Covid-19 advice for Independent Living customers - Sheltered and Extra Care schemes

Following the prime minister’s Covid-19 speech on 10 May, the government has updated guidance and regulations relating to the restrictions currently in place.

We have carefully considered the guidance and communicated with our customers about restrictions we have implemented within our Independent Living Schemes. The result of this is that at this present time there can be no change.

The health and safety of our customers and colleagues is as always our priority and we are led by the government and our risk assessment. We will keep the measures under constant review and adapt as the situation changes.

We're working to ensure your homes are as safe as possible during the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

We understand that many of you will be feeling anxious and concerned during this uncertain time and we want to reassure you that we are here to support you.

The latest Government legislation and guidance means that we will need to continue to do things differently for our Independent Living customers. This means that the changes you have recently seen implemented will need to remain in place for the foreseeable future until the government changes the current arrangements.

This means that the following will need to remain in place

  • All our Independent Living Sheltered and Extra Care schemes will remain closed to non-essential visitors. We understand that this is an uncertain time for you and your family. We also do appreciate that this will affect you, however we have had to take these actions to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. Your safety is our priority and at the heart of any decision we make
  • The communal areas will remain unavailable for residents to use
  • Usage of communal areas by external agencies remains suspended for foreseeable future
  • All our guest rooms will remain closed, and no bookings will be accepted
  • Posters will be displayed within the communal areas informing you of the current control measures, including restrictions, that are being implemented within our communal areas
  • We are continuing to work very closely with our catering providers, where applicable, and in most cases the onsite food providers have moved towards delivering meals to your front door if you receive this service

The Service the Independent Living Team will provide

  • Our Independent Living Team will continue to offer a service however the service delivery will follow guidance around social distancing. Our Independent Living Officers will not be holding face to face meetings, will not be entering your home and presence at schemes will be reduced. However, the Independent Living Team will maintain all contact with you via telephone or email. These calls are a chance to discuss with your Independent Living Team any concerns you have and seek any support you may require in terms of access to food and supporting agencies within your local area
  • Please be assured that any regulatory health and safety checks within the common areas of schemes will be completed in line with the law wherever possible. We ask you respect the social distancing guidelines during these times, which is to remain at least two metres apart from others as much as possible
  • Cleaning services will still be provided under social distancing measures. In the event of the need arising for deeper cleaning or more specialist cleaning to be undertaken at a scheme, arrangements are in place for this to take place. Please be aware if the need did arise to undertake a specialist form of cleaning called ‘fogging’, advice would be provided to inform you of when it will take place and what further restrictions would be necessary during the period of treatment
  • May we also ask that you test your personal alarm (if you have one) to ensure this is working correctly. Please report any issues to our Contact centre on 0333 400 8222
  • Please be aware that lift call handlers are currently receiving a high number of calls. At present they are having difficulty answering those calls from lifts as quickly as usual, due to the impact of COVID-19. We are working with our lift call handlers and hope to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. It is important to us that you all remain safe. Please take extra care when using lifts within our buildings. Please wear your lifeline, keep a mobile phone with you and call 999 if you do not get a response when pressing the alarm button in the lift

Communal Laundry Facilities 

The communal laundry facilities will remain open. If you do use a communal laundry, please continue to follow the below steps to minimise the risk of infection:

  • Please only enter the communal laundry if there is no one else using the facility
  • The laundry should only be used by one household (with a maximum of two people) at a time
  • Be considerate of others and use the facilities as quickly and efficiently as possible
  • Do not use the communal laundry if you are unwell or self-isolating

Public Health England also advises:

  • If dirty laundry has been in contact with someone who is ill, you should wait a further 72 hours after the 14-day isolation period has ended before washing your laundry in communal facilities
  • Wash items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an unwell person can be washed with other people’s items
  • Do not shake dirty laundry, as this can disperse the virus through the air
  • Clean and disinfect anything used for transporting laundry with your usual products
  • Items that are heavily soiled with bodily fluids, for example vomit or diarrhoea, should be disposed of and not washed in communal facilities

The government is recommending that we all follow the Public Health England advice on social distancing below:

Avoid public areas, public transport and taxis and do not have visitors in your home. Order food or medicine or ask someone to drop them to your home instead of going yourself. You can go outside for a walk but stay two metres away from others.

  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home in your flat for seven days from when your symptoms started
  • If you are aged over 70 or have underlying health conditions and develop a persistent cough or high temperature over 37.8C please contact the NHS
  • If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for seven days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
  • For further up to date advice please visit government guidelines  www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people

The advice provided by the government is likely to change, therefore please continue to check for updates. The most up to date advice can be found on www.gov.uk or www.nhs.uk.

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