The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so many aspects of our lives, but a simple truth remains: seniors and others still need care, support, and companionship. Home is the best place for social distancing and infection prevention and we’ve adjusted our practices to safely deliver service during this time.
Our COVID practices and procedures include:
Since the beginning of the outbreak, we’ve carefully followed all updates and procedures from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Washington State and Idaho Departments of Health, local and county health departments and authorities, the Home Care Association of America, and other agencies and resources. We continue to do so to keep our clients and caregivers as safe as possible. The CDC currently recommends older adults remain in their homes. In-home caregivers can serve as a vital support system to keep seniors cared for and safe.
We understand that many families wish to limit the number of people coming into the home. To accommodate this, we are now offering consultations and admissions, which typically occur in person in the home, via phone or video conference. Our Client Care Supervisors will be able to answer your questions and get a new client set up for service electronically. This added layer of social distancing ensures you and your loved ones don’t unnecessarily come into contact with extra people.
While our supervisors always prefer to check-in with our clients and observe our caregivers in action in person, we are now offering check-in’s and supervisory visits via phone or video conference as well. This digital solution allows us to ensure that our clients are safe and healthy and that our caregivers are delivering services using our best practices.
Our caregivers are instructed to be extra vigilant in their infection prevention measures, as we do for influenza and all other communicable diseases, which include: washing hands often (before, during, and after all client care) with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, covering mouths and noses with a tissue if coughing or sneezing, and cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces.
Caregivers have been provided with coronavirus-specific training and protocols, including screening and triage of clients who may be ill to limit contact and reduce possible community spread of the virus.
Prior to starting any client shift, our caregivers complete a documented health self-screening following the CDC-recommended guidelines. Caregivers who do not pass the screening are removed from all shifts until they are confirmed to no longer pose any risk to clients, their families, or other Family Resource staff.
All caregiver staff across Washington and Idaho also are to follow our established protocol regarding staying home when sick. We already advise staff not to go to work if they feel ill, so this practice is not new to our staff. We also provide our caregivers with ongoing education related to infection control as well as the coronavirus specifically.
Despite the nation-wide shortage of PPE, we have leveraged every resource at our disposal to procure protective equipment for our caregivers. As of now, all of our caregivers are provided masks and gloves, which they are instructed to not reuse in-between clients.
Transitional Care is a service we provide to many of our clients. Though surgeries and elective procedures have largely been put on hold, we are still able to provide quality transitional care services to any client who may want to transition from one setting to another — for instance, from skilled nursing, assisted or group living to a safe home environment — or from the hospital to home. We can also support quarantine periods for those waiting to move into new residential settings.
For those in need of more prolonged dedicated care or an alternative to group or assisted living, we can provide a live-in caregiver. Live-in caregivers remain in the client’s home around-the-clock. They are typically not expected to provide care during the night, but we do have 24-hour services that can accommodate the needs of clients who may require care during normal sleep hours. Learn more about our Live-In Care services to determine if this best fits your needs. We have very flexible scheduling to fit whatever your needs may be at home.
Live-in care reduces the potential exposure to infection as the number of caregivers or people coming into contact with a client is lower, since caregivers work longer shifts and usually consecutive days in a row.
Our caregivers are uniquely equipped with experience in assisting with transportation, errands, and shopping. Our services include providing clients the ability to procure groceries, prescriptions, or run errands with the help of our caregivers. Clients have the option of providing our caregivers with prepaid credit cards which they can use for grocery store shopping or to pick up supplies. This allows clients to reduce their risk of exposure to the virus by staying safely in their own homes. Groceries can be left on the porch without a caregiver ever entering the home.
Many families now find themselves caring for a loved one in the home, either due to working from home or new stay home regulations. We can provide extra support and respite for family caregivers during this time. We can provide care and supervision for a client when the family caregiver is away from the home or even while the family caregiver is at home, giving our support with things like bathing, dressing, meal prep, or companionship.
For clients who wish to remain comfortably in their home and limit their potential exposure to the virus, we can provide a qualified caregiver to assist with any number of tasks involved with the activities of daily living. Learn more about our Home Care Services.