As COVID-19 cases spike in what some are calling the second wave of the virus, people receiving home health care services and the people providing them are looking at how to best protect themselves from exposure.
The statistics are real. 85% of the deaths from COVID-19 are age 65 or above, 70% are 80 or above. 70% of those lived in senior care communities. It makes sense with the close proximity of those who are statistically at the highest danger.
The concerns in home health have been different and have required a different approach. If a client is exposed to the virus, they could likely expose 2 caregivers. Those caregivers could then potentially expose a few additional clients who could expose additional caregivers, etc.
These concerns require a heightened version of something quality caregivers practice all the time, Universal Precautions. This is the practice of treating everything and everyone you encounter as potentially infectious. Personal Protective Equipment such as gloves and masks (when necessary) are foundational pieces of this protection, but prevention via isolation and social distancing are equally as important.
Curbside pickup or contact free deliveries have become truly necessary ways for people, especially seniors, to be able to limit contact with people, limiting medical visits to those essential to the client wellness and limiting contact or possible exposure when medical visits are necessary.
People ask about testing, but if home health caregivers are tested they would have to be tested multiple times each day to attempt to catch any potential exposure. This simply isn’t possible and so following CDC guidelines and using all aspects of Universal Precautions are