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Thursday, May 21, 2020
An Update from our CEO on COVID-19 Precautions – Carl McManus
As a company dedicated to compassionate and healthy care, we have been actively monitoring the progression of the virus and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
As stay at home orders continue to evolve, the local and national authorities are still advising that seniors and other high-risk adults exercise caution and avoid being in public if possible. Home remains the safest place for older adults, as indications show that the virus is spread more quickly in larger group or public settings. Possible exposure will remain the lowest for those who are able to stay in their homes with limited outside contact. For this reason, we feel fortunate to be able to provide care that can keep people at home and limit their exposure through personalized care and support.
Our caregivers are continuing to support seniors and families every day by providing care that helps older adults live and thrive at home.
And while most cases of COVID-19 are mild, a small percentage of cases become severe and may progress quickly, particularly in the elderly and among people with underlying medical conditions. Because this is the primary population that we serve, we understand you may have concerns.
For that reason, we want to share with you how our organization is responding to the threat of COVID-19.
- We are following updates and procedures from the CDC, State Department of Health, local and county authorities, the Home Care Association of America, and other agencies and resources.
- We are vigilant about our need to help protect our staff and clients from illness be it the flu, COVID-19, or any other communicable disease.
Prior to each care visit, our recommended protocol is that offices complete a certification for all caregivers and clients to reduce the risk of illness. This certification confirms that all parties are complying with CDC guidance for safety and have not been in any high-risk exposure situations. This allows Comfort Keepers to work together with families, seniors and caregivers to create the healthiest environment.
The following are some of the additional safety protocols and procedures we have in place.
- Our staff is trained in infectious disease control.
- Our caregivers have an established protocol to stay home if they are ill with any sickness so as to not infect any of our clients or their family members.
- It is our recommended protocol that all caregivers wear masks.
- Our staff follows hygiene procedures directed by the CDC, including vigorous and frequent handwashing with soap and water, use of sanitizing gels (with 70% alcohol level or higher), use of disinfectant wipes to frequently wipe down surfaces, proper coughing and sneezing techniques, disposal of any items that may have virus or bacteria, and much more.
- If any of our staff or their clients should show signs of COVID-19, we will report, isolate and quarantine, as necessary, abiding by national and local guidelines.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Your Family
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, including under the nails. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth as these are entry points for the virus.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Regularly clean and disinfect objects and surfaces, such as cell phones, telephones, TV remotes, doorknobs, faucet handles, steering wheels, counters and tabletops.
- Eat well, drink lots of water and get rest to keep your immune system healthy.
- Have a family emergency preparedness plan that includes care coverage and back-up support.
- Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.
- Avoid crowds and, wherever possible, practice “social distancing” of remaining at a distance of six feet away from strangers, as recommended by the CDC.
- If you have underlying medical issues that put you in the high-risk category, avoid large public gatherings or other places outside the home. Limit your contact with others. Maintain a distance of six feet from others where possible.
There are a number of ways that Comfort Keepers caregivers are helping seniors stay safe at home, including:
- Providing respite care for family members
- Shopping for groceries and running errands
- Companionship to combat social isolation
- Assistance with technology to connect with loved ones
- Help cleaning and disinfecting their home
- Personal care to assist those with more advanced care needs
We understand that this is a difficult time, and we are proud to be providing these essential services to older adults and their families. If you need support or advice, please reach out to your local office. Every client receives an individualized care plan that details their specific needs, and we can customize our services accordingly.
As new information becomes available, we will continue to provide resources and information. You can learn more here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html