Caring for Relatives During Lockdown
Caring for relatives during lockdown is worth giving some consideration and planning.
Much has been made of visiting relatives in care homes during lockdown, but what should you do in the community?
The guidance is clear that you can continue to travel to provide essential care to the vulnerable.
It’s also clear that you can visit relatives in care homes during tier 4 restrictions. The government deems visiting relatives an essential part of care home life, and crucially deems visiting as a part of essential care and support in the same way as home care visits.
This guidance can be taken to mean visiting relatives in the community who are already supported by a care provider must also form a part of essential care.
What the guidance recommends is for an emergency plan to be drawn up to ensure that care for vulnerable can continue uninterrupted, should you not be able to continue caring for relatives during lockdown
At Nouveau Care, we have frequently seen support networks break down throughout lockdown, as family members get ill themselves and can no longer visit.
Often, these support networks are quite tenuous – some people rely on family members to organise grocery shopping online for them regularly or manage money, for example, with little by way of regular communication.
It’s important, then, to have a backup plan if you think support networks might be disrupted by Covid 19.
One solution would be to engage a care provider for ‘welfare check’ visits in order to have some action taken if support did break down in this way. You could then be sure that someone would be caring for your relatives during lockdown, even if you could not.
You might also engage other family members who might ordinarily be less involved in the care network to pick up the support if necessary.
What is vitally important is for everyone to be especially vigilant for the signs of somebody close by being cut off from their support network.
Clearly the guidance is open to some interpretation, and how long and how frequent visits should be will decided by families themselves to some extent.
At Nouveau Care we have seen some support bubbles choose to visit quite frequently and some decide that not visiting at all is the safest and most considerate approach.
We are in agreement with the government guidance – social support forms an essential part of any care package for people otherwise isolated in their communities.