The Belgian army started dispatching experts to care homes across Belgium last week. In Flanders the city of Aalst is the first to benefit.
The help is welcome. Hilde Van Wesemael of one of the Aalst care homes: “Our staff are well-trained in providing care. They are not always as well prepared to combat a dangerous virus like this.”
All staff from bosses to cleaners are getting extra training. The care homes provide accommodation for 400 residents.
“In these exceptional times some areas have been turned into hospital zones” explains the health city cabinet member. “It requires a different way of working. Army specialists said our staff were on the right track, but some skills could be fine-tuned.”
Even staff with medical training have picked up a lot from army professionals. Some staff at care homes did get a bit of a shock when the military arrived in uniform, though others thought the uniforms were quite sexy.
“After the training care home staff immediately set to work. They take greater care and are prepared to raise issues with co-workers” says Hilde Van Wesemael.
There are no confirmed cases at her care home and with the army’s expertise she hopes to keep coronavirus out.