The UK’s first comparison and matching site for elderly care, Care Sourcer, has launched a COVID-19 taskforce in what has been described as “the worst health crisis facing the country in generations”.
Care Sourcer searches a database of thousands of registered care providers across the UK and provides a list of carers in the surrounding area to users within 48 hours.
The company is working with local councils and authorities to help find care home and care-at-home options for hundreds of elderly people with around 15,000 set to leave hospital to free up beds to accommodate coronavirus patients.
There is also support and advice available to families who are taking in elderly relatives as many care homes close their doors to new residents and as care providers prepare to lose employees through school closures and fast-increasing virus contraction within the care worker community.
Care Sourcer CEO and co-founder, Andrew Parfery, said: “We have set aside some of our other business plans in order to rapidly do whatever we can to help.
“Some of the problems we anticipate or are already seeing include care homes not taking new residents, care homes in fear of an outbreak, impact on staff availability as care workers and their families get ill, school closures translating to some providers losing up to half of their care workers, and care visits to people’s homes being stripped back to only essential visits meaning that families are stepping in.”
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The UK Government recently committed £3 billion to support services in the community and some of these funds are expected to be directed to care homes. However, says Parfery, the industry needs more support.
“Although the health department has committed funding to care providers and struggling care homes, the industry as a whole now needs to pull together more than ever in the face of what could be the greatest health crisis to face this country in a century,” he said.
“Everyone is struggling, everyone is gravely worried, and we need action plans to protect our elderly.”