COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
1. My family member is a resident in one of your Care Homes. Can I visit them?
The situation concerning COVID-19 has evolved since the lockdown towards the end of March 2020, but now some restrictions are being gradually eased (with unknown consequence at this stage). Whilst we have always wished that we would never have to limit visitors to the home, especially those nearest and dearest to our residents, it was a step that we have to take in the interest and wellbeing of all concerned.
It almost goes without saying that this must have been an incredibly hard and emotional time for you and your families, but we have tried to integrate alternative communication tools to maintain social wellbeing during this challenging period. Through the lockdown period, we encouraged you to stay in touch with your loved one via the phone and social media. We have iPads in the home and as per the preferences of several relatives/friends/representatives, we have arranged for a numerous amount of video calls. Our residents really valued the letters, posters and messages of encouragement from friends and the community and they certainly brought a smile to the staffs’ faces during this time. It is heartening to see the resilience and steadfastness of our Langdale Family (as we like to call it for all those that are connected to our journey).
Even though these are strange time, we would like to ensure you that we are striving, using/engaging a vast amount of time and expertise to provide the highest quality of care to your loved one(s). We aim to build further positive relationships both in and out of the home that will contribute to ‘Dignified Care, Inspired Living’ for those that reside with us.
We are an early stage of easing lockdown as a nation and we appreciate that the modifications of the lockdown rules now enable family members to visit relatives outside (unless specifically shielded).
Although the COVID-19 risk is reducing for the majority of the population, most of the people we support are not only over 70, but often over 85 and living with underlying health conditions. This places them under the ‘vulnerable’ group of adults at increased risk of catching the COVID-19 infection and a higher likelihood of having serious medical complications as result of this.
Visiting another person’s household is not yet de-restricted and we continue to await specific guidance from the Government in respect to visitations for care homes.
However, we are looking at visits outdoors, when the weather is suitable, with reasonable limitations.
Decisions about visiting will always be made following consultation with the resident concerned, their next of kin/power of attorney for health & wellbeing and visiting family members/friends. Key personnel within our staff team will also be involved in this process and the allocated member of staff will likely facilitate visitation within the scope of our duty of care.
Please be assured we will be doing everything possible to make sure residents, staff, volunteers and off course, all visiting individuals are not put at any unnecessary risk. We will continue to update you on our plans as we finalise them. As soon as we are able to start allowing visitors in safely, then we will let you know.
We are continuing to, so far as is reasonably possible accommodate visits from healthcare professionals to the home.
As you are no doubt aware, we have already had confirmed cases of Covid-19 in a number of our care homes. Where possible, you will already have been informed via phone or email if the home your loved one is in has any confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases.
We have also sadly lost some of our loved residents to the virus. Our thoughts are with the families at this time. They will most definitely be missed, especially by all those who developed relationships with them in the time they resided with us.
2. How can you guarantee the level of care for my family member at this time?
Our fantastic staff teams, volunteers and key decision makers are working together around the clock to ensure our residents are receiving the necessary care and support, so please rest assured your loved ones are in compassionate and caring hands.
Unfortunately, some of our colleagues are off work due to shielding, self-isolation or they, sadly, have become symptomatic. We are working really hard to support our homes and have launched multiple, regionally based recruitment drives to ensure that staffing levels are maintained. They are then trained, made aware of our key policies and procedures and ready to step in and continue delivering quality service levels.
In addition, our homes continue to follow our strict policies on infection control as well as guidance from Public Health England. If we have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in any of our homes, then we will isolate the resident and care for them in their own room, ensuring we do our utmost to meet all their activities of daily living. Carers will off coursed wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and operate in line with our stringent processes.
3. Are all your Homes practising social distancing?
In order to provide personal care and support, our staff are required to be in very close proximity to our residents. Carers will also be close to multiple residents each day. Many of our residents are living with dementia and are unable to practice social distancing, which is why we have strict hygiene protocols in place.
The management teams in each home regularly prompt their staff teams to maintain social distancing and relevant signage are being placed in each site.
In terms of how we operate within each home, we continue to adhere to the latest Government guidance on residential care provision.
4. My family member is on end of life care. Can I be with them?
We are making an exception on compassionate grounds to enable people to visit a loved one in the very last days of life, where possible. In these circumstances two visitor is permitted per day as agreed with the person in charge of the home. For their own safety, the visit will be restricted to their loved one’s room (taking the most direct path to that room) and will be advised by staff to wear the necessary PPE and maintain social distancing at all times. All visitors in these circumstances must wash their hands thoroughly on entry to the building and upon leaving the building. Hand sanitising outlets will be accessible at the designated PPE station(s) to be used in
Anyone who is self-isolating because they, or a member of their household have symptoms of COVID-19 MUST NOT VISIT under any circumstances.
There will no unannounced visits. All visits MUST be arranged (with a member of the management team/person in charge) over the phone in advance.
5. Do you provide sufficient PPE to your Homes?
We want to assure you that we are able to make sure that all of our sites have sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our employees and residents. Furthermore, we are able to re-allocate and move supplies between our services. With this being said, it does not take away from the fact that resources are scarce and the current distribution and allocation mechanisms need to be addressed by the Government as a matter of urgency.
We are constantly reviewing our stocks to ensure all our homes have sufficient and suitable PPE in situ. We are actively following the Public Health advice on the use and types of PPE including when to wear face masks and which type of gown or apron to use. Please be assured the health and safety of our colleagues and residents remains our top priority.
The current PPE items we have access to include: N95 FFP2 equivalent face masks, nitrile/vinyl gloves, face shields, disposable overalls and shoe cover.
6. My loved one is due to move into one of your homes. Can we visit the home when the admission in taking place? Are we able to enter the home to gain familiarity of the surrounding environment?
Yes, you will be able to arrange a viewing of your care home of choice, but there are certain restrictions in place to ensure the ongoing safety of our residents and members of staff.
You will be able to visit communal areas within the home (lounge, dining areas for example) but visits to some floors and resident bedrooms will be restricted. The exact itinerary for a tour will be confirmed on the day of your visit by the care home manager.
Only one visitor at a time will be permitted entry to the building for enquiry purposes and we do expect government guidelines to be adhered at each of our Langdale Care Homes sites. Our face masks must be worn and individually wrapped face masks will be provided for use. If you prefer not to wear our face mask, you must wear a mask of N95 FFP2 equivalent or superior as form of protection.
We can accept visitors as part of the new admission process. We will only permit one visitor to oversee the new admission process (should it be deemed necessary by either party) and all other restrictions to external visitors currently remain the same.
There is the facility of a virtual tour on request, however this must be planned in with the home management team/person in charge and cannot be catered to on immediate request. During your virtual tour, we can show you the bedroom of your loved one, talk about mealtimes, our activities available, introduce you to some staff and give you a general flavour of day to day life.