Covid-19 Updates for Our Clients and for Our Caregivers


  Contact : 404-373-2727 | 24 hours a day 7 days a week

All posts by Weyman Perry

An Update to Our Clients – 6/4/20

Dear Personal Care Clients:

As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued, our protocols remain in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and the local Department of Public Health guidelines. At this time no Personal Care Employee has tested positive for COVID-19. We are grateful for this and will continue our diligence in our practices to ensure client and employee safety.

Caregivers will be asked to continue using a mask when delivering direct client care. When they are outside of a six-foot distance from client’s, masks can be removed. Any client who is hospitalized or receives an outpatient procedure will be asked to wear a mask for 7-days upon their return, unless they have received a negative COVID-19 test. As summer vacationing and travel resumes, we are asking staff who have traveled out of state to receive a COVID test upon return. We will continue to ask that health declaration forms be completed, and staff report any exposures of symptoms that they are experiencing. In the spirit of transparency, we will continue to provide you with updates when needed. There have been no additional COVID-19 cases reported within the communities we work in.

To date we have raised a little over $10,000 for our Employee Appreciation Fund. We are short of our $20,000 goal and are hopeful that more people will contribute to the frontline healthcare heroes that have made such an incredible difference in the lives of the at-risk population we serve. If you have any questions about how to donate please let me know.

As continuing care retirement communities begin their gradual re-openings, we will continue to work closely with management teams to ensure the highest level of safety possible.

These are challenging times in our society right now, and it is through the continuation of support and kindness for one another that leave us optimistic and encouraged. As our conversations and dialogues shift, we will continue to keep you updated as best we can.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments please do not hesitate to contact me at 404-373-2727 or by email.

Warm regards,

 

Danielle Grabol

COO/Owner

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Letter to Clients – Families – 5/20/20

May 20th, 2020

Dear Personal Care Clients and Families:

We hope that this letter finds you safe and well. Many of you are experiencing some sort of COVID-fatigue and we understand this. Our updates will continue for now and we hope that we are nearing a time when they will become less frequent.

Many of the communities that we work in are working on gradual plans to re-open. They are doing so with an abundance of caution. We will continue to recommend that our caregivers that cannot maintain six-feet of distance from their clients wear masks.   At this time, no Personal Care Employees have tested positive for COVID-19. We continue to be grateful for this, and will make rapid result testing available for any employee who wishes to have it done. As technology around antibody testing improves, we will be researching options for this as well. Personal Care employees are continuing to practice precautions around infection control and physical distancing.

We have established an Employee Appreciation Fund that will be used to help pay our caregivers for their heroic commitment to clients, families, communities, and each other. If you wish to contribute to this fund you can do so by either adding an extra amount to your payment or sending a separate check. Please let us know by a written notation or an email of your wishes. ALL OF THESE FUNDS will go directly to our employees working in the field. Funds collected will be distributed to all caregivers who have continued to work throughout the pandemic. We have currently collected $5500 towards our goal of $20,000. Personal Care will be contributing to the Employee Appreciation Fund as well, and collecting money until the beginning of June.

We continue to count our blessings and be grateful for the outpouring of support we have received that has allowed us to continue the work that we do. Countless hours have been spent sourcing masks, gloves, cleaning products, hand sanitizer, etc. Private duty homecare providers are not infectious disease experts and COVID-19 forced us to refresh and learn quickly. Our staff have adapted to the almost daily policy and protocol changes that this pandemic forced upon us.

Thank you to our clients, client family members and friends for allowing us to continue to provide care in these unprecedented times. Your trust in Personal Care is greatly appreciated.

With gratitude-

Danielle Grabol
Chief Operating Officer

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Update from Danielle Grabol – 5.18.20

Dear Personal Care Clients and Families:

Our weekly updates regarding COVID-19 will continue and we are happy to report that nothing has changed since our update last week. The communities we work in have reported no new cases of COVID and most are COVID- free. We continue to make rapid-result testing available to caregivers, and are very grateful to report that at this time no Personal Care employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

We are indebted to so many people who have helped us equip our caregivers to continue to show up every day, safe, protected, and prepared to deliver care. Our community has come together and sewn, laminated, resourced, donated, delivered…masks, disinfectant, gloves, shields, hand sanitizer, more masks. It is through this generosity and support that we have kept our staff working safely.

