Karen McPhail, RN, MSN
How to Manage Things With COVID-19 While needing In Home Private Duty Care!
Updated: Mar 18, 2020
This is a big stressor for many of our clients at present! Limit visitors? We have a daily visitor and my mother is 83 years old!!! This is a valid concern and requires some additional safety steps!
Good homecare companies should have sent to you email guidelines for how they are managing things to protect their clients. If they have not, immediately request a statement from them at this time. In addition, you need to require them to ensure that they are complying with the following:
Ensure from them that private duty staff working for you are not working double shifts or coming to you from another care setting. They need to come to you clean, showered, and in clean clothing. They should not be wearing their clothing more than once. They should remove footwear upon entering at the door and bring a pair of indoor shoes for use. Ask if they have other clients currently and approximate locations. Ask if the other client(s) are being quarantined / isolating or ill. You have the right to know general information to protect you and your loved one!
Upon arrival each time you should have them wash their hands and be permitted to check their temperature. If they have a temperature of 99 or greater (normal temp 98.6, but some people run naturally a little hotter) send them home immediately and contact the agency for a replacement if needed.
Also upon arrival ask them the following questions each time: Any Fevers in the past 7 days? Cough? SOB? Sore throat? Have you traveled recently? Have you been exposed; has any family member or friends tested COVID positive ? If they answer yes to any of these questions immediately send them home and contact the agency for a replacement if needed.
Encourage hand washing throughout the day with soap and water. Private duty aid's should stay with the client and not be out in common areas, etc.
PPE (masks, gown, gloves) should be used to care for individuals who are ill. They are not needed unless this occurs as they are in short supply and have to be used properly.
Routinely and at least daily clean all counters and high touch areas. Keeping areas clean are important with a CDC approved cleaner!
Do not permit other visitors into the home and stay home. Limiting visitors is the best way to protect!
Communicate well with your private duty agency about any health changes for the client as they also need to know this in order to provide safe and effective care.
You may want to inquire to home care provider about live in private duty until the COVID-19 concerns pass. This will help to minimize the stress of people coming and going and possible exposure. / transmission.
Please reach out to us via the contacts tab if you need additional guidance or information as we are here to help!