The whole world is focused on the brave front line key workers fighting the coronavirus at the moment – and rightly so! One such role critical to the battle against the pandemic is that of home carers.
Protection is vital not just for home carers themselves, but those they work for too – make sure you have your home carer protection essentials!
The Risks Currently Involved in Working in Home Care
The nature of home care is that carers are unable to follow the government guidelines on social distancing, as their duties simply can’t be carried out from a 2m distance. The risks, therefore, are two-fold to carers: firstly that they contract the virus from a person for whom they are caring that is infected with it, and secondly that they ‘carry’ the virus and pass it on to someone for whom they are providing care at home. As those requiring a home carer often fall into vulnerable health categories, both have the potential to be dangerous.
In order to best avoid either contracting the virus from others or infecting others with it, sufficient home carer protection measures should be followed at all times.
Protection Measures a Home Carer Can Take
The government has set out guidelines for social and care workers regarding the use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) while working. The government measures include, but are by no means limited to:
- Gloves and Protective Aprons – Home carers often wear gloves for specific duties anyway, but use may currently extend beyond that considered basic. Disposable gloves should be changed after every human contact and with the latest research showing that the virus is able to live on hard surfaces, they should also be used when touching anything in the home. Aprons need to be changed less often but are also always to be considered single use as per SICPs (Standard Infection Control Procedures).
- Hand Sanitiser – There are many circumstances within which a home carer may wish to wash their hands but are unable to. In these situations, hand sanitiser gel is recommended as an easy way to detox the skin of bacteria and allow for an efficient resumption of duties. It is acknowledged that hand sanitiser is currently difficult to purchase – but lots of high street retailers will help as they can when presented with professional identification.
- Fluid Protection Surgical Mask – Should a FPS mask be required, it may be used for a single session of patient work rather than disposed of after every duty. However, these should always be changed between individuals.
- Personal Lunchbox and Water Bottle – Travelling to a shop to purchase a single meal is now considered inessential and so goes against government advice – not to mention, of course, that it immediately exposes you to more germs. Home carers should, therefore, travel with their lunch, drinks and any snacks, and only consume them in the privacy and safe space of their own vehicle.
Are you interested in a job in home care? Find out more about working in home care and the opportunities that we have available in and around Epsom at AM2PM Quality Care.