Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Care Homes: A Year In Lockdown

This month marks a full year since care homes had to close their doors for the safety of their residents. Lockdown restrictions that were first implemented in March 2020 meant that most care home visitations were forced to stop. Whilst some measures were eased briefly in the summer of last year, care home residents have largely lived without seeing loved ones, and without additional services such as music therapy and hairdressers, ever since. 

However, there is now hope that restrictions may soon come to an end. So now, after a year in lockdown, we look at the challenge these facilities have faced due to Covid-19.

Impact on Care Home Residents 

The Care Home Sector houses about 400,000 elderly people across the UK. And, in March of last year, life for many of these residents stopped virtually overnight. 

Restrictions during the first lockdown, which aimed to limit infections by restricting outside contact, led to a surge in loneliness in care homes. Many facilities that were once lively and atmospheric have been described as mundane by some, as health and safety have to take precedence over outside service that can improve comfort and wellbeing for residents. 

In addition, the deaths reported in the first lockdown were well above the level normally seen amongst care home residents which further highlighted the severity of the pandemic’s toll on this group.

Impact on Care Home Staff

The effects felt by care home staff over the past 12 months largely falls under notions of despair and disappointment. The loss of life and heavy damage felt on the wellbeing of residents has also hit social care staff, with higher infections levels and death rates throughout the profession. This has led to many workers feeling let down, with claims that care homes were underprepared when the crisis began a year ago and that guidance from officials was insufficient.

But, throughout the pandemic, care home staffs have had to adapt to constantly changing situations and have so effectively. From adapting visitations, including setting up meetings through screens and windows, to changing rules as well as more stringent hygiene and distancing measures, it has been significantly more demanding. After a year of such tough changes, this could result in more workers getting hit with fatigue and shifts in morale.

The Debate over Care Home Design

12 months of Covid-restrictions and three national lockdowns have also given rise to discussions about effective care home design. With the sector seemingly underprepared for the pandemic, calls for changes to make care homes safer from diseases whilst helping to support the mental wellbeing of residents has become louder. Such changes would involve a rethink of Care Home Furniture, facility layouts, safety procedures, and even Colour Design to improve services for staff and residents alike. 

A Brighter Future Ahead

In all, a year in lockdown could see the care home sector rethink many aspects after one of the most demanding times ever experienced in the healthcare industry. In a sense, we’re back where we started while everything has changed one way or another. With the introduction of vaccines and a roadmap to safety, we can together move successfully into a brighter future. 

You can find more information on furniture from Renray Healthcare by checking out Our Brochures, or by Getting In Touch Here.

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