As we hear more about the emerging Coronavirus, home care is certainly an area where we cannot be too careful in the precautions we take. AHQC has been proactively educating our Caregivers and Staff about the dangers of the virus, the ways we can prevent the spread, and realistic expectations for the elderly during this time.

Older people and people with an underlying disease such as diabetes or heart disease seem to be at a higher risk to catch the virus.

Typically, those needing home care fall into one (or two) of these groups.

As an elderly person or someone with an underlying condition, you might be wondering what you can do to stay healthy.

The good news is – there are steps to take to ensure you’re doing all you can to prevent the spread of the virus.

Monitor your symptoms and seek medical help when necessary. If any of the following symptoms present, seek medical help (by calling your physician):

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath                                         
  • Many patients have pneumonia in both lungs, as a severe complication from the virus                                                               

*Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure

We have educated our Caregivers about these warning signs that might indicate that someone has the virus. And they are monitoring their Clients to ensure safety and care! To keep our company safe and to minimize illness, we have recommended that our Staff & Caregivers:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

  • Wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. (Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.)

  • Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day including: counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tables, and bedside tables. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to label instructions. 

  • Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw tissues in a lined trash can and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty. 

  • Stay home if ill, except to get medical care.

It is also recommended that anyone who believes they have been exposed to the virus wear a mask.

We have also ensured that we are stocked with health & safety supplies to keep our Staff, Caregivers & Clients healthy.

If you are taking care of an elderly family member during this time , you can assist them by monitoring their medication and day-to-day products that they might need to stock up on. This can minimize trips to the store. It can also assist by helping your loved one be exposed to the least amount of germs possible. You can also encourage them in providing emotional and physical support if they have any fears regarding outbreaks.

Because we specialize in home care, the Clients we serve are less apt to be exposed to the virus, as opposed to a Nursing Home.

Perhaps most importantly, we can keep calm. As new cases arise and those around us begin to fear and frantically buy out every store, we can calmly prepare for a possible outbreak. We can also take the precautions necessary to stay healthy!

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/index.html

As Confirmed Cases Rise, Home Health Industry Turns Its Attention to Coronavirus

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