Our 200 office employees, nurses and nursing assistants have soldiered on in the midst of the coronavirus crisis in order to continue to deliver care. In honor of the countless ways in which we have been supported we are feeding 25 Emory Hospital employees this week and 40 Piedmont Hospital employees next week through the Meal Bridge program. We will continue to pay forward every gift and kindness shown to us in every way that we can.

We have established an Employee Appreciation Fund that will be used to help pay our caregivers for their heroic commitment to clients, families, communities, and each other. We are touched that so many of you have contacted us asking to contribute to caregivers that are continuing to show up every day to care for people who need support. If you wish to contribute to this fund you can do so by either adding an extra amount to your payment or sending a separate check. Please let us know with a written notation or an email of your wishes. If it is best for us to add an amount to your invoice we can do so at your direction. If you wish to include the contribution with your payment please indicate that you have done so. ALL OF THESE FUNDS will go directly to our employees working in the field. We will mention this opportunity in the weekly email updates through May. Our plan is to disburse these funds around the middle of June. Our company turns 40 years old on June 11, and we will be adding some money to this fund as well, as we celebrate our employees and this milestone.

Our healthcare heroes are staying the course. They continue to use precautions, wear masks in public, and many are leaving their homes only to go to work. Our staff are committed to their roles in caring for an at-risk population. Thank you for your continued trust that allows us to deliver the care you deserve.

With gratitude-

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Update to Clients, Families and Community Partners – 5/1/20

Dear Personal Care Clients and Families:

Seven weeks have passed since schools were closed and our lives became impacted by COVID-19. Whether you know someone who has had it, live in a community with cases, or have friends and family working on the front lines, we are all impacted in some way.

As states begin to work on their plans to re-open, guidelines are still calling for older adults and at-risk people to shelter in place until June 13th. We have asked our caregivers to exercise caution given their work with high risk populations. We will continue to make COVID-19 testing available to all caregivers who were exposed or request it. Additionally we are continuing to monitor staff for symptoms, exposure and recent travel.

At this time, no Personal Care employees have tested positive for COVID-19. We have had three clients test positive, all of whom reside at the same community.

We appreciate your awareness of the challenges that COVID-19 has placed on the work that we do. In an effort to reduce the number of people that our clients are exposed to we have made efforts to streamline staffing. This consistency has resulted in overtime charges for some clients in order to avoid sending caregivers into multiple facilities or homes. This pandemic has hard costs associated with it- gloves, masks, face shields, gowns, cleaner, and sanitizing products to name a few. Our goal has been to absorb as much of these costs as possible while asking clients to help pay for overtime when it is necessary or rideshare costs for those impacted by public transportation schedule changes.

Like many of you, I am missing hugs from my family and time spent with friends. We are finding that many of the people we serve might have their physical needs met but there is a gap when it comes to social and emotional health. Some of you have explored the use of Amazon Echo, google products, FaceTime and skype to continue to check in. While nothing replaces visits from family, some clients have asked us to increase care to help bridge the gaps and determine if someone really is “doing okay”.

Our caregivers continue to be the heroes of Personal Care’s COVID-19 experience. They have witnessed the effects this virus has had on our older adults and the important role that they play helping to keep clients physically and emotionally strong. Their steadfast commitment to their work is an inspiration to us all.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments please feel free to reach out.

Stay safe!

Danielle Grabol

 

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Update to Caregivers – 4/28/20

Dear Personal Care Employees:

It has been seven weeks since schools were officially closed and we started this COVID journey together. In the past seven weeks we have seen many changes in the ways in which we care for others and ourselves. Throughout these changes you have remained steadily committed to our mission and for that we are grateful.

The Department of Health in conjunction with the National Guard will be conducting community-wide testing in several facilities that we work in over the next few weeks. When widespread testing is conducted we expect that there will be asymptomatic cases of COVID that are discovered. Testing will be made available to any Personal Care Employee who wishes to be tested. Anyone who has been exposed to someone who is COVID positive will be tested immediately. To date we have had three Personal Care clients test positive for COVID, none of them are receiving care at this time.

