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.