Do live-in carers need to wear a mask?
Live-in carers have to deal with patients having a wide range of illnesses. Whenever a live-in carer is appointed, it is important that both the safety of the patient and the carer is fully addressed.
Patients that are severely immunocompromised, might require extra protection from their carers. This is extremely important as their immune system cannot fight off diseases that a normal person can. Whereas, as far as the safety of the carers is concerned, they do not need to worry about acquiring an infection from their patient, unless it is contagious.
This is true for most cases such as patients of stroke, myocardial infarction or dementia. Therefore, patients that live-in carers cater to do not require any distancing or the use of masks in such cases.
However, it is important to wear a mask if the elderly patient has a flu or any kind of viral infection, since it can easily transmit. The mask adds a layer of protection which helps the carer avoid getting infected by the pathogen themselves.
These were the standard regulations followed by people living in the UK and all over the world, but after the discovery of coronavirus, some changes have been brought in these regulations.
According to the list of protocols issued by Public Health England, there were a few changes brought about in the dynamic of live-in carers and the way they handle their clients. This set of regulations ensure the limit of spread of the virus by protecting both the live-in carers and their clients. 
Why is it important to wear masks in this pandemic?
The outbreak of coronavirus has taken the whole world by storm. This virus has the potential to transmit very easily from one person to the next, making it very difficult for the world to function.
Ever since the coronavirus outbreak got declared a pandemic, guidelines issued by the CDC insist that everyone wear masks as they leave their house. The use of masks has shown to decrease the transmission of the virus significantly.
The virus is known to transmit through secretions of the ones carrying the virus. It resides and infects the ones by gaining entry through the orifices of the face. This virus has shown to affect people with predisposing conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. This makes old debilitated patients at a high risk of catching the virus.
This brings a major concern for live-in carers who are constantly in the vicinity of sick people. If live-in carers catch this virus, they can easily transmit it to their patients. It has been seen that the coronavirus is lethal to the ones with a compromised immune system. This makes the sick patients needing live-in care services, very prone to catching the virus and also transmitting to anyone who cares for them.
The symptoms of this virus range from having high fever, cough, difficulty in breathing as well as loss of taste sensation. Live-in carers who are usually young and fit, might carry the virus asymptomatically and transmit it unknowingly to their patients.
Wearing a face mask at all times goes a long way towards protecting both the carer and the patient from contracting the virus. It is not necessary that any of the parties in question show symptoms of cough and flu because it has been claimed that there are many asymptomatic carriers of this virus.
Should live-in carers wear a mask once the pandemic is over?
Once the pandemic is over and the world is free from the coronavirus, live-in carers wouldn’t have to wear face masks at all times despite being in close contact with their patients.
It is important for live-in carers to develop a good rapport with their clients and this bond can only be generated if both the patient and the live-in carer can talk to each other and greet the other person with a smile.
Masks and exemptions: Action for Carers. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2020, from https://www.actionforcarers.org.uk/news/masks-and-exemptions/
Guidelines for care homes for older people in the context of COVID-19. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2020, from https://www.helpage.org/what-we-do/guidelines-for-care-homes-for-older-people-in-the-context-of-coronavirus-covid19/