by David Hachmeister, Owner, Care & Comfort at Home for Seniors and Veterans
It all depends on whose ox is gored.
My dad used that expression, and it seems wiser every day.
The current pandemic has as varied a reaction as you might expect in our widely diverse nation: extreme panic to utter nonchalance. If you have an infected family member, you are deeply concerned; if you are thinking primarily of your spring break, well…
Steering a coherent, responsible course
Here at Care and Comfort at Home for Seniors and Veterans, we try to steer a coherent, responsible course. We practice caution, care, and prudence. The care we provide is necessary, or we wouldn’t be here in the first place.
Your loved one’s care is critical to you, your family, and to us. We understand your concern and are working hard to assure our clients that the people providing care are safe. We are taking concrete steps to be as safe as we can. (Please see our list of safety steps below for more details.)
The equation is simple: Are you or yours safer with or without a caregiver? Perfect answers don’t exist. In a vulnerable population, the risks of falling, malnutrition, and dehydration, along with the “I-can-do-it-myself” spirit are just as substantial.
Also, in times like this, as well as in every flu season, it’s especially important for the vulnerable to minimize exposure to large groups of people, such as those found at grocery stores, malls, and pharmacies, to name just a few. Our caregivers can help minimize this risk by running those errands, while the vulnerable can stay safe at home.
Whatever decision you make in terms of receiving our care, we will support you in any way we can.
How we ensure our clients safety
1. All caregivers are required to report any and all symptoms, even as little as a stuffy nose.
2. If that caregiver has minor cold-like symptoms, such as a stuffy nose, and has not been in any contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, we call the client and let them decide if they want the caregiver to come or not.
3. If the caregiver has symptoms related to COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or any flu-like symptoms, regardless if they’ve come in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or not, that caregiver is removed from their client(s) for two weeks. The client is notified and given the option for a healthy replacement caregiver.
After the two weeks, the caregiver can go back to work ONLY if they have no symptoms and have been fever free for three full days without the help of fever-reducing medications. The client is notified and can then decide if they are comfortable having the caregiver return.
4. If the caregiver has no COVID-19 symptoms but reports they have been in contact with someone who is being tested or has been tested for COVID-19, that caregiver is removed from their clients for two weeks. The client is notified and given the option for a healthy replacement caregiver.
If the person who came in contact with our caregiver tests negative for COVID-19, the caregiver can return to work after seven days instead of two weeks, ONLY if asymptomatic and fever free. The client is updated and can then decide if they are comfortable with that caregiver returning.
If the caregiver develops symptoms, they are to remain off the schedule for two weeks. After the two weeks, the caregiver can go back to work ONLY if they have no symptoms and have been fever free for three full days without the use of fever-reducing medications. The client is notified and can then decide if they are comfortable with their caregiver returning.
If the person who came in contact with our caregiver tests positive for COVID-19, the caregiver is instructed to get tested for COVID-19. The caregiver is removed from the schedule for two weeks regardless of caregiver’s test results. The client is notified and given the option of a healthy replacement caregiver.
After two weeks, the caregiver can go back to work ONLY if they have no symptoms and fever free for three full days without the help of any fever reducing medications. The client is notified and can then decide if they are comfortable with their caregiver returning.
5. All clients have been sent letters with instructions on how to protect themselves and how to have a back-up plan in place in case their caregiver gets sick and we are unable to send a replacement.
6. All caregivers received emails with instructions on how to protect themselves and their clients.
7. Our Nurse Supervisor is available 24/7 for any questions or concerns that our clients and caregivers might have.
8. We get constant information from our industry trade association (the Homecare Association of America) with Centers for Disease Control and Provention (CDC) updates on COVID-19.