What to Expect When Moving into a Care Home During Lockdown

We are now months into the COVID-19 pandemic and the regulations are gradually beginning to lift. This article will help you understand what to expect when moving someone dear to you into a care/nursing home during the current circumstances.

Read on to find out about how assessments & admissions have changed and what to expect next.

Assessments

  • No longer face-to-face

Before the lockdown, where possible a care needs assessment on a prospective resident would be carried out in person so that the assessor could fully understand the persons' requirements. However, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and in turn, protect the existing residents at the home, assessments are predominantly being carried out over the phone.

UPDATE 9/9/2020

According to government guidance, it still may not be possible or necessary for assessments to be carried out face-to-face so local authorities should consider whether they should be delivered through other means, taking into consideration an individuals cognitive needs, communication needs and mental capacity. These means include the use of trusted assessors, supported self-assessments where family members or advocates help the individual complete the assessment document, or telephone/video call assessments.

  • Coming from hospital

If a prospective resident is coming straight from the hospital, all necessary paperwork will be completed over the phone with the hospital discharge team and ward staff along with input from the GP.

  • Coming from home

Should a prospective resident be coming from their home, their family members will be asked to organise for their GP to fill in a questionnaire about the persons' care needs. A family member may also need to with their loved one at a set-time to go through a telephone assessment with the care provider.

Admissions from Hospital

  • COVID-19 test

In the case that a prospective resident is being admitted to the home straight from hospital, they will need to be tested for Covid-19. It is important that the test comes back as negative so as to not bring the virus into the home, especially if the home doesn't have any cases.

UPDATE 9/9/20

According to government guidance, a small number of people may be discharged from hospital within the 14 day period from the onset of COVID-19 symptoms needing ongoing social care but not in-patient care. They will have been COVID-19 tested and will have a confirmed positive result which will be included in their discharge documentation.

No care home will be forced to admit an existing or new resident to their home if they are unable to cope with the impact of the individual's COVID-19 illness for the duration of the isolation period.

  • Isolation period

As a precautionary measure, all new residents in care homes will need to isolate in their room for 14 days upon arriving at the home even if they have tested negative for Covid-19. This is to ensure that if they begin to display symptoms of the virus, they will not have had contact with other residents.

UPDATE 9/9/20

New residents are still required to isolate in their rooms for 14 days upon admission to a care home unless the person has already completed the 14 day isolation period in another setting (it will be up to the home's discretion whether they wish the resident to undergo a further 14 days of isolation) or if the person has already undergone part of their isolation in another setting, they may only be required to complete the remaining days in isolation.

Admissions from Home

  • COVID-19 test

Similarly to care home admissions from hospital, prospective residents coming to the home from home will need to test negative for Covid-19 before being admitted.

UPDATE 9/9/20

Some care homes can now accept COVID-19 positive residents, although they will not be forced to if they are unable to cope with the impact of the individual's COVID-19 illness for the duration of the isolation period.

  • GP Questionnaire

If a prospective resident is being admitted from their home, it will need to be arranged by their family for their GP to fill in a questionnaire about the persons care needs. This will help the home understand the extent of the persons' care requirements and allow them to prepare.

  • Isolation period

As with admissions from hospital, residents who have moved to the care home from home will be required to isolate in their room for 14 days just incase they begin to show signs of Covid-19.

UPDATE 9/9/20

New residents are still required to isolate in their rooms for 14 days upon admission to a care home unless the person has already completed the 14 day isolation period in another setting (it will be up to the home's discretion whether they wish the resident to undergo a further 14 days of isolation) or if the person has already undergone part of their isolation in another setting, they may only be required to complete the remaining days in isolation.

What else to expect...

  • Carers/Nurses in care homes will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the residents. We recommend that you explain this to your loved one before they move into the home so that they are not alarmed.

You are likely wondering what the next steps are expected to be?

As the weeks go on, one thing is certain, care/nursing homes will continue to adapt their working practices. Some homes are beginning to allow socially distanced garden visits and where safe to do so have designated areas inside the home for visiting.  Social distancing is likely to remain until a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19 is found. However, in a short space of time, care/nursing homes are heroically adapting and doing all they can to protect their residents and stay in touch with family members.

Are you looking for support with finding a care/nursing home for a loved one? We can help!

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