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Relaxing the lockdown won't affect deaths in carehomes?

(55 Posts)
Heartbars Tue 28-Apr-20 19:52:57

Will it? Read on here today that schools shouldn't open because there are so many deaths in care homes.

The care home deaths are tragic and really upsetting but I genuinely can't see how sending kids back to school will affect them one way or another.

I've name changed as for some reason I am fully expecting lots of robust answers.

OP’s posts: |
LangClegsInSpace Tue 28-Apr-20 20:05:51

No it won't.

However while infection is so intense in care homes, care staff are extremely likely to catch the virus from residents and take it home to their families. Their kids then go to school and pass it on to other kids and teachers who take it home to their families ... give it a couple of weeks and we're back to square one.

FourTeaFallOut Tue 28-Apr-20 20:09:21

Care workers don't exist in their own bubble with the residents they care for so the level of community infection will remain a factor in care home deaths.

LangClegsInSpace Tue 28-Apr-20 20:10:21

As we come out of lockdown it's extremely important to be able to contain clusters of intense infection like care homes. Otherwise we'll end up with new clusters of intense infection like schools.

Heartbars Tue 28-Apr-20 20:11:27

Why do we think they are so infectious? I mean, staff must be used to practicing good hygiene?

OP’s posts: |
bigchris Tue 28-Apr-20 20:12:10

Care workers are often parents of young children, school age children doing shift work too

bigchris Tue 28-Apr-20 20:13:26

Heartbars, they take in patients recovering from hospital so it gets into care homes
They don't have adequate ppe
And it's like boarding schools, prisons etc, all living in close quarters

Heartbars Tue 28-Apr-20 20:16:22

I did not realise that bigchris, thank you

OP’s posts: |
starrynight19 Tue 28-Apr-20 20:16:38

Because care homes are unable to practice social distancing they will be unable to stop the spread.
Their staff return home pass it on to their family and kids go to school who again can’t practice social distancing and they infect other kids and staff.

Heartbars Tue 28-Apr-20 20:30:15

Is there no way they can practice social distancing? What about frontline NHS workers? Perhaps care home staff could live apart from their families (awful I know but i know some frontline NHS staff are doing this)

OP’s posts: |
SunnyStroll Tue 28-Apr-20 20:33:29

It would because staff would be more likely to bring it in.

Unfortunately I don't think that's enough of a reason to keep the country locked down indefinitely though. If you were to give most people the choice between staying alive in a care home or protecting the young people and children who will suffer immeasurably from the hardship that will follow this (which will also lead to deaths) I think they'd save the children.

Itisasecret Tue 28-Apr-20 20:55:15

Care home staff are amongst the most poorly paid in society. Not only that, they are disproportionately women who work around school hours. Many won’t have the opportunity to live away, do you honestly mean to come across as so detached from reality op?

Unshriven Tue 28-Apr-20 20:58:03

Itisasecret is right.

Derbygerbil Tue 28-Apr-20 21:01:14

Care workers don't exist in their own bubble with the residents they care for so the level of community infection will remain a factor in care home deaths.

Which is why the simplistic “just protect the elderly whilst we get on with life” argument against lockdown was so wrong and unworkable.

Gwenhwyfar Tue 28-Apr-20 21:04:23

"Is there no way they can practice social distancing?"

How?
How can you be someone's carer from 2m away?
What I heard one home was doing was having staff live in for a week then have a week self-isolating at home when the other shift lives in. It's a potential option, but pretty miserable for the badly paid staff.

Derbygerbil Tue 28-Apr-20 21:06:16

Is there no way they can practice social distancing? What about frontline NHS workers? Perhaps care home staff could live apart from their families (awful I know but i know some frontline NHS staff are doing this)

I know there are a few that do this, but it’s hard enough to recruit the thousands of carers needed in the first place...

How would you get the tens of thousands of mainly minimum wage workers to do this? Who would care for their families? Where would they stay even if they did?

It’s totally unrealistic and impractical.

