Again, we find ourselves in a national lockdown! Whilst this is probably one of the worst ways to start 2021, with the rollout of the vaccine, let’s hope that brighter days are on the horizon and we’ll, one day soon, be able to see our friends and loved ones again and return to some sort of normality.
As time goes on, we’re beginning to understand that not all lockdowns are created equal! You may think the tight restrictions mean our home helpers aren’t allowed inside people’s homes, however, this is actually not the case.
According to the latest government guidelines, we’re still permitted to provide our in-home services, such as cleaning and childcare, as long as home helpers are fully aware of the precautions they need to take to protect themselves and our clients. These include social distancing, frequent handwashing, wearing face masks, ensuring there is adequate ventilation, participating in the NHS Test and Trace programmes and ensuring they do not attend appointments if they or their clients have any symptoms. We are doing everything we can to ensure home helpers are familiar with and follow the guidelines at all times, in order to provide the maximum reassurance to our clients.
However, we do understand and appreciate that some clients would rather not allow home helpers into their homes, especially if they are shielding or particularly vulnerable. If you’re one of those people, did you know that there are lots of other ways Extra Help can still provide you with the helping hand you need during these difficult times?
We can help with many tasks to make your life easier without having to enter your home, such as shopping, collecting prescriptions and parcels, dog walking, gardening, window cleaning and meal preparation. Our franchisees are working incredibly hard to ensure their services continue uninterrupted and we’ve been hearing some wonderful, positive stories about how they’re assisting their clients, despite the pandemic.
Claire Rickson, owner of Extra Help Taunton says:
“One of my clients lives alone. Her daughter lives in Ireland and called to ask if I could visit her mum, who lives nearby, as she is very lonely. So, once a week, I visit her mum and have a socially-distanced cuppa and a chat with her. I’m the only person she sees all week and she gets so excited to know I’m coming. This helps the daughter greatly to know someone is on hand to help with anything her mum needs. We also help a small family – the mum is a midwife at the local hospital and she really appreciates coming home to a clean house.”
Sarah Canny, owner of Extra Help South Hams, West Devon & Bude, says they also help a family where one parent is an NHS worker:
“We do all the housework while my client is out at work,” she says, “This ensures she can cherish time with her kids when she comes home from work. One of her children has Down’s syndrome, so we play games and do some enabling for her during our visits too.”
In addition to helping out with tasks in and outside the home, one of the benefits of using the Extra Help service is the companionship we provide for people who are elderly and living alone. During this pandemic, we’ve been able to provide enormous comfort and companionship for those clients who are separated from their family and friends.
Heather Rowe, owner of Extra Help Monmouth & Herefordshire, says,
“Throughout the first lockdown, we shopped for a 92 year old lady who lives alone, with all of her family in London. However, those three months had taken their toll on her and she really needed more company. So we set up four lunch visits a week and now my home helpers shop, cook but, most importantly, stay to eat and chat with her too. These eight hours across the week have made a huge difference to her life.”
Beverley Fleary, owner of Extra Help Hammersmith and Fulham, agrees, saying,
“Whilst we’re doing tasks like shopping and errands, outdoor support, cleaning, collecting the dog each day or actual regular social /companion visits, my clients really value a chat, chuckle (or a rant) about current affairs, the climate, experiences, things that matter, the world, life….even if it is from a distance! One particular client asked her home helper to sit down and have a chat with her, saying that her just being there was enough. We have now implemented social wellbeing calls into this client’s plan as we understand, especially during these times, how much our clients appreciate seeing that regular, friendly face each week, as well as having that vital support around the home they know they can rely on.”
As you can see, the Extra Help family is willing and able to ease the stresses and strains of everyday life, even during a pandemic! So, if you or your loved ones need a helping hand, or even just a bit of companionship now and then, give us a call on 01752 905790. You can also visit our website to find out if we operate in your local area.