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Archive for March 2020

Communication to Caregivers

Many of us are healthcare providers because we feel it is a calling, not just a job. We are now being called to provide care in uncertain times for people who are high risk. The health and safety of our Personal Care clients and employees is our number one priority and we are taking proactive steps to ensure your safety.

As many of you have heard there is a major shortage of supplies including personal protective gear (masks, gloves, wipes, sanitizer, gowns). While this shortage is frightening as a healthcare professional, we are working hard to work around this. We are asking that you PLEASE be aware of your glove use. See the note below and please do not use gloves when it is not necessary.

We are working on having reusable masks made for all clients and caregivers. Our plan is to have this completed ASAP and delivered to staff who want them. While you do not need to wear a mask if you are not sick, we understand that you might be caring for people who are sick, and a mask is appropriate. Please look out for more communication later this week about masks.

COVID-19 is a virus that will only be contained if we continue to self-isolate and practice social distancing. We have asked all clients and their family members to adhere to this recommendation for the safety of our employees. We are asking you to self-isolate outside of work for the safety of your clients and co-workers.

I. Handwashing
a. Wash your hands before and after leaving a client’s home using soap and water (proper handwashing technique). EVEN if you use hand sanitizer at the entrance of a community, you should still wash your hands when you arrive!
b. Wash your hands after removing gloves.
c. Wash your hands after using the restroom.
d. Wash your hands after you have touched your face or blowing your nose.
e. Wash your hands before preparing/serving a meal.
f. Wash your hands as you report to work.
g. Wash your hands after handling an object that may potentially contaminated with germs, viruses, or bacteria (clothes/laundry, newspapers, trash, door handles)

II. Gloves
a. Wear gloves when performing ANY personal direct contact with a client.
b. Wear gloves when applying lotions/creams.
c. Wear gloves when assisting with eye or ear drops.
d. Wear gloves when emptying a urinal, catheter bag or bedside commode and trash.
e. Wear gloves if client requests you wear them.
f. DO NOT wear gloves when walking around in public and using gloves to open doors, etc. This is when you need to use a paper towel, napkin, or wipe.

III. Personal Habits to follow
a. Sneeze or cough into your bent elbow.
b. Do not touch your face.
c. Wash uniform/working clothes before wearing them again to work.
d. Distance yourself from crowds of 10 or more.
e. If you are sick (fever, cough, sneezing, not feeling well) stay at home. If you are not certain call the office for direction.

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Covid-19 Letters

March 26, 2020

Dear Personal Care Clients and Families:
We know that you, like many of us, are monitoring the COVID-19 virus situation on a very regular basis. There are no instruction manuals for how to manage our feelings at a time like this. I am deeply comforted by the incredible support of our clients, families, community partners, and most importantly, our employees. We have appreciated the patience and grace you have shown us during this difficult time.
At this time, we have not had a positive COVID-19 case within our company. We are continuing to encourage transparency in the communities we work in to best ensure the safety of residents and employees.
The state of Georgia has mandated that at-risk people shelter in place. While each county and city might have different orders, Personal Care’s Caregivers are considered “essential employees” and the work we do is exempt from any business closures. Employees have been given a letter to this effect for their travel to and from work.
This is a difficult time for people who do not feel well. Many physicians’ offices are closed for in-person appointments, but offering telehealth visits. It is not recommended that you go to the Emergency Room unless you are very sick and you cannot manage your symptoms at home. If you have a fever, cough, runny nose, etc. we recommend contacting Dispatch Health 720-647-5329 to see if they will test you for the flu and strep throat. They are able to do a urinalysis for UTI diagnosis as well. If your symptoms are more than they can manage through a Nurse Practitioner coming to your home they will advise you regarding next steps.
We are in the process of having masks made for employees, and have distributed around 45 at this time. While we know this is not required when working when people who are not sick, the Department of Community Health has told us that caregivers who cannot maintain six-feet of distance should consider wearing a mask. Due to the supply shortage masks are being crafted by hand and distributed as they are completed. The shortage of Personal Protective Equipment is something we are carefully monitoring and working with vendors as best we can to make sure we have the supplies we need.
We do not take lightly the trust you have placed in Personal Care for your care needs. We will continue to monitor the CDC and Department of Community Health for updates and information.
If you have any additional questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.
Warm regards,

Danielle A. Grabol
Chief Operations Officer
Personal Care, Inc.

