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All Posts in Category: COVID-19 Letters

Update to Personal Care Clients and Families – 7/2/20

Dear Personal Care Clients and Families:

As we head into the holiday weekend, we want to bring to your attention the realities of what is happening in our community. COVID-19 is on the rise again. Many of you may already have a family member who has either been exposed or tested positive. We are reiterating to all Personal Care employees, clients, client family members and office staff the importance of wearing a mask in public, physical distancing, proper hand washing, and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces

We learned yesterday that one of our clients tested positive for COVID-19. They were tested following exposure to a family member who also tested positive. One Personal Care Employee worked with the client. She has tested negative for the virus and will be tested again next week. She is displaying no symptoms.  At this time, no Personal Care employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Your hand washing, mask wearing, and physical distancing are working. COVID-19 still poses a real threat and we must continue to take all precautions possible to remain safe. We are continuing to ask employees who do not feel well to not report to work.

If you are exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 please contact us immediately. We would ask that you refrain from visiting your family member until you have received a negative COVID-19 test or have self-quarantined and are asymptomatic for 14-days. If you travel out of Georgia, we suggest that you self-quarantine and wear a mask upon returning and resuming services. All clients returning from hospitals and skilled nursing facilities are asked to wear a mask and self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms if they are unable to receive a COVID-19 test.

We are encouraging all clients and staff to take advantage of testing opportunities when they become available throughout the community. As some of the communities that we serve are now requiring regular COVID-19 testing, we are exploring various options to meet these requests. Gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning products are still in high demand and the cost to procure these items continues to rise. If you are in need of any supplies please contact us.

Many communities have extended their restrictions on visitation until July 15th or later. The continued isolation and limited social engagement are difficult on everyone, particularly our clients. Our caregivers are working harder than ever to try and fill the gaps as best they can. FaceTime and Video visits with Amazon Show are highly encouraged. If you are planning on dropping off supplies or visiting with someone, we ask that you coordinate this with us ahead of time so we are able to let you know what items might be needed. As a reminder, Personal Care caregivers are not allowed to fill up weekly medication dispensers, or dispense medication from prescription pill bottles. We are happy to meet you outside with the dispensers and medications if needed.

Like you, we had hoped this summer would find us adjusting to our new “post pandemic” normal and starting to resume some of the activities we enjoy. We are committed to being as transparent as possible as we continue to navigate these waters together.

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

Regards,

Danielle Grabol

COO/Owner

 

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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 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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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 Clients – 3.31.20

March 31, 2020

Dear Clients and Families:
This week we will finish delivering masks to all Personal Care employees. This project was made possible through the generosity of our community and several client family members, employees and Personal Care friends. We are deeply appreciative of these efforts and are continuing to collect masks for staff.
There is a shortage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and disinfecting/cleaning products. We asked last week about your glove needs. We would like to recommend that all homes be disinfected at the beginning and end of a shift with an approved cleaner to kill the COVID-19 virus. This week our nurses are calling caregivers to speak with them individually about the best ways to disinfect commonly touched areas and whether their clients have the appropriate cleaning products. Please provide these and if it is not possible please let me know.
We have updated our Health Declaration Form to replace the question about international travel and change that to any travel outside of the state of Georgia. If you employ private caregivers or housekeepers we would suggest you ask them these same questions. The shelter in place mandates to “flatten the curve” only works if all caregivers, clients, families, employees, and visitors practice them. Thank you for staying the course and continuing to follow these guidelines as your decisions impact the community now more than ever.
Our organization has not had a confirmed positive case of COVID-19. We are committed to continuing to be as transparent as possible with updates and protocols during this ever-changing and unprecedented situation. We take our responsibility to protect our caregivers and clients very seriously and we are committed to taking proactive measures to ensure their safety and well-being.
On a lighter note I wanted to share with you a heartwarming story from Clairmont Place that was featured in the news. Physical distancing does not have to mean social isolation for older adults. While we cannot share a warm embrace I encourage you to find creative ways to connect with those you love.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.
Warm Regards,

Danielle Grabol
COO, Personal Care, Inc.

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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: 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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