Home Health Care and the COVID-19 Outbreak
Keeping Your Senior Safe
There are so many aspects and angles to the COVID-19 crisis. There is information coming out every day and at a rapid pace, so it is hard to keep up with the latest practices. It can be overwhelming for seniors, especially considering that they are the demographic at the highest risk of infection and death. If your senior is receiving health care in their home, it can be downright unnerving.
Home health starts with the family and ends with the healthcare professional. Let’s look at what both of them can do to protect home health care patients!
What Can You Do to Keep Your Home Safe?
- Clean and disinfect all surfaces often: Tables, doorknobs, countertops, handles, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks are all high-contamination surfaces
- Create a staging area where shoes, mail, and packages can be disinfected before they enter other areas of the home
- Think about a “hot zone” in your home with a separate bathroom (if possible) where someone can quarantine if they develop symptoms or are diagnosed with COVID-19
- Follow the basics: Wash hands often, practice social distancing within the home, wear a mask when interacting with the elderly, cough into the crease of your elbow or a tissue and dispose of it immediately
What Should Home Healthcare Professionals Be Doing to Keep You and Your Family Safe?
- Wear approved PPE (including face masks) at all times while in the home
- Use disposable shoe covers and gloves and throw out immediately after use
- Try to use telehealth or remote visits whenever applicable
- Disinfect and sanitize all non-disposable equipment before and after use in the home
- Practice the same general rules of social distancing when possible during a visit
There are, of course, many precautions on an individual basis that aren’t necessarily reflected in a list like this. Ask questions. If your healthcare provider isn’t taking the steps that you think are appropriate for your safety, be vocal. Let their parent agency know if you feel that they aren’t practicing the essential steps needed to keep you or your loved one protected. Remember that your nurse or healthcare worker doesn’t want to get sick either! Protect yourself and your loved ones with vigilance and a commitment to consistent action to stay clean, stay disinfected, and stay COVID-19 free.