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Letter to Caregivers: March 18

Dear Personal Care Employees:

As concern around the COVID-19 virus have increased we want to reach out to you with an update.

If you have not reviewed the proper handwashing technique video please do so as soon as possible. Video HERE

All staff who have traveled internationally will need to notify the office immediately. We are asking all staff to let us know if you work another job. Many facilities are asking that we reduce the exposure of their residents by minimizing the number of people who enter their buildings. Personal Care is trying to get an idea of how many employees that we have that might work in multiple facilities.

Several facilities will be asking questions about recent travel, illness, or exposure prior to entering the building. Many of the buildings we work in will be limiting visitors, or not allowing visitors at all. Some might be taking your temperature prior to entering their facilities. We are asking that all clients self-isolate and avoid all group gatherings.

The CDC has recommended social distancing whenever possible. This includes maintaining 6-feet of space between yourself and another person, limiting outings that are greater than 250 people, and only going places that are essential. While we understand how difficult this is, containment is what is suggested to prevent widespread virus outbreaks. All group gatherings at Personal Care have been cancelled including our annual awards banquet and continuing education classes. All staff have been asked to practice social distancing and self-isolation outside of work hours.

HAND WASHING: Please wash your hands frequently. Hand washing should always be done when entering a client’s home, prior to and after meal preparation, and prior to eating. Use gloves when providing personal care to clients. Hand sanitizer is not as effective as proper hand washing!

The CDC recommends that you practice infection control like you would for any other virus. This includes:

  • Staying home when you have a fever of 100.4 or greater and not returning to work until you are fever-free for 24-hours without the use of fever reducing medication
  • Avoid touching your eye, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover you sneeze with a tissue and throw it away immediately, cough into your elbow not your hands
  • Wash your hands for at least 20-seconds following the guidelines in the handwashing technique video. If soap is not available use hand sanitizer (70% or higher alcohol content)
  • Clean and disinfect high touch areas and frequently touched objects

It is important that you encourage your clients to practice good hand-washing techniques as older adults often have more compromised immune systems. If you have any concerns about your clients and their risk for exposure to Covid-19 please contact us immediately.

If you have had any direct contact with anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19, or worked someplace with a presumptive positive Covid-19 testing please contact us immediately.

The health and safety of Personal Care employees and clients is our number one priority. We understand that the recent school closures may have impacted your ability to work. If you are unable to work due to childcare, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible.

During these times of uncertainty, we want you to know that we are carefully monitoring the CDC and Department of Community Health websites. The health and welfare of frontline employees is a priority to Personal Care.  As new information emerges, we will continue to update you and make all necessary adjustments. If you have questions or concerns please contact Danielle Grabol at 404-373-2727 or dagrabol@personalcare.net

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Letter: March 18, 2020

As concern around the COVID-19 virus have increased we want to reach out to you with an update. At this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 within our company.

Proper handwashing is critical to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All Personal Care employees were required to complete continuing education on proper handwashing techniques. Please review the video HERE

We are recommending that all clients who are over the age of 60 and/or are immunocompromised consider self-isolation. This will include limited outings in public, avoiding people who have traveled recently, and canceling doctors’ appointments unless they are medically necessary or emergency situations.

Additionally, we are recommending that all people with recent travel consider limiting their visitation for two weeks.

We need your help in battling COVID-19. The CDC has recommended social distancing whenever possible. This includes maintaining 6-feet of space between yourself and another person, limiting outings that are greater than 50 people, and only going places that are essential. While we understand how difficult this is, containment is what is suggested to prevent widespread virus outbreaks.

