Recovery planning for housing related support for older people

Lisa Raison Trehy 19/05/20 General Housing Topics

We have had to change our delivery model for our 60+ HRS service to phone support generally during the Covid-19 crisis but usually we are a face to face support service. I'm looking at how we can deliver the service going forward, with a possibly reduced workforce due to illness/self-isolation and social distancing requirements. Our referrals have dropped significantly as referring agencies have been in crisis mode or not operating. Considerations are how to deal with loss of confidence in face to face to support but possibly increased demand for the service especially in regard to social isolation, financial concerns, etc.

If anyone would like to share your thoughts and how you are dealing with this in your own service I'd love to hear from you.

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joanne Chadwick 19/05/20

Hi, Our service model sounds just like yours and we have switched to telephone support. What I am looking at now is phasing us back in slowly using gloves and masks were appropriate:
- Officers are based at different schemes - so to operate a rota basis for them to work from there on different days. If the office is large enough no more than 2 at one time. They have been going in weekly for heath and safety checks
- Offering our customers the option of a face to face visit - doorstep visit 2 metres from the door - we are finding our financial assistance has dropped dramatically in the last 9 weeks so we know there are debts out there we need to address
- Considering (only considering and at the beginning of the thought process) letting the communal lounge being used for social distancing bingo. The lounges are big enough so one person per table and spaced out - its only a thought. Bring their own beverages and snacks so kitchen not used.
- Social distancing in the communal gardens has already been agreed - police were consulted and as long as within the same complex they could sit 2 m apart in the sun

Those are a few thoughts - nothing set up yet just waiting for risk assessments to be approved.

Happy to hear of any other ideas on how to gradually reduce social isolation to our customers

Lisa Raison Trehy 21/05/20

Thanks for your response Joanne. It's really helpful to know your thoughts - we seem to be taking similar approaches. As you say, financial difficulties are a concern and also lack of confidence in returning to socialising, using a support service, exercise, etc is also a worry.

best wishes, Lisa