Is In-Home Care Safe During COVID-19?
With COVID-19 cases still increasing in some areas and seniors being especially vulnerable to this life-threatening infection, many people are understandably concerned that getting home health aide services may put their loved one at risk.
This health pandemic has put the over 12 million seniors who rely on in-home care in a difficult position – they require additional assistance due to chronic illness, disability or infirmity, but don’t want to expose themselves to the risk of COVID-19. Here is some insight on whether or not it is a good idea to have senior home care services during the crisis.
It’s All About Choosing the Right Professional Home Health Aide Services Provider
Dealing with COVID-19 and managing the risks to elderly and disabled seniors has become a part of how high-quality home health aide providers operate. These providers are already trained in infection control and recognize the risks of COVID-19. They are taking the strictest precautions to help prevent their staff from contracting the virus and spreading it to seniors in their care.
There is no 100% risk-free way to provide care, but strict adherence to long-established health and hygiene protocols will make this essential care as accessible and safe as possible. This includes:
Self-monitoring – All associates should be required to take their temperature on a daily basis and assess their own wellness, and report this to their supervisors. Any symptoms, including above-normal temperature, dry coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue will require them to quarantine at home and seek testing and medical care. Clients should also be similarly monitored.
Following protocols at work and at home – It’s important for all home health aide agencies to train staff to follow strict COVID-19 protocols in client homes. This includes disinfecting all contact surfaces, and regular, thorough washing of hands with soap and water upon arrival, before and after providing care, meal prep or assisting with tasks like fetching groceries or taking deliveries.
Caregivers can also wear masks while interacting with clients through their workday. When caregivers go home or to another client, strict protocols mandate sanitizing thoroughly and practicing physical distancing.
Helping patients with physical distancing – For more independent seniors, home health aides can also assist with physical distancing, educating and empowering clients and their families. This can include helping online to set up deliveries rather than visiting stores, assisting with Skype meetings with family and friends, helping clients develop good hygiene protocols, and setting up telehealth services to manage any day-to-day medical issues.
The Need for High-Quality Senior Care Remains
For seniors who rely on in-home care to manage the tasks of daily living or manage an illness or injury, the need for this high-quality care is just as essential as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, this pandemic has made this care even more important for two reasons: families experiencing lockdown and are unable to travel, and understandably, family caregivers are concerned about passing on this virus to their loved ones.
During this time, it is critical that vulnerable older adults do not deteriorate from isolation or are put at risk of falls, injuries, or illness. With the right protocols and awareness in place, home health aide services provide the safe care, companionship and assistance that is so essential to seniors during the pandemic.
Safe Community-Based Care from HomeWorks Home Health Aide Services in NJ
United Methodist Communities’ HomeWorks program is dedicated to safe, community-based care for older adults through the pandemic and beyond.
As one of the leading home health aide agencies in New Jersey, we are taking COVID-19 very seriously, and have implemented strict protocols to ensure that our patients get the same high-quality, essential care and companionship while mitigating the spread of COVID-19. As front-line workers, we’re here to support our community and keep you and your loved ones safe.
If you have any questions about our COVID-19 precautions or getting senior home care services during the pandemic, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/Home-Heath-Aid-services