Many of the facilities we work in plan to extend their current isolation practices through the middle of May. While this is hard for the clients that we serve, we support the recommendations that older adults continue to physically isolate as best they can. We ask that you continue to wear your mask while you are working, practice hand washing techniques and notify us if you are not feeling well. If your client has a sudden change in status, cough, or fever please call the office immediately. If you have been exposed to someone with COVID, traveled out of the state, or work in another facility please let us know.

As we are all facing additional stress and anxiety in our lives I would encourage you to all take some time for yourself to decompress. Taking a walk, listening to relaxing music, a warm bath, spending some time away from your phone or even baking your favorite cake can all be ways that we relax. Remember that we are all in this together!

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions we welcome you to contact us.

Stay safe!

Danielle

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Update for Caregivers from Danielle Grabol – 4/22/20

Dear Personal Care Employees:

Each week that passes leaves me inspired and honored to work with you. We continue to see the ways each of you are committed to the work that we do. Thank you for all that you are doing to keep the mission of our work alive during these difficult times.

Each caregiver has been issued cloth masks. If you would like another mask please let us know. Cloth masks should be hand washed in hot water. Rotate out your mask. Avoid touching the front of your mask. Remove by the elastic or ties using clean hands. Wash your hands after you remove your mask. We are recommending that masks be stored in paper bags with handles. Please wear your masks, this is not optional. Keep your mask on while you are working even while in your client’s home.

We would like everyone to please respond to this email and let us know if you work another job and where. Many of the communities that we work in are asking us to please limit the number of facilities that staff work in. This is understandably difficult for us to manage

The Department of Health has been compiling a list of facilities with known positive COVID cases. These reports are being published in local news stories. We wanted you to know that there have been discrepancies in the reporting with some places being listed that don’t have nearly the amount of cases, and vice versa. Everyone makes mistakes, even Health Departments. We encourage you to continue to let us know what you are hearing in the communities that you work in.

As Gov. Kemp has made changes to the State’s guidelines we wanted to encourage you to please continue to practice safe social distancing, hand washing techniques, and be overly cautious when out in public. We have had no known positive COVID-19 cases with Personal Care employees. We want to continue to keep all our staff as safe as possible. Many of the facilities we work in have indicated that they will continue their current procedures until early May, when the state has indicated the state of Emergency will be over.

If any employee wishes to be tested for COVID-19 and would like assistance with that please contact Martha Clinkscales at 404-373-2727 or mclinkscales@personalcare.net Martha will help facilitate testing at Georgia Tech. This is no-cost testing and takes around 2-hours total with test results given on the same day.

We will continue to keep you updated as best we can regarding information as we receive it from communities. If you work someplace with an active COVID outbreak please notify us immediately. Please continue to notify us if you have been exposed to someone with COVID. If you do not feel well please contact us immediately. Do not report to work with a fever or cough. Let us know if you have traveled recently.

In these uncertain times we understand that tension and anxiety runs high. Thank you for extending us all grace as we face COVID together as a team. You are appreciated now and always.

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions we welcome you to contact us. Stay safe!

Warm Regards,

Danielle

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Update to Clients and Families – April 15, 2020

Dear Personal Care Clients and Families:

Thank you for your continued support of the work we do and our mission to deliver the highest quality of care possible to older adults. We are continuing to do the best we can to make sure that you are informed and kept safe. Over the last several weeks efforts have been made to deliver masks to caregivers, cleaning supplies and sanitizer to clients, and gloves when needed. PPE is still in great shortage, and we are encouraging you to be good stewards of resources at this time.

We have had two clients that have tested positive for COVID-19. Both are residents at the same continuing care retirement community. Neither resident is receiving care from Personal Care at this time. Employees who were exposed were all tested and we are very grateful to report that all employees tested negative. Each of these caregivers was wearing their masks while delivering care. Wearing a mask is important and wearing it offers invaluable protection. We are encouraging all Personal Care clients to wear a mask when outside their home. Masks will be made available to you if you do not have one.

We are working in two communities where there is an “active outbreak” being defined as two or more residents testing positive for COVID. Extensive measures are being taken to make sure that staff are not working in multiple buildings. We have special protocols in place to minimize exposure as it relates to buildings with active outbreaks.

You are encouraged to practice safe social distancing, defined as maintaining six-feet of distance between yourself and another person. We cannot control the actions of others, but we can work hard to protect ourselves and those around us. Other tips include:

· Do not congregate with other residents if you live in a facility. Maintain 6-feet of physical space at all times if possible. Wear a mask if you leave your apartment.

