Extra Care Schemes and Covid-19 (Coronavirus) – different ways to maintain contact with loved ones

23 March

We are reassuring the service users in our extra care and sheltered housing schemes and their families that there are lots of ways to keep in touch while we restrict & discourage visits in person due to coronavirus.

We are following the latest Public Health England guidance on coronavirus in advising that nobody should visit our schemes unnecessarily. However, as the physical and emotional well-being of our service users is our primary concern, we are determined to offer different ways for families and friends to keep in contact with each other.

Jeffrey Fowler, Chairman of Hales Homecare, said:
“We care for some of our communities’ most vulnerable people, so we are following the very latest coronavirus guidance. However, we know how vital regular contact is for our service users and their families and we continue to welcome, support and involve family carers. Our extra care scheme managers will work in everyone’s interests during this unprecedented time and address specific needs relating to people’s personal circumstances. We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and update our position as and when necessary”.

Messages and photographs

We have different ways for family carers and friends to be in touch with their loved ones. Each of our extra care schemes has a laptop, iPad or tablet for service users to use with carer support. Staff are encouraging more families to use Skype, video conferencing or Face Time to maintain as much ‘face-to-face’ contact as possible, or to record messages that we can play to their loved ones. We’d also love family members to send in photographs, letters and notes that we can share and talk about with service users. This is especially important for our service users living with dementia.

Keep up-to-date with our services on Facebook

We are using our Facebook & Instagram pages to keep friends and families updated, being creative in providing support to service users whilst also keeping them safe.

Anyone not on social media will still be able to see latest news on our website. With notable dates such as Easter & VE Day coming up we’ll be sharing pictures of as many cards and good wishes as possible in the coming weeks.

Postcards of Kindness – the “write” way to keep in touch & entertain our service users
Instead of people coming into our schemes to lead activities, such as our popular bingo or musical entertainers, our teams will be devising lots of ways to keep service users engaged and entertained whilst adhering to all of the appropriate guidance on social distancing. One of our ideas to combat potential isolation is to encourage members of the public, families and groups to become a pen pal with a service user.

It would really brighten a day to get a colourful postcard, giving them something to talk about and share with carers and fellow tenants – if you would like to get involved please complete the form here or visit Postcards of Kindness Facebook Page – it would be lovely to hear from you!


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