The past few weeks mark one of the most humbling, challenging, but also inspiring periods in SelectCare’s history as a home health care agency.
The COVID-19 pandemic appears practically tailor-made to throw a wrench in the normal operations of a home health care company: the virus is most dangerous to elderly, isolated individuals, has restricted the free movement of caregivers and vital personal protective equipment (PPE) is becoming increasingly challenging to source.
Despite these unprecedented challenges, SelectCare’s emergency preparedness policies and genuine bravery and dedication from our caregivers and administrators have allowed us to maintain continuity of care for our community during this difficult time.
Below are a list of ways we have changed our day-to-day service and policies to provide the safest possible environments for our caregivers and clients.
- Health Screening: All home caregivers are screened prior to their shift to minimize risk of exposure and ensure they are not exhibiting signs of illness.
- Caregivers on 12-hour shifts are given an additional screening at the end of their shift to check for any change of condition.
- Service Coordinators have been given up-to-date training on NYS DOH and CDC return-to-work guidelines, ensuring potentially exposed staff remain home until they are healthy and fully recovered.
- Non-essential nursing visits have been postponed to promote social distancing and minimize potential exposure to clients and staff.
- Caregivers are provided a limited supply of Personal Protective Equipment for use in transit and in the client’s home. Due to limited availability of PPE, SelectCare administrators are rationing these supplies to balance safety with our ability to continue delivering service for the coming weeks and months. These include isolation masks, N95 masks and, in the case of COVID-positive cases, isolation gowns.
- Caregivers have received enhanced training on proper use of PPE and isolation procedures for COVID-positive and assumed COVID-positive clients.
- Clients either testing positive for COVID or assumed positive are also provided PPE for the 14-day isolation period recommended by the CDC and NYS DOH.
- Any caregiver working with a potentially COVID-positive client is only assigned to that client in order to prevent potential cross-contamination.
While we are proud of how our team has adapted to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19, none of this would be possible without the incredible leadership of SelectCare’s Director of Nursing, Kelly Takemura, RN, the professionalism of our nursing supervisors and service coordinators, and the dedication and compassion of our caregivers, and the incredible faith our clients and their families have placed in our team.
If you are concerned about a loved one living in New York City and think they can benefit from a helping hand, call SelectCare today.