· Do not go into communal areas to sit and visit

· Avoid using communal coffee pots, water fountains, etc.

· If someone approaches you, or your client, without maintaining six-feet of distance please create space. Not everyone is able to remember to physically distance themselves.

· If you have visitors please make sure that both the visitor and yourself are wearing a mask and visit outside with at least six feet of distance. We are strongly encouraging visits to take place remotely via WhatsApp, FaceTime, etc.

· Avoid using elevators with more than two people in them

· Wash your hands before and after touching anything in public, or touch with your elbows, using a paper towel or wipe, etc. Use hand sanitizer when soap is not available

· Avoid setting your cell phone down in public places. Disinfect your phone frequently throughout the day, removing the case to do so.

Please continue to practice safe hand washing techniques. Washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face and eyes, or eating with dirty hands is very important in infection control. If you do not feel well please stay home and avoid contact with others.

Our focus as an organization will remain to ensure the safety of our clients and caregivers. We are thankful for the trust that those we serve place in us, now more than ever in these unprecedented times.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Stay safe!

Danielle Grabol

COO / Owner

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Communicaton Update to Caregiver Staff – 4/15/20

Dear Personal Care Employees:

We are in the thick of this crisis and are so grateful for your courage and calm as we meet our mission to deliver the highest quality of care possible to older adults, and keeping you safe and strong. Thank you for your faithfulness in saying yes and showing up to work on time and ready to provide care to others who are lonely and afraid

We have had two clients that have tested positive for COVID-19.  Neither resident is receiving care from Personal Care at this time. All employees who were exposed to these clients were all tested for Covid-19. We are relieved to report that all employees tested negative. Each of these caregivers was wearing their masks while delivering care. Your mask is important and wearing it offers protection for both you and your clients. Please wear your masks, this is not optional. If any client is suspected of having COVID and requires testing that you work with you will be immediately notified. King’s Bridge, The Holbrook Decatur, Clairmont Place and Lenbrook are the only buildings we work in with confirmed positive cases. Canterbury Court had a positive case and we are happy to report this person has made a full recovery and tested negative (three times!)

Communities that we provide care in have asked that we not send staff in that are working in multiple communities. Please notify us and let us know about the other jobs that you work.

All employees are encouraged to practice safe social distancing, defined as maintaining six-feet of distance between yourself and another person. We cannot control the actions of others, but we can work hard to protect ourselves and our clients. Here are some tips I want to reiterate:

· Do not congregate with other staff or clients when working in facilities. Maintain 6-feet of physical space at all times if possible.

· Do not take your client into communal areas to sit and visit

· Make sure that your clients are wearing masks when they leave their homes

· If someone approaches you, or your client, without maintaining six-feet of distance please create space. Not everyone is able to remember to physically distance themselves.

· If your client has a visitor that comes please make sure that both the visitor and client are wearing mask and visit outside with at least six feet of distance. We are strongly encouraging visits to take place remotely via WhatsApp, FaceTime, etc.

· Push wheelchairs at a distance that is farther away than normal

· Avoid using elevators with more than two people in them

· Practice physical distancing outside of work; be cautious with errands and wear your mask at all times when in public.

· Use hand sanitizer before and after touching anything in public, or touch with your elbows, using a paper towel or wipe, etc.

· Avoid setting your phone down in public places. Disinfect your phone frequently throughout the day, removing the case to do so

· We encourage you to wear gloves while providing patient care but do not wear them outside client communities. Cross contamination happens when people believe gloves make them safe and touch things with gloves that are contaminated. Washing your hands is key. Please be good stewards of glove use.

Remove and launder your uniforms after work. If you need more uniforms please let us know and we will arrange for a safe drop off. Please call us and notify us if you need to wear a clean uniform that does not meet Personal Care’s uniform guidelines.

Please continue to practice safe hand washing techniques. Washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face and eyes, or eating with dirty hands is very important in infection control.

If you feel that anyone is practicing unsafe hygiene or social distancing during this crisis, please call the office immediately to alert us. We will be discreet in how we deal with it. It is important for everyone’s safety that we address any concerns that could put others at risk.

