Moving into a care home during Covid-19
We understand that whether it’s a short term break or long term stay, moving into a care home can be daunting at any time and particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although we have had to adapt our ways of working to ensure the safety of our residents and staff, inside every one of our care homes we want your loved one to feel comfortable and happy, make new friends and take part in meaningful activities.
Our experienced care teams are here to guide you through this journey, so families and their loved ones feel supported and have all the information they need. Please write down and ask as many questions as you like, we are here to ease your mind and ensure your loved one’s move in goes as smoothly as possible.
We’ve brought together some FAQs to help answer those important questions during the Coronavirus pandemic, so ‘moving day’ can be a stress free and happy experience for you and your loved one. We will be with you every step of the way, so you feel reassured in your choice of care home.
How can I reassure my loved one ahead of moving into a care home?
Moving into a care home can be an anxious experience for anyone and particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. Things can perhaps seem a little more worrying, but our aim is to make everyone feel safe and welcome in their new home and for this to be a positive experience, so everyone feels part of our ‘care family’.
Ahead of move in day, our team will make sure you are aware of our procedures so that everyone can feel reassured. We will be able to update you on our provisions of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing for residents and staff.
Before they move in you can support your loved one by talking about how they are feeling (even if you can only do this in a socially distanced way or via video or phone calls) and working together on plans for what they will take with them.
If you haven’t had a virtual care home tour our specialist Enquiry Team can organise this for you (see contact details below). This is a great way to ‘meet’ the manager as well as explore our care home facilities and see how we are enriching lives.
Once you have had a tour this will help to map the layout of the home so you can both familiarise yourselves with what to expect and to help build that connection with the home. Our care homes are made up of smaller communities and cared for by the same bubble of staff. A dedicated dining room and sitting room will be provided for each community and when in use, we will make sure that social distancing is maintained for your loved one’s wellbeing and safety.
What can we organise ahead of move in day?
To make the move as seamless and stress free as possible, start to make a list of chosen possessions your loved one might wish to take (if you can’t be together try to do this via video or phone calls). As well as clothes and personal items, it’s also worth thinking about how to enhance your loved one’s new living environment with things that represent their life story from the past and present. We have always encouraged this as it helps our staff to get to know your loved one quicker, for example photographs are a great talking point and comfort to our residents. It’s also worth checking directly with the care home what items you can bring.
What will happen on move in day?
On moving in day, you can bring your loved one to their new care home but please note only the resident will be able to come into our homes at this time. We understand this is may be emotional for you, but we hope you understand that the safety of all our residents and staff is paramount. You can read more detail about our new care home admissions steps here.
New residents can either self-isolate at home before moving into our care homes, or choose to self-isolate with us. But either moving in route they choose, you can rest assure that we will support them to settle into their new surroundings and unpack their personal items to make their room their own.
How can I make sure my loved is settling into their new home during the Coronavirus pandemic?
A great way to regularly stay in touch with your loved one is via the phone and through video calls. Our staff can help facilitate video calls using our iPads at a time to suit you both. Regular video calls are the perfect way to catch up and a great excuse for tea and cake together, reading a newspaper or book or playing their favourite music in the background. There are lots of creative ways to spend time together! If this isn’t possible for you, letters, posters and messages from friends and family also help residents feel loved and support their emotional wellbeing.
You can also visit a relative or loved one by pre-booking a visit appointment directly with the care home. We can offer garden visits, drive through visits and visits by an open window at a large number of our homes*.
All our homes have different designs and the majority have suitable outside space where you will be able to visit your relative or loved one in one of the following ways. Our Group Director for Sanctuary Care Sarah Clarke-Kuehn has shared in more detail about our socially-distanced care home visit options, click here to find out more.
Can I still be involved in my loved one’s care?
Yes definitely, we welcome that you are. You will have already had some input into creating an initial person-centred care plan for your loved one. This will help to build a picture of their likes and dislikes, and care reviews will take place periodically thereafter.
We want to make sure you feel connected to your loved one and the home during the Covid-19 pandemic, so please do not hesitate to ask our dedicated teams as many questions as you wish. For example, you may wish to know what food your loved one is enjoying from the menu, what activities they have been taking part in, the friends they have made. These are also great talking points when you have catch ups with loved ones.
If your loved one has dementia and you find you are struggling to communicate, speak to our trained staff who will be able to support you and your loved one to have regular catch ups on the phone or via video calls.
Read more about home-life during the pandemic on our news page.
You can also watch this informative video delivered by Sarah Clarke-Kuehn, Group Director for Sanctuary Care, which explains how we are protecting and supporting residents and our teams to stay safe in our care homes.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the home directly or call our dedicated Enquiry Team by calling our care home helpline 0800 917 0478.