Although most information on the coronavirus remains to be difficult to decipher, the previous months have made one thing clear—it’s fatal to the older populations. As such, care homes are dealing with more stress than manageable, particularly when it comes to older and more frail residents.
Death is a common occurrence in their halls, which can be prepared for and managed well by attentive care and nursing staff. They regularly have to deal with grief and parting with those who have passed, leaving them with enough experience regarding death. However, death remains to be difficult to deal with.
And with the current COVID-19 causing fear and wreaking havoc, death has become even more frequent, causing care and nursing staff to feel more distressed than ever. Topped with the fear and risks of spreading the virus, loss and grief has been magnified in more ways than one.
Residents now die in a short amount of time, mostly alone. Part of the care staff’s role is to provide support as their residents near death ensuring that they are comfortable and relieved from any painful symptoms. As a result, they’re able to send these people off with dignity and care, surrounded by their loved ones.
With contact restrictions and personal protective equipment (PPE) in the way, such care can no longer be applied. As a result, these care staff can only watch in agony, later haunting their mental health. They’re also left to deal with equally distressed families, all of whom have no chances of seeing their loved ones one last time.
With all things said, it’s no wonder that care staff and nurses are now stumbling towards a dangerous road—mental health repercussions.
Creating A Supportive Environment
Even among care staff and healthcare professionals, the death of a patient does not come easy and they are prone to feeling overwhelmed during this time. With that being said, creating a protective and supportive environment is paramount. These times highlight the importance of being supportive through words and actions and being available to help.
During these times, it’s important to highlight clear communication with care staff. Clear and regular communication can help decrease the negative feelings caused by uncertainty, and it can also help the staff know that what they’re feeling is normal. Opting for a buddy system can open up a communication channel for care staff that otherwise would be too overwhelmed to reach out.
Self-care is always important for care staff in these situations, and they need to save some compassion for themselves. They need to allow themselves some time to take breaks without guilt and ensure that their own needs are being met. It’s important to ensure that care staff gets the support they need, whether it be social, physical, and mental.
How Else Care Staff Can Help
Although heavy and strict restrictions are in place, there are still important ways care staff can help the residents. One way of doing this is through investing in open channels of communication, helping residents be aware of the current state of the world. Although alone, they need to feel involved and confident, which is why setting them up with constant video calls with family and friends can help.
Care homes can also invest in various tools to support telemedicine processes, such as patient monitoring systems. This will help care staff to monitor their residents well without risking the spread of the infection, as these tools are essentially medical devices that show results taken regularly, including blood pressure, glucose levels, and so much more.
Medistics Health offers one of the best remote patient monitoring in the world, allowing you to support your staff and residents properly despite these trying times. Allow us to simplify healthcare in however way we can. We are one with you in these trying times—reach out to us today to learn more.