We are conducting screening of all employees entering buildings to include taking temperatures. All employees have been asked to limit participation in community activities and outings. Personal Care will be practicing social distancing and cancelling all group events. All employees are required to disclose recent travel and exposure to COVID-19.

Clients and family members are being asked to help procure the following supplies if possible: Thermometer, gloves, wipes, adequate briefs and skincare supplies, adequate supplies of medications, adequate anti-bacterial soap, hand sanitizer, approved COVID-19 wipes, and surgical masks if possible.

The CDC recommends that you practice infection control like you would for any other virus. This includes:

  • Staying home when you have a fever of 100.4 or greater and not returning to work/public until you are fever-free for 24-hours without the use of fever reducing medication
  • Avoid touching your eye, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover you sneeze with a tissue and throw it away immediately, cough into your elbow not your hands
  • Wash your hands for at least 20-seconds following the guidelines in the handwashing technique video. If soap is not available use hand sanitizer (70% or higher alcohol content)
  • Clean and disinfect high touch areas and frequently touched objects

If you have had any direct contact with anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19, or been someplace with a presumptive positive Covid-19 testing please contact us immediately.

During these times of uncertainty, we want you to know that we are carefully monitoring the CDC and Department of Community Health websites. We are all in this together as we seek to keep our clients and employees as safe as possible. As new information emerges, we will continue to update you and make all necessary adjustments. If you have questions or concerns please contact Danielle Grabol at 404-373-2727 or dagrabol@personalcare.net

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Self-Isolation Ideas and Suggestions

Self-Isolation Ideas and Suggestions

  • Stay connected with your family through FaceTime calls. Don’t have an Iphone? Skype and WhatsApp allow you to connect too
  • If you have WiFi you might consider an Amazon Show or similar Google device. This will allow you to drop in and see someone who might not be able to initiate a call to you on a smart phone. How to set up Amazon Show found here
  • Create a photo memory book on sites like Snapfish and have it sent to a loved one
  • Consider making your “favorite meal” virtually while your parent/children oversee your cooking skills!
  • This is a perfect time to start writing your memoir
  • Missing your grandchildren? Think about writing them letters
  • 2020 is starting off as a year to remember! Create a time capsule for the young children in your life
  • Live Stream a free concert. Info here
  • Exercise! Not only does exercise increase immunity but it relieves anxiety and depression. Go for a socially-distanced walk in your community or outside. At-home exercise ideas from the National Institute on Aging Found here
  • Create a “virtual” book club with neighbors, friends and family.
  • Start a journal
  • Limit the amount of time you watch television, particularly if the news causes you the be anxious.
  • Create a gratitude jar. Write one thing a day you are grateful for down and put the note inside the jar.
  • Clean out your closets and cabinets. What better time to get rid of things that you aren’t using or old food items?
  • Rearrange your furniture, move chairs, or consider sitting in a different area than you normally do
  • Clip recipes from newspapers and magazines to try and create a quarantine cookbook with.
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COVID-19: How Can Personal Care, Inc. Help

How Can Personal Care, Inc. Help?

Corona Virus has made the Home Care Solution even more attractive as an option because it allows the senior to remain safe in their home or apartment by promoting social distancing. The caregiver is able to assist by not only providing the needed hands on care support but also by keeping the senior well supplied with medications, groceries or anything else the senior might need while not exposing the senior to the risk of mingling with large groups of people.

Personal Care’s Commitment to Safety

  • Caregivers and Office Staff of Personal Care have received the latest communication and training regarding symptoms, safety protocols, travel reporting requirements, proper handwashing techniques, warning signs of illness and infection control protocols, including effective cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and hands.
  • Personal Care is committed to the safety and well being of our Clients, Family Members and Staff.
  • We will not place any caregiver with a client for a minimum of 14 days or until cleared by a medical provider if the caregiver has:
    • Been exposed to a facility where COVID- 19 is being treated
    • Traveled to a location on the CDC advisory list in the past two months
    • Started showing symptoms of the illness

The most common symptoms of the virus are fever, cough and difficulty breathing

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