End of Life Doula UK
Apologies as the following is just good common sense plus we do not want to scaremonger but thought it might be helpful to put out some basic information to members of End of Life Doula UK.
- About COVID 19
COVID-19 that can affect your lungs and airways.
Coronavirus symptoms in most people will be mild – a bit like cold or flu. They include:
- a cough
- a high temperature
- difficulty with breathing (shortness of breath).
A few people will get worse symptoms and need medical attention. Doctors think that people aged over 65 and anyone living with an underlying long-term health condition is more likely to get worse symptoms.
Coronavirus probably spreads in cough droplets. Because it’s a new illness, we’re still learning more about it.
To help prevent it spreading, everyone should follow this advice:
- Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds – use soap and water or a hand sanitiser
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue
- If you don’t have a tissue use your elbow, not your hands
- Put used tissues in the bin quickly.
- Visit the NHS website for answers to more common questions.
Self-isolation is about protecting others and slowing down the spread of COVID-19. It is very important that anyone who has the virus, or might have been exposed to it, limits the number of people they come into contact with for 14 days. This is the most effective way of preventing the coronavirus from spreading. For more information visit https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/20/what-is-self-isolation-and-why-is-it-important/
- If you think that you may be at risk at spreading Covid-19 due to displaying symptoms or have a member of your household displaying symptoms please cancel your visits to the Person you are supporting. Please also inform Secretary/Chair so that we can record this and organise another Doula to visit if possible.
- What should I do about coronavirus for a person I am supporting who is isolating or has the virus?
- Check that they have handwash and hand sanitiser available – and that any visitors know to make use of it
- Things that are handled a lot, such as remote controls, door handles and taps should be cleaned
- You might help out with practical tasks. The person might need shopping dropped off, medicine collected or some library books left for them – ask how you can help
- Make sure the person has access to the medication they need. If the person is advised to self-isolate, speak to a GP or local pharmacist to make sure they will have a supply..
- Check that they know who to call if they get unwell and that the number is prominently displayed
- If the person is going to be stuck in doors for a while, encourage them to stay active and consider gentle exercises. Try to make sure they have activities that they can engage in at home as well; reading, magazines, jigsaws, music, their favourite TV/radio programmes available
- Keep in touch. If you can’t visit the person, then stay in contact by phone, post, email or Skype. Tell the person that you’re thinking of them and encourage others to do so as well
- If they have an Advance Plan for End of Life and a DNACPR this should be prominently displayed so it can be easily seen by health and social care professionals
Handling dead bodies
The act of moving a recently deceased person might be sufficient to expel small amounts of air from the lungs and thereby present a minor risk
In this situation if a person has died with COVID 19 then medical staff and Funeral Directors should handle dead bodies as they will have proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
We believe that the strain on the mainstream services could become unprecedented and the need for us to be compassionate neighbours & citizens in our own communities will be so very important.
Living Well Dying Well Training Limited
Are sending information through to learners for scheduled courses.
Other questions and concerns
This is new territory for us all. We do not know what may come up for us as Doulas and the situation is changing day by day. We will send out information as seems necessary. Please address questions and concerns to the Chair or the Secretary of End of Life Doula UK by email if not urgent email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org or if it is urgent telephone 07825 795808 or 07887 840663.