Should I continue home care services during COVID-19 restrictions?
It’s so important to look after your health while remaining at home. But some of our clients are concerned about what to do about in-home aged care services during COVID-19 restrictions.
At Empower Aged Care we’re continuing to help clients access home care services during the current pandemic. In-home services and healthcare are considered essential services and these important services can continue to be delivered during this time.
If you’re wondering if you should continue home care services during coronavirus restrictions, here’s what you need to know.
Concerns from older people and family
Many people would be aware the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 increases with age. Older people with severe health conditions or a weakened immune system can be particularly at risk.
Families might be nervous about inviting healthcare workers into the home fearing they could spread the virus.
Your concerns are understandable, and you can be assured stringent procedures are in place to minimise the risk of anyone contracting COVID-19.
Healthcare providers adhering to precautions
In-home care workers are always mindful of protecting the health of their clients. Home care services by nature are often helping individuals who are vulnerable to illness or chronic health conditions.
In-home care and health care includes assistance with daily tasks, such as: shopping, showering, dressing and cleaning. It also includes medical and health services such as: GP home visits, nursing and allied health.
Responsible health care means taking all possible precautions to address the health risks to patients and families.
Preventing COVID-19 transmission for in-home health care means strict adherence to:
- Hand hygiene
- Screening clients / staff for illness and responding to set procedures
- Use of PPE (personal protective equipment) as appropriate
- Social distancing as practicable
All home care providers follow government regulations and complete mandatory training, in addition to having their own policies and procedures.
Benefits of continuing home care during COVID-19 restrictions
It is more important than ever during COVID-19 restrictions that seniors continue to access in-home health care services. During periods of increased health risks, vulnerable individuals especially need to maintain welfare checks, access to home-based medical, allied health and home-based care services for wellbeing and continued management of any health conditions.
As healthcare workers, we’re seeing some individuals refusing to seek help in this period and they are experiencing poor health outcomes as a result.
Risks from not accessing usual care include:
- By not seeking medical advice or treatment promptly, your condition may deteriorate. It’s far better to contact your medical practitioner as soon as you need to, and know you’ll receive all the appropriate care with proper precautions in place.
- Living well becomes more difficult without help from essential services to manage day to day tasks like grocery shopping. In home services can absolutely continue, while putting in place measures like contactless delivery and social distancing where practicable, to keep everyone safe.
- Avoiding seeking help for functional decline or increasing falls can lead to more serious complications. Reduced mobility or untreated injuries don’t need to be suffered in silence. It’s ok, and important, to get help when you need it from in-home health and medical services throughout this period.
- Discontinuing welfare checks can be disastrous for vulnerable people in the event of a critical incident. It’s imperative to continue following the health and wellbeing plans you’d established already, to ensure you can access responsive healthcare quickly after an event.
During these difficult times, there are provisions in place to help seniors remain well at home such as:
- The government’s Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
- Home Care Packages
- Private Services
Additionally, new government initiatives address urgent and immediate care needs arising as a result of COVID-19. For more information refer to the ‘Assistance with food and meals for older Australians impacted by COVID-19’ fact sheet at www.health.gov.au/resources.
Still have concerns about continuing home care services during coronavirus restrictions?
If an older person’s circumstances have changed due to COVID-19, you can ask your home care provider to review the care plan and adjust your package of care and services.
You might find the following government resource useful: It’s OK to have home care
Where to get help for home care services during COVID-19 restrictions?
Empower Aged Care can provide a Holistic Aged Care Assessment which determines your need for home-based support. We provide a plan of action, correspond with your GP, healthcare providers and important family members, and we complete all the referrals for your home-based aged care services for you.
Having trouble navigating My Aged Care? Our My Aged Care Made Easy service takes the hassle away. We can carry out the referrals for you.
At Empower Aged Care we also offer ongoing Case Management, which supports you with regular monitoring of your healthcare situation and ensures you’re able to access the services to suit your needs.
Our assessment, case management and advisory services can be delivered remotely via video-conferencing if needed. We also continue to conduct home visits, while undertaking all the necessary COVID-19 precautions.
For expert advice on home-based aged care services, call Nicole Dunn 0404 444 985