Why it’s important to continue your home care services through COVID
Throughout this year, since the first outbreak of COVID-19, the health and safety of our clients and staff has been our priority. St Louis has taken the necessary protective measures in all aspects of our internal operations and the delivery of our home care services.
We have ensured that the following practices are in place and are continuously monitored:
- COVID-19 related online training made mandatory for all
- Logging all staff leave and COVID testing
- Strict policy on NO work if unwell and continuous monitoring of staff
- Social group activities and hydro postponed, 1:1 physio and social support activities to continue
- Phone reviews as an option for clients
- PPE stock continuously monitored and provided to staff
- All staff are supplied with hand sanitiser
- Welfare checks on clients and staff in contact tracing hot spots
- Industry alerts sent out to staff
- Screening questions prior to visits
The impact of COVID-19 is indefinite at this stage. We don’t know how long restrictions will continue, and they may go on for many months or even years. Having some help at home is more important now than ever to keep you safe and well. Maintaining continuity of your home care services will help you continue living at home with peace of mind and the help you need.
Your home care package is about supporting you and can be altered with services that you want and choose. Your home care coordinator will help you re-arrange or add home care services to make your home a COVID-safe space.
Did you know that people who use their home care package to full capacity have less hospital visits and live at home for longer? They also significantly reduce the chance of entering a nursing home.
We encourage all our home care customers to continue their home care services, and be assured that we are taking all necessary precautions. We’ve answered our home care clients’ most common questions clients below:
How have you adapted your home care services so that I remain safe?
- Care Workers– all Care Workers have undertaken online training courses from the Department of Health on COVID-19. This includes hands-on PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) training for donning (putting on) and doffing (taking off). We have a list of pre-screening questions prior to delivering any service at your home - e.g. “Are you feeling well today?” All Care Workers also have PPE on hand. At St Louis we have a strict policy of not coming to work if the staff member has flu-like symptoms and mandatory COVID testing if presenting with any symptoms. Social distancing is maintained whereever possible.
- Social programs – looking after the health of both your mind and body right now is essential for long term wellbeing. We’ve adapted all of our social programs to ensure our clients remain safe and comfortable. Our clients enjoy socialising together, it’s one of the main benefits of home care. For your safety, we’ve implemented social distancing protocols and appropriate activities to provide both enjoyment and safety at the same time.
- Exercise – Our exercise programs have been adapted with COVID-safe practices. We are meticulous with hygiene and disinfecting surfaces and equipment following the Department of Health guidelines. Social distancing is in place while we continue to support our home care clients to maintain their fitness and strength.
- Home services – general domestic services and help such as cooking, cleaning, gardening are continuing as normal but with COVID-safe practices.
- When you are out with a coordinator – we maintain social distancing where practical, we use hand sanitiser when we’re out and about, and wash hands whenever possible. We wipe down shopping trolleys and we avoid congested locations.
- Meetings with home care coordinators – we maintain social distancing, and we’ll check in with you before your meeting with the coordinator. Home support plan reviews can be done over the phone if a client is apprehensive with a face to face meeting.
- St Louis Office - the office has signs throughout as to how many people are allowed in a meeting room, office or training rooms. Offices still remain in lockdown so please call before you visit. We have a Pandemic Emergency Plan in place if required.
How do I stay social and maintain COVID restrictions?
Ask to meet with your home care coordinator in Adelaide or Victor Harbor. They can tailor a social program which can be a group activity or one on one Social programs are created based on what you’d like to do – outings, walks, coffee, the cinema, art galleries and anything else that makes you feel safe and happy.
Why is it important to resume my home care support plan?
Your health and wellbeing are very important on a daily basis. You’ll remain safe at home with our support. You’ll be able to continue your social programs and catch up with friends, maintain your fitness level with normal exercise routines, ensure that your nutrition at home is maintained, keep the cupboards stocked with healthy food, and maintain general order in your home.
Exercise is especially important right now as restrictions have reduced everyone’s mobility. Exercise will keep you stronger and prevent falls. Our physiotherapists are committed to ensuring our home care clients are doing the necessary exercises to maintain strength, flexibility and therefore balance. We recommend maintaining your fitness throughout this indefinite period of COVID restrictions, because it is much easier on your body to maintain your fitness than starting again to get it back.
What can I add to my home care program to make me more COVID-safe?
Some of our clients have added new services to their home support plans. These services can include home cleaning, one on one services, transport to visit your local GP, your physiotherapist, podiatrist or other health professional.
By having your care worker with you when you’re out and about, you don’t have to touch anything and can rely on your care worker to help you sanitise regularly.
Do you still have concerns? Make a time to meet with your home care coordinator
Call us to arrange a time to meet with your home care coordinator at St Louis Home Care Adelaide on 8332 0950, or at St Louis Home Care in Victor Harbor on 8551 1481. They will go through your ACAT home support plan and modify the services to your needs. They’ll ensure that your home care services will help you to live safely at home and that you’ll also be able to get out and about in the community when you want to.
If you don’t have a home care package yet, please give us a call. We’ll explain your options and the types of support services you can access for help at home. If you would like assistance with a home care package application, we can help you through this Home care packages can take up to eighteen months to be allocated so it’s a good idea to get the application process started sooner than later.