In the light of the current situation regarding Coronavirus Covid-19, we’d like to keep you informed of the steps we are taking to protect our clients, our community and our team.
We have always operated a “self-isolation” policy for all team members visiting clients to minimise the risk of passing on the usual seasonal infections. As our clients are most at risk of harm from Covid-19 we have taken the following additional steps:-
- All team members will vigilant for possible infection in ourselves, in people with whom we live closely and any other people to whom we are exposed. Any possible sign of Covid-19 infection in ourselves or others to whom we are exposed is a trigger for home isolation for at least seven days.We have instituted all the strict hygiene practices following Government and Public Health England guidelines, including a no-touch policy and observing social distancing of at least one and preferably two metres.
- We have prohibited attendance at all unnecessary networking meetings, conferences, seminars and general community activities including our Dementia Friends Information sessions.
Our client work falls into three distinct areas:
- In our client’s home with the client present
Our clients in this category have full capacity and will make their own decisions about whether or not to continue with TimeFinders’ sessions or to pause. We will ask every client if they want us to attend on each occasion. Most of our clients do still want us to visit and are reassured by our presence. Where we visit we will implement strict hygiene practices, a no-touch policy and social distancing. Where our work is Continuing Support rather than preparing for a house move, a frequent telephone call may be preferable.
- In clients’ homes without clients present
There is much lower risk here and work can continue normally with heightened hygiene practices.
- In residential care
For our clients in residential care we are obliged to abide by the policies of each individual care home. However, we are visiting because our clients need us to provide reassurance and personal interaction and the absence of our specialist support can trigger intense anxiety, depression, distress and sometimes anger. We are aware that our support has often reduced the necessity for heavy medication which itself has had a very beneficial effect on our clients’ well-being. As most of our clients in residential care have diminished capacity, they will not be able to understand our absence and might not be able to gain the support and reassurance necessary via telephone or skype communication.
Where care homes ban visits from family and friends, we reassure them of our policies regarding COVID-19 and encourage them to use a degree of creativity in facilitating safe visits. This could be meeting our clients in the garden when the weather permits (observing social distancing and accessing the garden directly rather than walking through the care home etc.) In extremis, this might necessitate speaking with our clients through a window.
Where all visits are banned outright, we must seek to maintain contact with our clients via telephone and skype and encourage care home staff to support our residents to use this type of communication with us. We will write regular bulletins with photographs etc. if our clients are at a stage where this will be welcomed and understood.