Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Top tips in Bereavement Care in Specialist Housing

Cover Covid19 Bereavement

This Housing LIN briefing (No 4) is a companion piece to on our earlier briefing on End of Life Care (No2) and is specifically written for the housing sector, operators of specialist housing - such as extra care or retirement housing. It draws attention to the need to equip themselves in the way they access bereavement care and support upon the loss of a family member, friend, relative or fellow resident in one of their schemes during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Within specialist housing, operational staff will already be experienced with how residents express grief and loss of loved one, friend or neighbour. With COVID-19, this is likely to increase and therefore it is important that staff are fully aware of national and local sources of bereavement support available.

This briefing offers top tips and highlights some of the best practice in supporting decisions that might need to be made about health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak; considers how to continue to provide practical assistance, support and manage risks; and provides information on maintaining meaningful activity and minimising loneliness during this period of enforced isolation. For example:

  • Are there tell-tale signs that a resident is not coping after a loss? For example, falling behind with their rent, becoming socially isolated, impact of their health and wellbeing, including mental health or behavioural/lifestyle changes?
  • Does the resident have a care plan or self-care? And is there access to on-site scheme day activities, counselling or ‘buddying’ support services to support a resident who is bereaved or feeling loss?
  • Does the scheme have community alarm provision or telecare offering reassuring access to 24 hours help?

You may also find this booklet by Cruse Bereavement Support of interest. It describes ways in which the Covid-19 restrictions have affected grief and bereavement support, including in extra care housing. regardless of whether or not Covid-19 was the actual cause of death and to learn about practices that could be helpful after the pandemic.

To view other briefings in this series and updates, visit our Coronavirus Info Hub. And for bespoke support connected to this briefing and/or to help you organisation now or prepare for post COVID-19, visit our consultancy pages.