From: Art Kalenjian, CEO, Advanced Home Care Services
These days, people who live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are in a tough spot. Here they are, surrounded by dozens of other people in a confined space. The chances of a COVID-19 flare-up are huge, no matter what protective steps the facility takes.
Clearly, the safest way to provide needed services for the elderly during these dangerous times is home health care. Under this scenario, you get the help you need in your own home by receiving visits from a single person, usually the same one.
Still, even this minimum level of contact poses dangers. That’s why Advanced Home Care Services has gone beyond the measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control to ensure that both our clients and our employees get the protection they need.
Here are some of the steps we have instituted:
- All caregivers have been instructed to wear face masks and gloves when visiting clients.
- We provide masks, gloves, and sanitizers to our caregivers, and encourage them to use the sanitizers often.
- We have an adequate supply of protective gear, despite the difficulty and expense involved.
- We are getting additional protective equipment, including N95 masks and protective eyeglasses.
- Our employees adhere to the six-foot social distancing requirement whenever possible.
- All employees are constantly monitored for symptoms through Telehealth screenings conducted by our nurses or director.
- People are not allowed to come to our offices in groups, and they must call before visiting.
- All employees receive initial and then regular training in infection control, including Universal Precautions. Subjects addressed include pathogens, epidemiology, risk factors, and the immune system.
- We follow all OSHA standards for disease control.
- We have created a special training program for home care aides who provide services to clients with the coronavirus.
- Our office staff is now working remotely.
Obviously, no set of measures is foolproof. But we believe that the steps we have implemented are the best possible for visits to homes. When you combine this with the fact that every other option for elderly care involves contact with a large number of people, there is simply no safer approach.
Finally, I want to thank my staff for continuing to provide needed care to the elderly despite the obstacles they face. The huge majority of our field workers have refused to succumb to their understandable fears and are continuing to serve their areas with dedication and professionalism. Our office staff members are doing an amazing job as well. I truly admire you all!
Meanwhile – I hope you’ll all stay well during these difficult times! If you have any ideas on how we could improve our protective services, please let me know. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.