• Karen McPhail, RN, MSN

Coronavirus Continues - Some Helpful Guidance


As care managers we are always planning for our clients. A huge part of this planning process is in forming an emergency plan to ensure preparedness at all times. The Coronavirus has unfortunately caught many of us off guard as a new public health challenge. Each day we are receiving updated reports through the media and clearly the CDC and the World Health Organization is evaluating, researching, and updating recommendations and guidelines as things unfold. Many people are panicked and wondering what each day will bring. It is also difficult on many who are living on savings and a fixed income to see market volatility affecting their 401k as a result. However, even among the panic and uncertainty there is still emergency precautions that can be put in place, or should really already be in place, to provide comfort, support health safety, and limit stress:


1. Handwashing is always the gold standard and the best way to prevent the spread of

illness! Be diligent during cold and flu season and especially during this concerning period of time. Always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom, being out and about, and after coughing, sneezing, or using a tissue. Hand washing is always best, but if you cannot wash use an alcohol based sanitizer. The higher the percent of alcohol in the product the better!


2. If you become ill stay home and isolate yourself from others! Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then promptly throw away. Use an alcohol based sanitizer or wash hands after tissue use.


3. Avoid those who are obviously ill. Avoid crowds if possible and when out limit unnecessary touching of items. Never share drinks and food items and avoid close contact with others.


4. Stay clean and change your cloths daily.


5. Keep you home environment clean and without clutter. Try using an antibacterial cleaning agent as their are many on the market for dusting, etc. You can even get disinfecting wipes to make it easy! Remember to disinfect commonly used items daily such as mobile phones, key fobs, brief case, and computer key boards and laptops.


6. Maintain your health through a well balanced diet, good hydration, and a daily exercise plan with input from your healthcare providers. Ensure that you are up to date on all preventative testing and services. Maintaining and being at your optimum level of health is one of the best ways to limit your risk of additional issues, injuries, and health challenges. Along the same lines stay ahead of the game in case of emergencies and limits of supplies for emergencies by stocking at least a month’s supply of medications in the home and commonly used over the counter medications. it is also a good idea to have the same amount of gloves, a small box of disposable or washable masks, and disinfecting wipes hand! As we all know it is now very hard to get masks and for most vendors they are backordered until the end of March.


7. Have a solid, holistic plan in place for the future. If you have not done a long term care plan reach out for guidance as this will give you peace of mind. Everyone should have a good elder care attorney, trusted financial manager, and an RN care manager in place by age 65 (earlier if chronic conditions).


Remember that everything in life is cyclical and that these recent public health challenges and financial impacts will eventual resolve!


Stay calm and wash on!!!


Here are some helpful links:

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

WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019


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