New protocols have been put into place at old people’s homes in order to try and contain the spread of COVID-19, the government said through a statement on its website on Thursday.
Over the last few days, there has been a massive surge in COVID-19 cases, with plenty of these coming from old people’s homes, a very concerning fact due to the vulnerability of elderly people when it comes to the virus.
The statement reads that the “staff and the residents will be swabbed very frequently, whilst the temperature of every staff member will be taken twice every day”.
The government has also urged the workers of such homes to “be responsible” in their private life, and to consider the wellbeing of others during such a troubling time.
“All members of the staff will need to wear a mask at all times and hand-washing should be done whenever it is necessary. In order for this to be done proper enforcement is in place.”
In order to continue ensuring the safety of the elderly, the government is offering influenza vaccination to both the elderly residents and the workers, to try and reduce the possibility of other diseases being spread in the centres.
Also, the government state that each time a resident of an elderly home is swabbed, the management of the elderly home has to inform the family of the people in question of the whole process.
The statement also said that “those residents that will be entering the elderly home from the community, should kept in 14-day quarantine whilst the residents that return to the elderly home after being given certain care at the hospital should be kept in quarantine for five days.”
With regards to visits, the government has advised all elderly homes to follow all of the necessary protocols, with these being that masks and visors must be worn at all times, without there being contact with the elderly person in question, social distancing must be in place, and all communication must be done from behind the Perspex.
Another measure is that all elderly homes should be equipped with the necessary technology to allow “virtual communication between the elderly and their relatives”, along with people that are trained to help the elderly to use such technology.
Food that is brought from outside must be in containers that can be sealed and properly sanitised, and these should not be given directly to the residents, but to the workers at the elderly home instead.
The residents of the elderly homes should stay within their own group and should not stay with other residents in different floors and wards, so that residents can be kept in their own ‘bubble’.
Apart from this, hairdressing services will be offered to the residents, with the hairdressers following the protocols provided.
These measures come after a sharp rise in cases in elderly homes throughout the last few days, with 18 cases from the 49 reported on September 15 being from elderly home clusters.