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The most vulnerable need to be protected

The director of the residential care home in Rakičan, Zoran Hoblaj, prof. dr. Mojca Juriševič, from the Department of Education Studies, Faculty of Education, Ljubljana, and the government spokesperson and ambassador, Jelko Kacin, participated at the afternoon press conference today on the current issues regarding COVID-19.

The government spokesperson, Jelko Kacin, indicated that infections are again spreading quickly in residential care homes; 1962 persons are currently actively infected in these homes.

The spread of infections in residential care homes is alarming, because this is a social group which is the most vulnerable and where the course of the disease is more dramatic.  This is the most vulnerable part of the population which needs to be protected, said Kacin.

After the first wave and experiences taken from the spring months, the residential care homes prepared crisis plans on how to act in the event of an infection. Protocols were made, several training sessions were organised, and staff capacities were increased. Cooperation with the local community was also increased.

85 percent of homes have been faced with infections so far, where a large majority managed to successfully manage the spread of infections. A presentation of good practices is an opportunity to increase the awareness of employees, the local community of the care home, as well as the general public, that the human factor is the cause of the spread of the virus.

The director of the residential care home in Rakičan, Zoran Hoblaj, stated that they currently have 84 infected residents at various locations, where they hope that the situation will improve in the next couple of weeks. He stressed that they have been investing heavily in informing stakeholders and educating employees on how to proceed in the event of an infection. They also drafted detailed crisis action plans.

He stressed that with the help of the approved funds from the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, they managed to employ 16 new staff in social care, who managed to limit the burden of the existing staff that may now fully focus on the health care of the residents.

Just as in the first wave of the epidemic, they now hope to receive all the bonuses for the employees, who are very stressed and are working in difficult circumstances.

They are trying to offer the best possible conditions to the residents, even during these times of infections. They have established special mobile phone numbers and video links to allow the residents to communicate with their family members.

Prof. dr. Mojca Juriševič, psychologist, stressed the issue of children and adolescents, who have found themselves in the middle of the epidemic and restrictive measures, and offered some suggestions on how parents could support them in order to allow them to make it through these uncertain times with as few consequences and issues as possible.

She stressed that it is important to talk to children and adolescents, to ask them how they feel, and to answer their questions. She urged not to place the coronavirus into the focus of family, kindergarten, and school life; however, people should also not pretend that the virus is insignificant. We must not pretend everything is normal. We should not direct our anger and dissatisfaction with the restrictive measures towards children or in front of them.

We must monitor the school and after-school activities of our children. Let’s support them in their learning more than before.

We should ensure a healthy diet, sufficient exercise in the fresh air, and sleep. 

In the end, we should not forget about ourselves, because only healthy adults can effectively support our children and adolescents, said Mrs Juriševič.