Not a given: Safety nets for social infrastructure
People in shared accommodations, e.g. in long-term-care homes and homes for disabled people, are at a higher risk of becoming infected. Many of these people have a hard time understanding the sense of social distancing. They have suffered especially due to the contact restrictions resulting from the pandemic.
Caritas employees show great commitment
Faced with these circumstances, the employees working in Caritas’ facilities and service centres showed great personal commitment. Demonstrating remarkable creativity, they adapted their structures and services to meet the challenges of the new situation. With the support of the German Caritas Association, they developed new digital formats to keep communications flowing. Alternative options for meeting, while still observing the rules of hygiene and social distancing, were compiled, e.g. the "walk and talk” open-air meetings. The residential care facilities kept adapting their services to comply with current rules. Similarly, alternative concepts had to be devised for imparting learning and teaching methods (e.g. in schools).
Reliable financing of additional costs
The adaptation to the changed circumstances has led to considerable additional costs for hygiene and protective equipment as well as for additional staff. The German Caritas Association regularly met with German ministries in order to emphatically and transparently state its facilities’ information and requirements to policy-makers. Caritas strongly advocates that additional measures should be reliably and unbureaucratically funded. In some areas, such as healthcare, this demand was swiftly met. In other areas, considerable effort is still required. The German Caritas Association is committed to finding reliable solutions wherever there is a lack of clear funding guidelines, e.g. for social work services for the elderly.