Coronavirus and caring

Is anyone else on here worried about coronavirus and how to plan for it? My mum lives alone (86, poor mobility and poor vision) but depends on me and two cleaners/helpers who visit 2-3 times a week. I am terribly worried about what will happen if she gets coronavirus as I will not be able to take care of her and I don’t think her other helpers will either. Plus how on earth are they going to be able to protect themselves and to avoid spreading it among the various older and sicker people that they look after? Does anyone know what plans there are for looking after people who depend on care at home if they or their carers get ill?

Justine, as long as you and the carer/helpers wash your hands thoroughly then you are doing everything you can to protect your Mum. Perhaps have a plan B in place so that if either you or the carers/helpers develop a cough etc that alterative care is available (someone on standby or you could cover each other). If she caught the virus (unlikely) and needed care she would be admitted to an isolation ward. Personally I wouldn’t worry about it.

If you need further information/ reassurance ring 111.


Thanks Melly. I do hope you are right. What worries me is if things get to the point where many thousands are infected and carers simply cannot look after them all and nor are there enough hospital places. At the moment it seems fine with just a handful of cases. Let’s hope it stays that way.

I think you are right to think about. What should I do.

I would speak to the helpers and have a discussion.

Expectations on washing their hands etc.

Not to dry their hands directly on to towel/tea towels.

Advice states wash with soap. Before and after under running water up to 2 minutes . Dry with paper towel and bin it. Then you can finish off with a towel/tea towel. Apparently, gloves are less efficient. As you need to discard after every task.

Agencies carer I hope have been appropriately advised! If you have agency carers speak to their employer.

I think it’s quite reasonable to have a conversation. It protects everyone!.

Thank you sunnydisposition. Good ideas - I will follow up. I’m quite surprised there has not been more said about this issue in the general reporting of coronavirus.

The this morning programme have been following it…

Most mornings it’s mentioned and an expect comes in.


Carers Uk have issued guidance here

Expanding this topic a bit………
What about touch screens in surgeries, supermarket check outs (DIY checkouts), where the screen is
fingered by all ?
Putting in pin numbers where everyone has touched the numbers.
All handles and knobs in public places, handled by all.
Library PC,s. Books? Bank notes?
Garage petrol pump nozzles, again handled by all.
……….and many more.


Washing your hands is your best defence. Wash them before touching your face, preparing food or eating and drinking and when arriving back home.

I think it is worth putting coronavirus into context with other illnesses:


I have thought about it too. In case we are forced into isolation I have stocked up on puzzle books and games but I kind of doubt we will.

I’m concerned about Coronavirus purely because of my Mums carers.

Mum always holds there hands, a Carer came in coughing and snotty. She told Mum not to touch her until she had her gloves on. Then leaned over her breathing as if her cold was passed by touch only, not air particles…

Both Mum and I have underlying health issues and are at risk. I woke up today to find Mums carers had left a pooey wash cloth in the sink. I’ve asked a few carers if they wash Mums hands, they look at me as if I’m stupid…

I’m going to phone the manager tomorrow to ask about her thoughts about Coronavirus and tell her how bad some of her carers are!

The most dangerous virus is Panictosis.


Honey Badger - CUK have already issued a factsheet (on the main website) and Melly1 posted a link to it on Tuesday


I am vulnerable to chest infections. Son with LD 15 miles away. His care plan involves attending day services in 3 different place over 4 days. Including staff that’s mixing with about 100 people a week, many with LD who may not understand about washing hands well. He can live alone with care support when he is well but there is no contingency plan if he is I’ll and cannot attend day services…so he comes back to me usually, although I’m under orders from my doctors never to care again and Social Services won’t pay me for the care I give. This all highlights the fragility of his care package. I’m worried for him. How can vulnerable people like him “self isolate”?


It’s very worrying.

We are also relying on the day provisions to take precautions. One my son goes to I notice has been spraying down surfaces etc.

Even taking temperatures with forehead thermometer.

I’m starting to get worried too as have underlying health condition.

If your son became unwell surely the support workers would look after him in his flat?
Parents are not always going to be around!

I have contacted our care agency (Westminster) and not got much reassurance from them that they have any plans. It seems likely that at some point in the not too distant future we may have to self isolate and have no-one coming in. I am taking all possible hygiene steps washing hands,disinfecting surfaces, have an air purifier going in living room whilst awake!

I had an email last week from the agency that I use:-

I am writing in connection with COVID-19, the new virus that has emerged from China in recent months.

As it now appears to be spreading in the UK, although not at the moment in our local area, I wanted to update you as to what we as an organisation are doing, and how the virus may affect service provision.

It is reported that if the virus spreads, schools may be shut for some weeks. This could affect service provision, as many of our staff are parents with caring responsibilities to their children, and may not be able to find alternative childcare at short notice.

We are following Public Health England (PHE)’s advice to Community Care settings, published on 25 th February 2020, and will reflect any changes to advice should this be updated.

What we are doing:

Refreshing staff on effective hand hygiene procedures and ensuring alcohol hand gels are provided. You can do your part by ensuring a sink with soap and a towel to dry their hands is available when carers are visiting.
Asking staff to inform us if they have recently travelled to any affected areas (as laid out in PHE guidance)
Developing a system to manage service provision in the event of a fall in capacity due to large-scale school closures or staff sickness or absence. This could involve call times being changed, call lengths reduced where appropriate, or changes to personnel. We will be in contact with you directly if this is necessary, and will keep you updated.

What you can do:

Increase the frequency and thoroughness of your own hand-washing as this is the most effective protection against the virus.
Ensure soap and hot water is provided to staff to wash their hands, and either paper hand towels or a clean, regularly changed towel for them to dry their hands with.
Although it is still business as usual, in the unlikely event of wide-scale school closures and staff sickness and absence, please bear with us if there are changes to your schedule.

Phone 111 rather than going to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. They have a dedicated Corona Virus Team.
Immediately inform us if you have suspected Corona Virus. We will need to undertake an risk assessment and potentially put in place procedures that protect our staff, their families and other clients from the virus.

You may be asked to stay at home for 14 days and avoid having visitors where possible. We’ll work with you to ensure you are safe and get better as soon as possible.

PHE state that the risk is still low, but we are preparing for the possible eventuality that it becomes more widespread, as we have a duty of care to you and our staff. We’ll continue to keep you informed of any updates or changes as they occur.

I wonder how Albert_1604 and his panictosis is doing? It’s been clear for a long time that this is serious…
To the point that several of us are going to be in trouble and lose loved ones…

I’m annoyed at the Blaise of healthy people, If my Sister texts me tomorrow asking to bring over Mums Grandkids I will scream.