Our caregivers’ guidelines for working in the age of COVID-19

With the rapid spread of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, we want to ensure that our Caregivers and our Clients are as safe as we can make them. Below are our suggested guidelines for working in today’s conditions. It is important that we all keep up to date with the current guidelines. Attached are two documents issued by the CDC. The first is a Fact Sheet about what to do if you are sick and the second is a fact sheet about the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. Please read them carefully!

  1. If you’re not feeling well

If you notice any Symptoms – even the slightest –do NOT go to work and Call the office. These symptoms include:

  • Sore Throat
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Sneezing
  • Difficulty in breathing
  1. Arriving at the client’s home

When you first arrive at the client’s home, please check to see if the client has any of the above symptoms. If he/she does, or if anyone else living in the client’s home does, then we must take action. If you are relieving another Caregiver, or if you are relieving one of the client’s family members, ask that person to stay while you call the office. Then call the office, your Care Manager, or the On-Call Manager (if this is an after-hours or week-end shift) to discuss:

  • Your willingness to continue working with this client
  • Coordinating a doctor’s visit or a phone call to the client’s doctor. This may be done by you, by the Care Manager, or by a family member of the client.

If the client is alone and there is no other Caregiver present, step outside and call the office, your Care Manager, or the On-Call Manager. As stated above, decisions need to be made about whether you are willing to work with this client, who will call the client’s doctor, and how the client will get to the doctor or to a place where a test can be given. It is important that this be discussed and acted upon in a timely manner.

  1. While working in any client’s home

Under the current conditions, it is more important than ever to do the following:

  • Wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant. These include door knobs, counter tops, tables, chairs, and any other surface that someone may touch;
  • Wash your hands frequently (always remembering the 20-second rule!), particularly:
    • Before touching food
    • Before and  After blowing your nose
    • Before and after providing personal care
    • Often, often, often
  • Ensure there are sufficient supplies in the home, including sanitizers, soap, gloves, etc. Let the office know if you need more supplies. 
  • Document anything out of the ordinary…it is important to document and date everything you do and see so that we can, if necessary, go back and see when things may have begun to change. Remember: other Caregivers or Clients may be involved in this and we need to protect them as well
  • Notify your Care Manager of anything that may seem out of the ordinary for that client. Change, even subtle, may be an indication of a possible health issue
  • Education: read and keep up to date on CDC standards.
  1. Before leaving the client’s home

Again, be sure to wipe down all surfaces, even those you wiped down upon arrival. Wash your hand thoroughly before leaving. And again, evaluate your client and make sure that he/she is not showing any of the symptoms mentioned earlier. Call the office immediately if you notice something out of the ordinary!

  1. Working in Facilities (if you are NOT sick)

It is important that you familiarize yourself with, and follow closely, the Facility’s guidelines and procedures. All facilities are taking extreme precautions to reduce risk of spreading the virus. Some of these precautions may seem new to you. Some may surprise you. Remember that they are looking out for the well-being of your client and yourself. 

When working with clients in facilities, If you notice anything out of the ordinary with the client, report it immediately to both the Facility Staff and to your Care Manager. 

We hope these steps help you to reduce the risk of spreading the Coronavirus to other Caregiver, our clients, and to your families. Please do not hesitate to call the office if you have any questions. You can call (707) 763-6600 during the day and the on-call number (707) 486-8191 after hours and on the week-ends.