We have already seen the ways in which live-in care offers a better quality of life than residential care. But in this blog post, we look more closely at the benefits of having a live-in carer during a pandemic.
The figures we highlighted in our last blog post showed that people who have a live-in carer are less likely to fall, less likely to suffer a hip fracture, more likely to leave the house regularly and more likely to eat the sort of food they enjoy than people who are in residential care.
Those statistics were from a 2016 study. But there is no doubt that thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the differences in quality of life offered by live-in care and residential care will have become even more stark over the last year.
Live-in care: the safe option
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the UK, and despite the very best efforts of dedicated care home workers, the inevitable risk of multiple contacts between residents and staff means that care homes continue to see high rates of infection.
In contrast, live-in care has remained the safest option.
Live-in care allows people to safely self-isolate in the comfort of their own home, whilst receiving high-quality care from a carer who is also self-isolating. By controlling the environment in this way, live-in care offers families a way to ensure their loved one’s risk of infection is as low as possible, whilst ensuring the standard of care stays high.
Here at Harley Street Care were able to adapt our practices very quickly when the crisis hit, to ensure the safety of our clients and staff.
As well as applying all of the UK government’s COVID-19 guidelines for carers immediately, and keeping constantly up to date with changes in policy over the last year, we have also worked with carers and their clients to implement additional stringent infection control and hygiene protocols. These safety standards have been put in place across all our care packages, including live-in care.
We have also reduced as much unnecessary contact between people as possible, by restructuring our visiting care packages to ensure one carer to each client, and changing some of our working practices – for example, we now deliver PPE directly to carers’ or clients’ homes, instead of requiring carers to visit the office.
Safer and happier
Finally, better health during a pandemic is not just about physical health and infection control – although that is obviously incredibly important at the moment. The benefits of live-in care during a pandemic extend to better mental health for everyone involved, too.
Social isolation is a huge risk factor for elderly and vulnerable people at any time, but right now the risk is even greater. Fewer visitors and fewer chances to leave the house can mean a much higher chance of loneliness.
However, as well as providing physical care, a live-in carer can provide valuable company – being available for a friendly chat at any time. They can also help out with everyday tasks – including support with technology, to make sure friends and family can keep in touch! This kind of everyday contact is crucial for overall health and wellbeing at any time, but during a pandemic, it can be vital.