We have had a VERY busy week establishing some innovative wellbeing, care and rehabilitation / exercise solutions for our clients, after addressing initial and immediate concerns last week (see last week’s blog for more information).

This week, as well as developing our case managers’ and case manager assistants’ ideas in practice, we’re also working hard to ensure all our clients have plans and equipment in place should there be any blackouts or heating failures.

Preparing for blackouts

Yesterday, the Government issued a warning to households, to be prepared for blackouts and heating failures due to the staffing shortage and redirection of efforts in the energy sector as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

It is now essential that we support all clients and support teams, to ensure plans are in place.

We have created a useful list of things our clients need (and are now getting):

  • Torches
  • Head torches
  • Reflective tape to mark out obstructions / pathways in the house and garden
  • Solar powered fairy lights (optional emergency lighting, especially for outdoors!)
  • Candles and matches / lighters if safe for the client to use or be near
  • Warm blankets
  • Warm clothes, that are easy to find
  • Additional duvets and blankets
  • Make sure mobile phones and computers are always charged
  • Have fully charged, back-up mobile powerbanks
  • Food that can be eaten if there is no electric or gas to cook on
  • Landline phone handsets (as many people have made the switch to mobile and may not have one, even if they have a phone line). Test that they are working and share the phone number with important contacts.
  • Have a list of emergency / useful phone numbers written out
  • Easy to find medicines / first aid kit if safe to leave out.

If you have other ideas, please share them with us! #StrongerTogether

FaceTime Therapy Sessions

One of our case managers has been working with Neurophysio Wales to deliver therapy sessions via FaceTime to a tetraplegic client.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the client visited their clinic twice weekly for sessions but these face-to-face activities had to stop stop, in line with the Government advice on social distancing and limiting non-essential journeys.

The new FaceTime sessions with Neurophysio Wales began last Friday and the first two have been a great success due to the client’s enthusiasm and commitment to therapy, and his willingness to be creative about its delivery.

How it works

Neurophysio Wales physiotherapist gives ‘live’ instructions to care agency staff on upper and lower limb exercises and is able to view the session from their base.

The client is also able to feedback directly to the therapist on the intervention – and does!

This is such a positive and rewarding idea and it has opened new ways of working with client who may need to isolate themselves in the future or tap into ‘on demand’ sessions later on. They aren’t designed to replace face-to-face therapy for good, but it does open the door to more creative ways to engage clients and broaden their IT skills too!

Online & engaged

Another Stokes case manager has reported great success in organising virtual Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) meetings for clients, to maintain continuity and prevent social isolation.

Stokes uses a number of video call and conferencing applications to communicate with clients, depending on their preferred app / device, including: Microsoft Teams, GotoMeeting, WhatsApp video calls, FaceTime, Zoom and Skype.

One client benefitting from a video-conference MDT is non-verbal. The client is really enjoying it and even verbalised ‘abracadabra’ in a recent drama therapy session! The client is also looking forward to a virtual house-viewing later this month.

Equipment: business as usual in unusual times

The client mentioned above also benefitted from a new piece of equipment recently. Our case manager ensured the equipment was set up and demonstrated in the client’s home and with the client, while streamed to our case manager via Zoom. The Zoom session was recorded and the video saved for future reference. The support staff were delighted to have this information to have in the future, as was the client. It’s definitely something we will continue to do, long after self-isolation.

Another Stokes Case Manager has established a virtual gym series with another client, including physio tech and virtual trainer sessions. It’s business as usual just in a different way.

As one of our associates recently said: “We’re case managers – we always make it happen!”

We’ll share pictures of our client’s virtual gym sessions soon.

Every little helps

Finally, we wanted to give a great big Stokes shout out to our Clinical Director Rhiannon and her Mum (Rhi’s Mum has been self-isolating for the full 12 weeks and needed a good project!) who have made some beautiful face masks for teams and those without any access to face masks. Obviously, these are ‘wear and dump / disinfect and reuse’ masks but they do provide some interim support for family members and others who worry about being around a loved one without some protection.

For our approach to working with clients during the Covid-19 outbreak, please click here.

Stay safe & well everyone!