Home Instead helping isolated residents stay connected with loved ones

PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 May 2020

Home Instead's Mark McGlade

Home Instead's Mark McGlade


A Budleigh Salterton-based home care provider is helping elderly residents stay connected with their families.

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Home Instead Exeter and East Devon had been providing companionship visits and taking clients shopping, to restaurants and to garden centres.

When the pandemic hit, Home Instead had to scale back this offering but caregivers could still give residents at-home companionship.

However, some clients are being helped to stay connected with their families via smart devices.

Mark McGlade, director of Home Instead, said: “One 90-year-old man in Exmouth now has an iPad which he got set up by Home Instead and joins in a quiz and social event with his extended family every week using Zoom and Facebook.”

The south west remains one of the least affected regions in the UK and Mr McGlade said none of Home Instead’s clients have tested positive for the virus.

During the crisis, Home Instead has provided additional infection control training to its caregivers while office staff have been working remotely from home.

Home Instead specialises in caring for dementia patients and Mr McGlade said this has presented an extra challenge when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “They may not always appreciate the need for social isolation and have special needs when it comes to remembering to eat, take medications and keep safe in their homes.

“A particular challenge is helping people living with dementia to understand the need not to go out of the home or garden and to maintain social distancing from others.”

Many care providers have had issues securing adequate stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) and Mr McGlade said it has been a ‘testing experience’ for Home Instead too.

However, Exmouth Community College has come to the rescue, offering to make some face shields for the care provider.

Mr McGlade added: “We bought in additional supplies of gloves and aprons at the very start of the crisis, but the biggest problem has been the lack of adequate supplies of face masks which are in demand all over the world.

“Face masks are not a usual item of PPE for home care providers so this has been a major challenge to ensure adequate supplies.”

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