All care homes should always have a good hygiene practice in any environment. A poor hygiene procedure could lead to serious health risks to the elderly patients. We all know that elderly are more prone to disease and illnesses and by implementing a good hygiene practice, the chances of risks can be lowered or prevented. It will also ensure that they have a comfortable and clean environment where they can relax and be safe.
Implement standard procedures
Hygiene procedures are carried out through different tasks by the employees. So to implement the hygiene procedure, we must first educate each member of the staff about the importance of following the standard procedure. All staff should also be provided with protective clothing and hygiene products for skin and hands before doing their care duty. When it comes to food hygiene, all staff should be aware of how to handle and prepare food cleanly and professionally.
Importance of food hygiene
Hygiene rules are essential for food preparation and kitchen environment. Food preparation must be followed through with hygiene rules to prevent any food contamination. All care homes should only register and source their food from companies that follow the same standard of hygiene.
The effects of poor hygiene
Poor hygiene in care homes can lead to many severe conditions on the health of the elderly. If the regular care is not carried out with the correct hygiene procedures, it could lead to many health effects. For instance, a carer may not have changed a dirty bandage that could lead to an infection. All tasks including bathing, changing clothes and feeding should always be kept at a high level of cleanliness.
Staff should be able to spot any types of disease or infection to prevent any further health risks and from spreading to other residents. The most common condition that you can find in a care home are fungi, viruses, diarrhoea, ringworm or oral thrush.
Care homes in the UK are subject to the same system across the board when it comes to charging fees and paying the bills.
Care homes in England specifically work on the basis of two thresholds, one low and one high. Following an income assessment, it will be determined where the household income lies on this scale. Below the low threshold, your local council will be expected to pay for 100% of your care home bills. Above the high threshold, they will not contribute. Most incomes fall somewhere in the middle, so they qualify for some financial assistance and the cost will be shared between the council and the patient or their family.
In order to get more financial assistance from the council, some people may try to artificially lower their income by transferring assets temporarily to someone else. If the local council becomes aware that this is likely to have happened, they can alter the financial assessment to reflect this.
One thing that can have a major impact on this financial assessment is whether or not the patient’s home is counted as income. It will be unless a spouse, civil partner or dependent child lives there, or a family member who is elderly or disabled. In some cases, the same exemption is applied if the person’s carer permanently lives in the property, but it is up to the local authority if they choose to consider this.
If a council or local authority is paying for care, they will set a maximum budget. The patient and/or their family must agree on a suitable care home within that budget in order to accept the financial help. The only way a council can be expected to increase their budget is if the needs of the patient cannot be met by any available care home within the current budget.
Top-up fees are the extra amount that patients’ families can pay on top of the budget allocated by the council in order to put their loved one in a more expensive care home. The council can ask patients to pay these fees if they specifically chose a more expensive option, but only if a cheaper and suitable option was turned down.
In some cases, when patients and their families do not immediately have funding available to pay for care, a deferred payment agreement (DPA) can be set up which works like a loan from the local council. They cover the payments until the patient’s home can be sold in order to contribute to the costs, at which point the money should be repaid according to the terms set out in the DPA. The loan may be subject to interest and other fees.
For anyone faced with the prospect of going into a full time care home, the uncertainty ahead can be very intimidating. For people who have different sexual orientations or gender identities, this can be another major source of anxiety.
Depending on the condition the patient is suffering from or the reason they are going into care, there are things you can do as a supportive family member or friend to make this process easier. We also offer some advice for patients themselves here.
Firstly, you need to be familiar with the relevant laws relating to LGBT rights. In England and Wales, discrimination of any kind when a service is being offered is prohibited on the grounds of sexual orientation by the Equality Act 2010. This means that it would be illegal for any staff at a care home (which provides a service) to discriminate against LGBT patients. It’s highly unlikely that you would ever be in a situation where you would have to refer to this law, but it is useful to keep it in mind.
When choosing a care home, of course there are a great number of factors to consider. For LGBT people, specific concerns may include signs of the community spirit in the home. It would normally be considered a good sign if relationships between patients and staff seem to be positive. If possible, it always helps to speak to other people who have been in a similar position before, because making these kinds of judgements can be difficult in a short period of time.
You can always ask care homes to provide a copy of their equal opportunities policy, any certifications they may have received on the subject of equality, and similar official documents. It is also worth asking theoretical questions about how the home would deal with any incident involving homophobia, whether from staff or other patients.
For partners, close family members and friends of LGBT patients, it is important to talk with the person going into care and decide how open you plan to be in discussing their relationships or identity. In most cases, honesty will make the process easier, but not everybody is ready for that and the patient’s wishes need to be respected above all.