our care staff will be in touch with you or a family member to answer any questions and find out as much information about you as possible, including your hobbies and interests, the things you like and don’t like and any particular aspects of your daily life which you wish to continue once you come to stay with us. We’ll also conduct any follow-up calls with relevant health professionals before you arrive with us. Our aim is to make the transition to your new home as easy and comfortable as possible.

What will happen on the day of admission during the Covid-19 pandemic?

We understand that when the day arrives for you to move out of your current home to come and stay with us properly that it will be emotional and physically draining, that’s why we will have a small team of staff ready to meet you on your arrival and make you feel at home straight away. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, there are a few formalities we will need to do quite soon upon your arrival such as an initial Covid-19 test, temperature check and some basic observations, but we will be right by your side during these initial checks and tests. Once they are all done, our staff will be ready to show you to your new room and other areas in the home so you can begin to feel comfortable with your surroundings. We can do this at your pace, so you have time to take everything in and adjust.

Will I have to self-isolate in my bedroom if I come to stay with you during the Covid-19 pandemic?

We tend not to use the phrase self-isolate in our homes because it implies that residents are left alone and this is never the case at Coverage Care, even if you are a new resident coming to stay with us. Where possible in our homes, we have created safe areas or units to accommodate new residents who are joining us during the pandemic. In these areas staff are on hand to help you settle in, providing whatever assisted care is necessary for individuals, whether that be sitting and talking to you in your room, helping to arrange your belongings or assisting you with walks around parts of the home or outside in the gardens. Within these safe areas, social distancing between individuals is encouraged during the 14-day period after admission but there is still plenty of opportunity for you to meet others living in the home.

What assistance will I get during the 14-day introductory period from care home staff?

Our approach at Coverage Care is to develop individual person-centred care plans so that you get the level of care and assistance you require and want during your stay with us. As mentioned above, during the first 14 days staff will spend time getting to know you and your needs and you will be assisted in whatever way possible. We have dedicated well-being staff who can arrange activities for you in your room, support you with meals and provide company when you need it.

Will I have to be tested for Covid-19 and how often?

In line with Government guidance for the care sector, all new care home residents will be asked to take a test prior to moving into a home and then again on the day of arrival.

After that, residents are currently being tested once a month for Covid-19 and this is the same for new residents coming to stay with us. You may be asked to undergo further and more regular testing using Lateral Flow Tests should any positive cases within the home be identified.

Will I be allowed to have visitors during the first 14 days after admission?

Yes, the Government has recently reviewed its guidance which means from March 8 we could start receiving visitors at our homes again. We understand that for new residents staying with us who might be used to seeing family on a regular basis, that maintaining this contact can sometimes help with the settling in process. Newly admitted residents will be asked to identify a designated visitor and any visits from this person will take place in a safe way and will follow the same procedures and guidelines as all other home visits. More up to date information on our latest guidance for visiting can be found here. 

As well as receiving visits from a designated visitor, we will for the first 14 days designate your visitor as an essential care giver which means that they can take an active part in settling you in to your new home. This arrangement will be reviewed at the end of the first 14 days (please also see below). We also encourage residents to stay in touch with family members and friends either by telephone call or using video calls. This has proved a real success throughout the pandemic and staff are always on hand to help you with technology or assist in any other way such as writing a letter.

What is an essential care giver, and will I be able to designate someone to fulfil this role?

New guidance issued by the Government has highlighted that in ‘exceptional circumstances’ care homes can support residents and their families with identifying an essential care giver. This person might be someone that is able to provide either specific care needs or emotional support to a resident. For example, a resident’s refusal to eat unless they are in the company of a partner or loved one may present a real risk of physical deterioration.

In such circumstances, the essential care giver, is deemed to play a central role in delivering care and support alongside professional carers and as such guidance allows for these people to spend more time in the home and have closer contact with the person they are supporting.

At Coverage Care, as mentioned above, we will be working closely with residents and their families to help identify where there may be a need for an essential care giver role, particularly when it comes to residents who are new to the home. We believe this will help the settling-in process for residents who have very specific needs. We hope it will also reduce some of the anxiety felt by family members as they help transition their loved one into a new care environment.

It is likely that those people identified as an essential care giver will be spending more time in our homes and will also have closer contact with residents, therefore we will be asking them to take further steps to reduce the risk of infection to themselves, other residents and staff. This will include taking a rapid Lateral Flow Test before each visit to a home, a weekly PCR test and agree to more regular testing if necessary.

Although we continue to face strange times, we are moving to a positive situation and hopefully over the next few months, we will begin to see a shift in the impact of the pandemic on everyone and everything.

In the meantime we would like to reassure you that you or your loved one will be cared for by a team of highly qualified and dedicated professionals, who put residents at the heart if everything they do.

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Registered Address:
Allison House, Oxon Business Park,
Shrewsbury, SY3 5HJ

Registered in England and Wales as a not-for-profit registered society. Registration Number: 28304R

Central Office:
Phone: 01743 283 200

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