This is a difficult time for everyone and we appreciate the ways our community has come together to help support those in need. We will continue to keep you updated as best we can regarding information as we receive it from communities. It is important that you know that a positive case in a community does not mean that you were exposed. If you work someplace with an active COVID outbreak please notify us immediately. Please continue to notify us if you have been exposed to someone with COVID.

We have known for many years that the work we do is essential. You are helping care for an at-risk population during a time of great uncertainty. We appreciate the strength and calmness that you bring to those you help.

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions we welcome you to contact us.

Stay safe!

Danielle

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COVID 19 Update to Clients and Families – 4/9/20

Dear Personal Care Clients and Families:

In an effort to continue to sanitize homes as best we can we have obtained a cleaning product from Clorox. This week we will be delivering an industrial strength EPA approved COVID-19 killer cleaner called Biostain as well as an 8-oz container of hand sanitizer. Each client will be charged $10 for these supplies and they are for your home. Some of you have indicated that you don’t need these supplies and were not included on our delivery list. Caregivers are being asked to use the cleaner to wipe down all commonly touched areas each day like light switches, handles, bathrooms, door knobs, etc. We are asking you to please be proactive in your supply needs, particularly around gloves, so we can anticipate delivery needs in advance.

At this time, we do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our organization. We are continuing to work closely with staff to emphasize the importance of hand washing, sanitizing commonly used areas, contact precautions, physical distancing and reporting symptoms when they do not feel well.

We have asked that any client who goes to a doctor’s appointment, urgent care center, emergency room/hospital, or returns home from a skilled nursing facility/rehab facility to self-quarantine for 14-days and wear a mask while receiving care. Additionally any clients with fevers, a cough, or exhibiting respiratory symptoms will be asked to wear a mask.

Employees are being asked to wear masks while they are at work. We understand that this might be unsettling to some of you, but it is a proactive measure that we have in place and believe it is for the safety of both clients and caregivers.

Very few of us expected to start 2020 off with a pandemic. This is an unprecedented event and health care providers are collaborating with each other like never before around best practices, PPE shortages, testing resources, etc. We consider ourselves fortunate to have such great community partners that allow us to continue to deliver care.

While you are physically distanced from your loved ones, you are not alone. Thank you for the continued ways you have shown your support and appreciation.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments please do not hesitate to reach out.

With gratitude,


Danielle Grabol, CCM
Chief Operating Officer/Owner
Personal Care, Inc.

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Letter to Staff from Danielle Grabol – April 6

Dear Personal Care Employees:

We are writing to update you on a few things. If someone from the office has not contacted you already regarding masks, gloves, cleaning products, and hand sanitizer needs, we will. We are in the process of delivering supplies to clients homes that are in need.

Wearing your mask is mandatory, even while working with a client in their home. This is a precautionary measure that we are taking under guidance from the CDC.

If you do not feel well please call us immediately! We understand that this is allergy season for many of us, and it can be hard to determine if we are suffering from allergies or sick.

Many of your clients have memory loss which can make quarantine especially difficult. It is hard to help these people self-isolate and they might wonder why you are wearing a mask. “There is a contagious virus and we are wearing masks to protect each other” might be a simple answer to a complicated situation.

If you have traveled outside the state of Georgia recently, or plan to travel please contact us. If anyone has left an area of high COVID-19 spread to come to your home they need to self-isolate for 14-days when they arrive. This is an important safety measure for you.

Anxiety is understandably high right now. A good way to manage fear is to become educated about what we are fearful of. The more we know about the real dangers of COVID-19 with accurate information the better you will feel. Focus on what you have control over: your ability to wash your hands, limit your exposure in public, clean and sanitize your home, wear your mask. Limit your time watching TV if the coverage is distressing.

Awareness is not the same as being fearful. It is important as a healthcare provider that you are aware of COVID-19 and the risk factors. Constant fear that is not reality based can create stress. Try to take time every day to shift your focus to something positive. Spend time doing something that helps to calm you. Create a support system with people in your life that help you feel balanced and grounded. If someone creates more anxiety for you then you might want to create healthier topics to discuss.

We are all in this together. As we continue to navigate this ever-changing situation we want you to know that you are not alone. Dealing with an unprecedented health crisis, coupled with children out of school can become overwhelming. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Stay safe!

Danielle Grabol
Chief Operations Officer

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