Home Care Policies & Precautions during COVID-19
The safety and wellbeing of our clients and Gentle Shepherd Home Care staff is our priority.
Beginning March 1, 2020, we have implemented the following changes regarding the safety of our clients, employees, and caregivers:
- provide weekly updates to both our Clients and Employees/Caregivers from the CDC and Public Health.
- provide free, additional training to all staff through the Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging on caregivers safety and safety/best practices for Caregivers.
- All employees/caregivers have been provided N95 mask as well as safety medical goggles and extra gloves for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for their protection. We also have hazmat suits and gear (booties, face shields) if needed for our staff. All employees are to wear a mask and gloves when they are with our clients or in public.
Whenever a caregiver calls in sick we immediately assess them for symptoms with the following questions:
- Have you or someone you have been around been out of the country in the past 60 days?
- Have you or someone you have been in contact with been exposed to COVID-19?
- Do you or anyone you have been in contact with have a fever? If so what is your temperature?
- Do you or anyone you have been in contact with have a dry cough?
- Do you or anyone you have been in contact with have a sore throat?
- Have you or anyone you have been in contact with been to the Hospital, Rehab or Urgent Care in the past 60 days?
- Do you or anyone you have been in contact with have congestion or sneezing?
- Do you or anyone you have been in contact with have digestive issues? Diarrhea or vomiting?
If they answer yes to any one or two of the above we immediately have them contact their Doctor or go to an Urgent Care to be tested for COVID-19. We remove them from all shifts for 14 days so that they may self quarantine. Before coming back to work they must provide us with a Doctors note releasing them back to work with any restrictions and they must provide a “negative” COVID-19 test to start work again. In the event they do not have COVID-19 (and to date none of our employees have gotten it) and provide us with a Doc note stating they can come back to work, their diagnosis and proof of a negative COVID-19 test then they can return to work earlier than the 14 days.
Further Precautions for In Home Senior Care Safety:
- All existing clients’ temperatures will be taken when our caregivers arrive for their shifts. If there is fever then we are notified immediately and the appropriate actions are taken.
- When new prospects/ clients phone us for service we immediately ask them the above questions (that we ask the caregivers above). We assess them on a case by case basis. To date we have had zero cases of COVID-19 with our clients.
- We provide services to both clients at home as well as clients in facilities. We do not cross-contaminate our services with home clients verses facility clients. In other words if you have clients who still live in their homes their caregiver stays consistent (same caregiver every time) and their caregiver will not work in a facility or with a client in a facility. They also will not be working for another home care agency with multiple clients. We have caregivers who service clients in facilities as well staff facilities. We do not allow those caregivers who work in or with facilities work with at home clients …again to avoid cross contamination. We have kept meticulous records of each of our employees and where they work (both for us and with other firms). If they work for us on a limited basis because they are working with other home care agencies or have multiple private clients outside of Gentle Shepherd then we have stopped using those caregivers due to to much exposure to other clients/facilities etc….
- Our office staff (Social Worker, myself, our Director of Care Coordination) all wear protective N95 mask, gloves etc when in public or with employees or clients.
- We now do “intakes” for new clients over Zoom or the phone. We are not currently doing face to face intakes/assessments.
- Our Office staff (Social Worker, myself, our Director of Care Coordination) have not gone to hospitals, rehabs or facilities to do intakes or visits since March 1st. This has kept our staff out of harms way.
- We are working remotely from home but still providing 24/7 coverage for our employees and clients.
Gentle Shepherd Home Care continues to keep Seniors and Caregivers Safe
Gentle Shepherd Home Care continues to monitor the risk of COVID-19 to their clients and staff. We will follow these and any additional precautions to ensure the safety and best care for our clients and their loved ones. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a virtual care assessment, please contact us.