Adults – over the age of 60, are at a greater risk of serious illness when contracting COVID-19; as explained by an infectious diseases fellow at Stanford University in California. Cells begin an aging process called “inflamm-aging,” during which cells become locked in a state of inflammation. There is then a difference in cell quantity and how they react to triggers around age 50. This may prevent older adults from controlling the virus initially because of an overly aggressive inflammatory response to the system. Therefore, the prevention of COVID-19 protocol which involves social distancing and hygiene measures is more stringent in the presence of elderly patients. Does this compromise the care that home nurses could provide to the elderly?
The pandemic has compelled the world into taking extra effort to practise basic hygiene such as washing hands with soap and water. We are told right from childhood to always wash our hands after playing, before eating, after using the toilet, and as often as possible. However, the world had seemed to overlook the importance of it until COVID-19. It is not only for people working in laboratories or hospitals, it is for everybody; children at school, adults at work and home nurses who dedicate their days caring for the elderly, hygiene is important.
Similarly, COVID-19 lockdowns brought testing times. Mental Health, physical fitness confined to homes, limited social interaction and even simple tasks such as purchasing groceries and paying bills became challenging. Elders and home nurses who are living in isolation and facing these life alterations found these circumstances very difficult.
How did Home Nurses at English Nursing do it?
Step 01 – When a nurse arrives at the elderly’s house, they sanitize their hands and shoes and then enter.
Step 02 – They go straight for a shower, after which they put on the new set of untouched uniform, socks and shoes, during this time they do not come in contact with the elder.
Step 03 – A fresh set of gloves, mask and apron are put on. They are now ready to begin their care.
Health experts have constantly reminded that the simple practice of taking a shower/hand washing with soap and clean water is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A protocol followed by nurses at English Nursing before any task is performed.
Similarly, the task of purchasing daily groceries was also diligently taken up by the home nurses, with strict hygiene protocols involved.
“Once we arrive back at the patients home the sanitisation process is stringent, first we sanitise all items. We are to have zero contact with the patient until all grocery items were put way. We then shower, change and put on a new set of gloves, apron and mask to begin our tasks, during this time an emergency method of communication is always kept with the elderly to keep in contact with us” says Chathurika, a home nurse at English Nursing Care.
Nursing is not only about the physical care that is provided, the current times took a mental toll on most elders as their children could not visit them, those living in Sri Lanka and abroad. Loneliness, frustration and anxiety was on the rise. Nurses play a vital role to provide emotional support to the patient. Talking to them, discussing what they are feeling like helps a lot. A gentle smile, constant assurance that circumstances will improve and reminiscing their childhood and young days relieve them from the negative thoughts. Nurses need to understand what the elderly need without them saying it. Eldercare is not only for physical care and medication, but for companionship and compassion.
Nurses and Care staff play a crucial role in fostering better lives for elders. To become a home nurse or for further information regarding English Nursing Care contact us on +94763165079 or visit their website www.englishnursing.com