Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance and Information
Coronavirus has turned many of our lives upside down, from job losses to additional caring duties, we are all having to change what we do and how we do it, to meet the needs of those that rely on us.
This is especially difficult for the elderly and those that suffer from mental illness, as they may not fully understand what is going on and why they can't go out. By this point in we all just want to get out and leave the house. This is normal, and understandable, but you should ensure you are taking the right precautions in order to keep you and those around you as safe as possible.
We have put together this guide for caring for loved ones during the Coronavirus crisis, complete with basic information, delivering care and how to work with carers. There are also links to pages that go into detail, so that you can understand the issues and safely continue with your life as well as ensuring that those you love have all the care they need.
Covid-19 Is an infectious disease. It was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and has since spread globally, resulting in an ongoing pandemic. As of 21 May 2020, more than 5 million cases have been reported across 188 countries and territories, resulting in more than 328,000 deaths. More than 1.89 million people have recovered.
If you are looking for more detail, you can read more at https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1.
COVID‑19 is a new disease, and many of the details of its spread are still under investigation. It spreads between people very efficiently and sustainably. Easier than influenza but not as easily as measles. This occurs mainly when people are in close contact The virus is primarily spread, most often, via small droplets produced by coughing, sneezing, and talking. The droplets usually fall to the ground or onto surfaces rather than travelling through air over long distances. Less commonly, people may become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their face. It is most contagious during the first three days after the onset of symptoms, although spread is possible before symptoms appear, and from people who do not show symptoms.
For more defined detail, check out the NHS website or go to: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/primary-care/about-covid-19/virus-transmission/
Common symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, and loss of smell. Complications may include pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. The time from exposure to onset of symptoms is typically around five days but may range from two to fourteen days. There is no known vaccine or specific antiviral treatment. Primary treatment is symptomatic and supportive therapy.
Some infected people have no symptoms, known as asymptomatic or presymptomatic carriers; transmission from such a carrier is considered possible. As at 6 April, estimates of the asymptomatic ratio range widely from 5% to 80%.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can be relatively non-specific; the two most common symptoms are fever (88 percent) and dry cough (68 percent). Less common symptoms include fatigue, loss of the sense of smell, loss of taste, shortness of breath, muscle and joint pain, sore throat, headache, chills, vomiting, coughing out blood, and diarrhea.
Among those who develop symptoms, approximately one in five may become more seriously ill and have difficulty breathing. Emergency symptoms include difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, sudden confusion, difficulty waking, and bluish face or lips; immediate medical attention is advised if these symptoms are present. Further development of the disease can lead to complications including pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, septic shock, and kidney failure.
For more detail and a professional review, go to: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/
Keep on Caring in Lockdown
As we get older, keeping the mind active and healthy is as important as maintaining physical fitness and strength. Mental health is also an essential part of being able to live independently. Participating in activities and games, both in and outside of the home, keeps the mind healthy.
Whilst in lockdown, interaction with family and friends is important. But activities to keep everyone happy and included are hard to come by at the best of times and are even harder when you’re all stuck at home. Online activities can be frustrating. Making sure everyone knows whats happening and when, hoping no one’s internet is going to fail… But there is a range of activities and games that you can all get involved with.
You can see our list of 12 activities for lockdown at: https://primecarers.co.uk/blog/12-lockdown-activities-to-do-with-distant-family/.
With technology taking over our lives, It has made it extremely easy to keep in touch with friends and family without seeing them in person. You may feel the erge to meet family in person, because over a video call is just not the same... But to keep everyone safe, you should stay away from elderly and vulnerable people, and anyone with the coronavirus. This of course doesn't mean you can not talk to them. Give them a call, or arrange a video chat. Although it's not the same, it can really brighten someone's day.
We talk about keeping in touch in our list of 12 activities for lockdown at: https://primecarers.co.uk/blog/12-lockdown-activities-to-do-with-distant-family/
You may be unable to find a carer during this time, or you may not want a carer coming in and out of your house to look after your loved one. In this case you may consider taking care into your own hands, just until we can move on from this pandemic.
If you do take care into your own hands, we have lots of free guidance on our site, you can also give us a call if you need some guidance. We do offer a range of carers to offer their help in caring for your loved one, but we know how difficult it is to take that care into your own hands, and so we want to help you as much as we can. And that is why we have guides for taking care into your own hands, so that you know you are not alone, and there is help out there.
You can see our guidance at: https://primecarers.co.uk/blog/delivering-care-as-a-family-member/.
How can carers keep you safe?
Caring for a loved one at home can be a daunting task, getting help can be costly and worrisome – which is why we want to help. Everyone should be aware of infection control; not just when you are caring for someone but also when looking after yourself. Infections can spread very quickly and easily to others. By knowing the facts and following our advice you can avoid infections, a serious yet avoidable cause of further illness.
The term infection refers to harmful microorganisms, which invade and multiply in the ideal environment that our bodies provide. This can be spread directly or indirectly.
Infection can result in serious immunological responses and noticeable physical symptoms at the site of infection.
You can find out more about infection control and PPE at: https://primecarers.co.uk/blog/keeping-loved-ones-safe-from-the-corona-virus-infection-control-at-home/.
If a patient has symptoms of COVID-19 and the carer does not have symptoms, the carer is recommended to:
- Wash thier hands thoroughly upon arrival.
- Wear disposable gloves and apron.
- Wear a mouth mask and/or face shield to reduce the risk of you contracting the infection.
- And wash their hands again before they leave
- Finally ensure relevant family members are informed of the patient's health so that they can be monitored.
If a carer has symptoms of COVID-19, they should inform theri clients. They should also:
- Self-isolate for at least seven days and until the symptoms have passed/recovery is evident.
- They should keep their clients fully up to date of their condition so that they can find a part time replacement.
If both the carer and patient have no symptoms Carers are recommended to:
- Follow normal hand washing protocols and wash hands when arriving and leaving the property.
- PPE – wear disposable gloves and disposable aprons. Masks may also be worn, definitley if requested by the client.
We also reccomend that carers get tested as an when that is possible to do so, in order to monitor their COVID-19 status.
When going into a clients home, carers pose a risk. To minimise this risk, most carers isolate when outside of work and, whilst in work, they only interact with isolated patients. They also practice infection cotrol proceedures to further minimuse the risk of any transmission. They can also get tested. If you are a carer, or if you want to help a carer get tested so that they can safley work with your loved ones. You can read or share the article in more detail here: https://primecarers.co.uk/blog/coronavirus-test/.