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We are Covid Wise

Admissions during Covid-19

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Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Friends of the Elderly has done all that we can to protect against COVID-19 within our homes and services.

We have made important changes to how we deliver care across our homes, day care centres, home care services and free to access services, and we continue to make changes as the situation develops, in order to keep people safe

We are confident that we are COVID WISE in how we work.

Our care homes are now open for close relatives and admissions.

Care home visiting policy

Visits out of care homes policy

Our approach to admissions over COVID-19

Supporting Public Health England to better understand Covid-19

Partners in Care- Resources to support meaningful visits

What have been the effects of COVID-19 across our homes?

We took the very difficult decision to close our care homes to all but essential visitors in early March 2020, before many other care homes, because we were confident that this tough measure was needed to keep people safe.

We have had a small number of cases in some of our homes and have been able to work through this. While we can never promise that we won’t have a case of the virus in our homes and services again, we can promise that we are confident that all our new policies and procedures are keeping people as safe as possible.

“Bradbury Court has managed to survive the outbreak of COVID-19 due to the courage and common sense shown by its manager, Elaine. She has a very detailed knowledge of all of her residents and indeed of her staff and their capabilities. I think Friends of the Elderly deserve credit too for the support they have given Elaine which has been instrumental in getting the situation under control, whilst at the same time maintaining staff morale.”

Dr J B Lavin

NOTE FOR CARE HOME VISITORS

We are delighted that we can now offer inside visits again, but care home staff will ask you to follow certain protocols, which must be adhered to in order to keep
everyone safe. Friends of the Elderly follow Government guidance around care home visiting guidance, issued on 4th March 2021.

We urge you to listen to the guidance that your care home team will provide on the day of your visit.

Here are the key messages at this time: 
• As long as a home is not in outbreak you will be able to visit your friend or relative in our secure visiting areas as you have previously. The process for booking visits in our secure areas remains the same.
• Further to this, each resident will be able to appoint a ‘Single Named Visitor’ who can visit them inside the home. This person must be agreed by the resident and they must follow all infection control procedures outlined by the care home.
This includes undertaking a Lateral Flow Test that shows a negative Covid-19 result before entering the home, wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and only accessing areas of the home approved by the care home manager.
• According to the guidance, each resident can also have a visitor who is an ‘Essential Care Giver.’
• The care home manager will have the final say in who can visit inside the care home and when, in accordance with the government guidance.
• Inside visitors will be able to hold their family member or friend’s hand, but closer contact such as hugging is not, at this time, allowed. Visitors must follow care home staff guidance around infection control processes.
• Food and gifts can be brought in for the resident, but it must be in packaging that allows for it to be easily cleaned.
• You do not have to have been vaccinated to visit a resident inside a care home, but you must have a negative Lateral Flow Test result on the day of your visit.
• Your care home will be able to provide you with detailed information about how long inside visits can last and where they will take place in each Friends of the Elderly care home, so please contact your care home team for this information.

01 Ewelina Wagner

What safety measures are being taken?

We continue to strictly follow the guidance from Public Health England.

Additional to this:

  • We have a strict policy about what Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to wear in our homes.
  • We have a good central stock of essential items such as PPE across our homes and have never run out of PPE.
  • All members of staff have to wash their hands and change clothes when they enter our care homes.
  • Our homes always follow strict infection control and deep cleaning guidelines that cover all surface areas, from door handles to taps, to protect our residents, service users, staff and volunteers from infection.
  • We have a regular Covd-19 testing programme for staff and residents.
  • We have secure visiting areas for relatives and friends.
                                 (Picture of our care staff member on the right)

“Although things have been tough and the days long, I feel we have come together and learnt something new everyday. We have all shown tremendous strength and determination, and for that I am proud to be part of a charity that holds the wellbeing of our residents, and staff at the forefront of their decision making.”

Emma, Care Home Manager
Technology is a great way to widen your social circle

How have we been keeping our residents, service users, staff and volunteers connected?

We are proud to be a transparent, open and honest charity, an approach that has always served us well in our 100 years of operation.

  •  Our main commitment to relatives and our priority has always been to keep them fully informed of the situation and what we are doing to keep people safe. Whether be it an update about the full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) our staff are wearing, or information about how we are securing testing.
  • We have worked to keep our care home residents in touch with their family, friends and communities with a range of measures including video technology.
  • Our #MessageOfSupport campaign has seen supportive messages being sent to our residents from all around the world and from a range of people, from The Royal Family to wonderful messages from local children.
  • We are also running a new campaign called ‘It’s the Little Things’ which is a creative two-way communication designed to help our residents, care home teams, families and friends to keep in touch while they are missing each other. The platform allows them to express their own ‘little things’ as a way of sharing their love and affection whilst at the same time, looking towards the future and what they are looking forward to doing – together – once the lockdown has ceased.

 

What can I expect if I or my family member wanted to become a resident?

  • Admissions are open now. We are proud to say that we have an admissions policy which puts safety first.
  • We have worked hard to take advice on our admissions policy for new residents working with national policy organisations such as The National Care Forum.
  •  Any new resident will be required to isolate in their bedrooms for 14 days. However, our staff will be looking after them and continuously popping in for chats and cups of tea to ensure they receive the best care and are not alone.

What’s next?

We have created safe visiting areas across all our homes, ranging from log cabins to sealed rooms with screens.  We are committed to making sure that our residents’ benefit from seeing their family and friends – in the safest way possible.

As soon as we are able to, we intend to use the new Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests so that we can encourage regular visitors into our homes to see their relatives.

Finally, we are of course working locally with GPs and Public Health England to roll out vaccinations as they become available.

(Picture of our resident on the right)

"Their selfless professionalism, compassion and kindness is amazing. From our experience they have a total understanding of the very difficult position that residents' relatives are in at present and we have been completely reassured that they are doing everything possible to keep everyone safe. We are very appreciative and grateful for all they are doing.”

A family member

We are COVID-WISE. Thank you.

We are forever grateful to the people who have supported us with advice, donations and their time, allowing us the time to grow and learn and to become confident that we are COVID WISE. We can therefore continue to do what we do best, support older people to live fulfilled lives and to put people at the heart of all that we do.

Care homes in England

NCF’s COVID-19 Checklist for Choosing a Care Home>