Growing concerns of a second COVID-19 wave in residential care homes are prompting more families to seek live-in care services. As news of a second Covid-19 wave is becoming a reality, families across the UK are increasingly anxious about their loved ones contracting the virus in care homes.
Throughout the lockdown period, residential homes in England and Wales have recorded approximately 26,000 excess deaths resulting from COVID. Almost half of the COVID deaths recorded in Europe have also occurred in residential care homes.
Older people who can no longer live independently are searching for alternative measures to ensure the continuation of their service in a safer environment. In this light, live in care agencies and other domiciliary care companies have reported a surge in interest for 24-hour at-home care services.
This significant demand doesn’t come as a surprise, as it’s proven to be the safest way to shield the elderly from the potentially fatal effects of coronavirus. With that in mind, it’s important to remember that not all specialist home care providers can deliver the same quality of care and support for those who are vulnerable.
How to choose the right home care provider
Choosing a suitable provider amidst a pandemic shouldn’t be a hasty decision, and there are some important things to consider.
First of all, not all of the services available on the market are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Some introductory agencies deliver care packages through self-employed professionals that are not overseen by the CQC.
At the same time, it’s crucial to ensure that your provider only employs experienced individuals with adequate skills and qualifications. This is particularly important if you need care for your loved one to tackle a cognitive disease, such as Alzheimer’s. Search for a bespoke service that also caters to specific conditions, like dementia or complex care.
Last but not least, always check with your provider that the live in carer has gone through the required DBS checks before booking a care assessment. As a general rule, all of them should make available criminal and reference checks.
Why has live in Care coped so well?
During the Covid-19 pandemic, residential care homes have been under constant scrutiny for failing to reduce cross-infection rates between clients and carers, resulting in high numbers of deaths. The tragic figures only emerged mid-pandemic, and it’s still believed that they may be even higher than those officially reported.
Choosing a 24 hour home care service has reduced the strain on the NHS, as well as hospitalisation costs resulting from infections that could have otherwise been prevented. Live in carers are less likely to pass the virus on from one patient to another, mainly because they deliver round the clock support to the same person.
The new rules to protect the vulnerable have seen the government banning visits to residential care homes, raising further concerns about the mental health of those admitted and increased risks of premature deaths. However, domiciliary care is turning things around for the better, giving elderly people and their families peace of mind and more independence.
Historically, at-home specialist care services have gotten the least amount of attention and support from the authorities compared to traditional elderly care routes. Although the type of care provided is less visible, it brings an equally important contribution to the safety and well-being of our elderly. At least in the short term, 24-hour home care is picking up the pace, but a more considerable investment from the government should be a priority in the long run too.
Leading the care sector
Over 10 million people at any one time receive or need personal care support in their own homes, be it from a professional or an unpaid informal worker.
As the UK continues to battle coronavirus, new normals are being established. This is clearly the case for the adult care sector, which is why the focus should be placed on live in care rather than residential facilities and hospitals. Investing adequately in the right service has great potential of reducing casualties during the second wave and improving the quality of living for those in need of support.
Sova Healthcare has been at the forefront of the home care industry aiming to change the face of ageing. As a leading provider of assisted living and domiciliary care services, we continue to deliver specialist personal support to the elderly and we are committed to raising the standards in the care sector, in a way that is both accessible and affordable.
Contact our team and find out how we can help you.