A hand giving out a packet of face masks.

Let’s together make sure that visits to home care clients are safe

The risk of a coronavirus infection can be reduced with simple actions that we hope everyone visiting home care clients will follow.

– The home care employees follow the protection instructions closely and use surgical face masks.  We hope that all relatives will do the same. Let’s together ensure that visits are safe, says service district director, Soili Partanen.

In December, 22 coronavirus infections were found among home care clients. The number of infections has been growing, but the numbers have stayed moderate so far.

– The source of infection is not known in all cases but we know that some infections have also come from visitors, says the medical director of Helsinki City Hospital, Laura Pikkarainen.

Surgical face masks are handed out to home care clients

We will deliver single-use surgical face masks to all home care clients during January to be used by relatives and friends. We recommend using a face mask during the entire visit.

The home care services support people living at home with daily activities that the person does not manage alone. The clients also receive necessary health care. There are over 7,000 regular home care clients monthly.

 

Checklist for visiting elderly and those in risk groups

  • If possible, keep in contact with your relative by phone or video calls, or meet them outside.
  • If you visit the elderly or others in risk groups, please pay attention to the possible infection risk of different types of contact and follow instructions given by the authorities. Avoid unnecessary close contact.
  • Don’t visit elderly or others in risk groups if you have even minor symptoms that indicate coronavirus. Typical coronavirus symptoms are e.g. fever, sore throat, cough, headache, changes in the sense of smell or taste, sniffles, muscle ache, shortness of breath, tiredness, nausea or diarrhoea.

 

  • When visiting your relatives:
    • Avoid shaking hands and hugging.
    • Avoid also other types of close contact that are not necessary for helping or caring for your relative.
    • Keep a safety distance if possible. The safety distance should be about 2 metres.
    • Keep the visits as short as possible. For example, a greeting visit should be only about 15 minutes long.
    • Use a face mask during the entire visit.
    • Maintain good hand hygiene before and after the visit and after touching e.g. door handles. Wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitiser. Use disposable paper towels to dry your hands or bring your own hand towels.

More information about protecting your relative from a coronavirus infection is found on THL’s website.

Picture: The city of Helsinki's Social Services and Health Care Division