Home Care and Covid-19

Home care and Covid-19 during this exceptional time,  means fewer people want a new person in their home. However, illness, Alzheimers – dementia, hospitalizations continue as does spousal caregiving burnout. covid19 - keep calm - wash hands So much aloneness can exacerbate depression. We all must consider and manage risk.  When you or a loved cannot safely manage on your own, family or friends cannot be there or are not qualified to provide personal care, then hiring an aide is a sensible option.

Questions to ask a licensed Home Care Company

Now is probably not the best time to hire independently for the usual reasons; no back –up, no oversight, no guidelines. These things are even more important as you will want to know a bit more about the aide and what the company is doing for your safety and that of the caregiver. Home  care and Covid-19 questions you may want to ask about:

Are you open, fully operational and taking on new clients?

Which guidelines are you following? CDC, County, State and Federal?

What precautions are you taking for client and aide safety?

Some precautions include:

– Do I have to fill out and touch a lot of papers in order to work with your company?

Companies ought to now be using Paperless documentation so that the paperwork required to start care can be easily completed and sent from your own computer.

-What is your availability for guidance, questions, and concerns?

It ought to be 24/7.

-Are you registering or hiring new aides at this time? Or are you staffing with the aides you know?

As a precaution, it may be best for a company to use the aides they have and know right now. It may require

-Is you company sending aides into private homes who may also work in Senior Communal Residences?

It is suggested that the client decides whether or not they want an aide who works also in communal settings.

-How do know whether or not new clients have tested positive for Covid-19 or not?

It is recommended that the company requires all new clients to state in writing that they have not tested positive for Covid-19 nor been exposed and told to self-quarantine.

-Does your company provide PPE such as gloves, masks etc.?

Many aides carry their own PPE – mask and gloves though it is advised that clients provide these as always, for their own sense of safety and well-being.

When clients, aides and the Home Care company work together solutions are found and the lowest degree of risk can likely be obtained.

Assessing Risk

It is up to each of us to determine our risk for home care and Covid-19. Check with your doctor and family members for their guidance. There are times when the right answer is to hire a caregiver. Certainly, medical home care whether through Medicare or Hospice services can’t easily be avoided. Remember that the risk goes both ways, for you and the therapists, nurses and aides. Have them wash their hands in front of you as well as wiping down any equipment they may use with you. Try to have your own gloves and masks as noted above.  We do best when we are responsible for our own safety in these matters.

You may even want to have alcohol and a thermometer available to check the temperature of anyone coming into your home. If the person is coughing or sneezing, you may ask them to leave, call the company and have someone else come to you for services.

Together we will get through this. It may take time till they find the vaccine, in the meantime, follow CDC guidelines of staying home, washing your hands properly throughout the day, wipe things down, stay at least 6 feet apart or wear a mask covering your nose and mouth.

The greater risk may be being alone,  falling or not having care and help with personal needs, medications etc.  Be vigilant with your safety concerns while having the help and services you need to remain home and to recuperate.