Balancing employment and a loved one’s care needs when lockdown ends

13 June 2020

After what may have been weeks or even months of either working from home or being furloughed as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as an employee you may now be faced with returning to your workplace. If you have been caring for an older, disabled or unwell relative during lockdown, this adjustment may be particularly difficult and leave you with the dilemma of how your loved one will be looked after when you’re back at work.

Being an employee and a family carer

As many family carers know, balancing work with caring commitments is incredibly difficult. Working from home is usually the best way to do this, but of course that’s not possible for all employees. If your loved one has a progressive condition like dementia, you may also find your work time is being increasingly cut short by trying to meet your loved one’s needs.

Many family carers end up leaving work to provide their loved one’s care, but of course in these extremely difficult times for the economy in due to lockdown and with so many people facing unemployment, maintaining your job is likely to be vital as you look to navigate your way through these unprecedented times.

Are you considering domiciliary care or a care home?

Many employees seek to continuing working by making professional care arrangements for their loved one, although this is often a minefield. The most widely recognised options are:

  • Domiciliary care, where carer workers come to your loved one’s home for timed visits that aim to meet the most urgent needs the person has.
  • A care home, which would mean your loved one leaving their home to live in a communal environment (and if your loved one is a home-owner, their home may potentially need to be sold to pay for this).

The main issues with domiciliary care are:

  • Visits that aren’t always long enough to provide the support your loved one needs.
  • Questions over what happens in the periods when care workers aren’t visiting (the potential for falls or other difficulties as your loved one struggles to manage alone, and of course isolation and loneliness when they are on their own).
  • Many different care workers visiting, which can make forming trusting relationships difficult.

The main concerns most families have with care homes are:

  • How safe their loved one might be with coronavirus (COVID-19) having badly hit care homes during the lockdown period. Communal living environments are unfortunately very vulnerable to outbreaks of any infectious disease, and with a lack of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for staff, residents are often at a high risk of becoming unwell.
  • Issues over adequate staffing in care homes, and how much continuity of care and personalised support can be offered in what are very challenging times for the care home sector.

Live-in care as an alternative to domiciliary care or a care home

The third choice that you may not even realise exists is live-in home care. This is where a highly vetted and trained professional care worker comes to live with your loved one (and you and/or other family members if the person doesn’t live alone) to provide the care and support that you (and possibly other family members) were giving prior to going back to work.

It’s a safe, affordable option that means your loved one remains in their own familiar environment and can continue to socially isolate with their live-in carer if this is recommended for them as lockdown is slowly lifted. Importantly, with just one well-matched live-in home care worker to get to know, your loved one and you are able to form a trusting relationship with this care professional that will last for up to 6 weeks at a time before the live-in care worker (having handed over your loved one’s care to a colleague) will take a break.

This type of care can give you peace of mind and confidence knowing that your loved one is being supported and isn’t lonely when you are back at work.

Promedica24 can help you and your loved one

We are a fully managed care provider regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), offering a wide-range of live-in home care services from companionship to complex care and end-of-life care. We are able to support specific conditions too including:

If you are wondering what level of care your loved one needs, try our online Care Assessment Tool to answer those questions.

We appreciate that many employees may be looking to arrange care quickly as lockdown is lifted. With this in mind, our regional partners (with appropriate PPE) aim to visit the home of your loved one within 24 hours of your enquiry to carry out an initial assessment of your loved one’s needs. Soon after this, one of our highly experienced care managers (also with appropriate PPE) will visit your loved one to create a detailed care plan that takes into account all of your loved one’s needs and wishes.

Following this, we will carefully match one of our live-in care workers to your loved one and begin the introductory process, which includes going through your loved one’s care plan in detail. We will continue to check on your loved one’s care closely in the days afterwards to ensure everything is running smoothly, before switching to regular reviews thereafter. Read our step-by-step guide to how our live-in care works to find out more.

For further information or to arrange your first visit from one of our regional partners, please see our website: https://www.promedica24.co.uk, get in touch with our team on 0800 086 8686 or email: care@promedica24.co.uk.


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