Also, it doesn’t deal with the 100,000s elderly who are supported to live in their own homes.

Heartbars Tue 28-Apr-20 21:06:31

Many won’t have the opportunity to live away, do you honestly mean to come across as so detached from reality op?

I'm trying to work out the logistics of it!

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Derbygerbil Tue 28-Apr-20 21:07:30

Is there no way they can practice social distancing?

How do you social distance whilst wiping someone’s bum? confused

Derbygerbil Tue 28-Apr-20 21:10:16

Sufficient high quality PPE is the best way I think, along with readily available testing (which has been belatedly announces). It’s not foolproof, but should hopefully cut infections significantly.

LangClegsInSpace Tue 28-Apr-20 21:14:41

Is there no way they can practice social distancing?

Not really because they are providing personal care - washing, dressing, feeding, toileting etc.

Many of the residents also won't be able to practice social distancing with each other because they have dementia and won't understand the need to stay in their rooms. The huge changes to their routine, and all their carers being masked up, are likely to be distressing to them so they may become agitated and wander more.

Care homes are extremely short staffed as it is - they were even before this clusterfuck landed - so it's unlikely there would be enough staff who were able to live away from their families. And that solution still sacrifices the residents. It does nothing to control the spread of infection within homes.

If I was running this virus I would:

1) Immediately reverse the guidance that says care homes must accept new residents with covid

2) Test all residents and staff in any home with even one suspected case

3) A much better supply of PPE (yes I know it doesn't grow on trees)

4) repurpose the empty nightingales to take any care home resident who has the virus, and anyone else in a community residential setting or who otherwise cannot effectively self-isolate, however mild their symptoms.

Yes I know the nightingales are set up as ICU beds for ventilated patients. Refit them. Recruit less specialist staff and more general staff who can provide good care to people who are merely unwell and vulnerable. Added bonus - those whose symptoms take a nose dive on days 7-10 are in the best place possible to be immediately transferred to more intensive care or proper decent palliative care as appropriate.

Yes I know it can be incredibly distressing for people with dementia to be moved from the place they know into a hospital setting but the alternative is to let it rip through the care homes. When refitting the nightingales make some more homely spaces for those who are infectious but not too unwell - lounges and TV, run some activities etc. If they all have the virus there is no need to prevent them from socialising with each other.

That's what I reckon anyway.

ineedsun Tue 28-Apr-20 21:16:50

* Is there no way they can practice social distancing?*

Many residents in care homes have dementia so can't understand the need for social distancing. People with dementia often wander, at times in and out of rooms.

Social distancing isn't possible for residents or staff, and as others have said moving and handling people and providing personal care means getting very close up and personal.

vodkaredbullgirl Tue 28-Apr-20 21:18:57

It is easier said than done, not all care homes have places for staff to sleep. You cant social distance while looking after residents, Can't keep all residents in their rooms, especially with dementia.

Luckly both my dd's are adults, neither of them are able to work at the moment.

ParkheadParadise Tue 28-Apr-20 21:20:12

@Heartbars

Why do we think they are so infectious? I mean, staff must be used to practicing good hygiene?

From personal experience my mum was in a care home for 6 years. The staff never practiced good hygiene. They never wore gloves and never washed mum's or their hands when they took her to the toilet. They would feed residents with their filthy hands They spent their breaks sitting in the garden in their uniforms smoking.
I was not surprised to read they have had several deaths due to Corona virus.
I've never been so glad my mum passed away 2 years ago than be living through this time.

vodkaredbullgirl Tue 28-Apr-20 21:23:08

@ParkheadParadise that is awful, not all care homes are like that.

Parker231 Tue 28-Apr-20 21:24:24

Care home staff have their DC’s at school, they go food shopping and travel on public transport. Biggest risk to care home residents is those caring for them bringing the virus into a care home with elderly vulnerable residents. If the lockdown is lifted too soon, those care home staff will have a greater risk of getting and transmitting the virus.

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