The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique challenges for care home residents, their families and the staff that look after them. Though COVID-19 can affect anyone, the disease tends to cause more severe effects in older adults. This makes it important for care homes to ensure that there is a strong infection prevention and control programme in place to protect both the residents and caregivers. If you are a care home manager, here are a few measures you can implement at your care home to keep the residents safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic:
Staff members must wear PPE all the time: All caregiving staff should have access to adequate PPE, including surgical masks, gloves, gowns, and face shields to reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus. Ensure that your care home has enough stock of PPEs. Staff who are unable to wear PPE should not be involved in the direct care of residents. To go a step further, ensure that care workers have PPEs when they are outside the care home – this would reduce the chances of them bringing the infection from outside to care homes.
Restrict family visits: It is a difficult decision but given the situation it is best to restrict family visits to your care homes, unless under exceptional circumstances. If there are family visits, the visitors must follow social distancing guidelines. All the visitors should undergo a thorough screening process which includes checking their temperatures. Ensure the visitors wear PPE all the time when they are in the building.
Develop a quarantine strategy: Care homes should develop a strategy that enables safe quarantine of any resident who contracts the virus. However, while under quarantine, the resident concerned should have some kind of freedom of movement.
Regular testing of staff members: As COVID-19 is often asymptomatic, regular testing of care home staff is essential. Besides checking the body temperature daily, there should be provision for regular COVID-19 testing.
Prioritise social and emotional wellbeing: While looking after the physical health of residents, make sure to prioritise their social and emotional wellbeing. Whenever possible, arrange engaging activities that can be easily organised while maintaining social distancing. Arrange video calls so that the residents can stay in touch with their family and friends who are unable to visit the care home due to the pandemic.
During these unprecedented times, it is important that your care home staff spends more time in providing person-centred care to the residents. As a care home manager, ensure that the residents are staying active physically and socially, whilst maintaining social distancing. For this, your care home staff need more time on hand. By automating the medication administration process, you can reduce your care home staff’s workload. Switch to eMAR (electronic medication administration record system) if your care home staff is still manually reviewing paper-based MAR sheets. The template of the medication administration record system is similar to that of paper-based MAR sheets, making it easier for staff members to adapt to it. All training and top-up training is included in the price as part of our services.