As restrictions designed to protect us from COVID-19 are gradually relaxed, we all look on with a mix of relief and anxiety. Will life return to normal? Or are we lifting measures too soon, and will the pandemic worsen?
For the health care community, the answer doesn’t really matter. Clearly, it is way too early to become complacent. This is especially true for those who care for the elderly in their homes, including nurses and home care aides. These providers must be fully versed in the protective measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and must continue to follow these procedures to the letter – not only for their clients’ health and welfare, but their own.
As part of this, home care personnel must use Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) – including gloves, face masks, and goggles or face shields – at all times while in the presence of a client. Just as important, they must use this equipment correctly. Here are some resources from the CDC that present the agency’s recommendations regarding PPEs.
This video is oriented toward long-term care facilities, but it applies just as well to home care personnel:
No matter how much a home care worker uses gloves, face masks, and other PPEs, the protection can be destroyed if the worker does not don and remove the equipment correctly. The CDC offers some very explicit advice in this area. Nurses and home care aides should practice these techniques until they become second nature:
Here is a PDF document that provides a short list of the same procedures. If you are a home care worker, it might be a good idea to print this document and post it near your workspace.
As a major home care agency serving Massachusetts, Advanced Home Care Services is fully committed to meeting these guidelines and requires its 400+ nurses and aides to follow them at all times. We also monitor our staff for compliance on a regular basis. In our offices, managers and other personnel wear face masks, sanitize their hands regularly, and practice social distancing. Basically, we are doing everything we can to follow the CDC’s recommendations – and will continue to do so until the COVID-19 crisis is clearly and absolutely over.
I wish you all good health and good spirits in this difficult time.