To help protect care home residents, staff & visitors from Covid-19, the Government has advised that new residents should be isolated for 14 days in their rooms.
This may bring many questions for care- seekers such as 'what does isolation entail?' or 'are there any exceptions?'
This article intends to give you the answers you are looking for.
14-day Isolation FAQ
"What does the 14 day isolation period entail?"
Inline with guidelines, all new residents who have been discharged from hospital, interim care facilities or are being admitted from the community are required to isolate for 14 days in their room upon arrival at a care home.
The reason behind the 14 day isolation period is because older people are particularly vulnerable to contracting the virus and often have a weakened immune response. Though it seems extreme, the regulation has been put in place with care home residents best interests at heart & to protect them and everyone else in the home from being struck down by Covid-19.
Please note that care homes approaches to the 14 day isolation period may vary. For example:
- Sanctuary Care has given new residents a choice between isolating at the care home for 14 days in their room or completing 11 days of isolation in the comfort of their own home followed by a Covid test and then moving to the care home, completing the remaining 3 days isolated in their new room.
- Caring Homes are currently allowing 1 visitor per day (with PPE) once they have received a negative swab upon arriving at the care home.
- Sunrise Senior Living and Gracewell Healthcare are doing rapid testing meaning 5 tests in 5 days starting pre-admission so that there isn't an isolation period (depending on whether the home has Covid or is area dependant).
"My parent needs end of life care, will I be allowed to visit within the 14 day isolation period?"
The Government has advised that visits to end of life residents should always be enabled due to exceptional circumstances, in all tiers. This includes to residents who are within their 14 day isolation period at a care facility, and in the event of an outbreak of Covid-19 in the care home.
Both residents and their families should be supported by the care home to plan end of life visits deliberately with the assumption that visiting will be enabled to happen not just towards the very end of a persons life.
"If my relative has already completed an isolation period away from the care home, will they still have to isolate when they arrive at the home?"
If a new resident has already completed 14 days of isolation in another setting, it will be under the individual care homes discretion as to whether they wish the resident to complete a further 14 day isolation period. We recommend that you ask this question to the care home you are enquiring to in order to find out what their policy is at present.
In the case that your loved one has completed part of the isolation period in another setting, as a minimum the care home will ask a resident to isolate in their rooms for the remainder of the 14 days.
"Are care homes accepting new residents who have Covid-19 and if so does the 14-day isolation still apply?"
Some care homes are accepting new residents who have Covid-19 or symptoms though it depends from home to home. The Government have advised that care homes will not be forced to accept a new resident who has tested positive if they are not able to cope with the impact of the person's illness for the duration of the isolation period. We recommend that you contact the home directly to ask if you are looking for care for someone who has Covid-19.
In some cases, hospitals are discharging patients within the 14 day isolation period who are not requiring in-patient care but do require ongoing social care. People in this position will have a positive result on their discharge documentation and will need to be isolated in their new care facility until they have completed the recommended 14 day isolation period.