No more visits: New regulations coming for homes for the aged
Homes for the aged and other long-stay facilities will be made to follow a fresh set of guidelines as the government ramps up its efforts against the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking at his daily virtual media conference, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh gave a preview of what the new regulations could entail.
“As of today, we are advising that all these homes stop visits by friends and relatives. If you have to take supplies, medication, a favourite snack or treat, do that, but you should not allow anyone to come into your homes,” he announced.
Deyalsingh says there are between 3000 – 6000 elderly people lodged at 169 registered homes. He also acknowledged that there are unregistered homes who have their own capacities. He’s asking that both groups comply with santisation guidelines.
“We are asking that the caregivers in these homes wear masks and gloves; not to protect themselves necessarily but to protect those that they are taking care of and use disposable gloves and dispose it when you move from person to person so you don’t transmit the virus,” he explained.
The Ministry is also requesting that staff at the homes do basic health checks on their employees. Those with symptoms relating to COVID-19 should not be allowed in the homes.
As much as possible, the Minister also requested that staff at the homes space out their tenants, in keeping with social distancing measures.
“All these homes will be under the control of the County Medical Officer of Health and we have put out infection prevention control guidelines, but it can only work if the advice and protocols that we are giving out are implemented by home owners,” he pleaded.
He’s also calling on families who can accommodate their elderly family members to take them out of the homes in order to free up spaces at formal facilities.
The Minister says the formal guidelines will be published next week.