Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
An Update on FirstLight Home Care’s Efforts
To our Clients, Families and Home Care Partners:
We want to personally update you on the situation with COVID-19 and the steps we are taking to ensure the health and safety of our clients, families, caregivers and staff.
FirstLight® Home Care is actively monitoring the progression of COVID-19, to ensure that we have the most accurate and latest information. As you know, this situation is developing rapidly as new cases are identified in our communities and our protocols will be adjusted as needed.
The infection control practices we have in place conform to OSHA regulations, CDC guidelines, the Accreditation Commission for Health Care standards and state and local regulations. Additionally, our response and plans may adjust according to the recommendations from these organizations.
And please know, our goal in all of this is to be prepared… not panicked.
Here are the steps FirstLight is taking at this time:
- As a standard practice, we have an infection control plan in place. We will continue to follow it as this situation evolves or update it accordingly.
- All FirstLight caregivers follow established protocol regarding staying home when sick. This practice is not new to our staff.
- Communication with caregivers to assess any known risk factors, such as travel to areas with widespread outbreaks or local contact in areas known to have reported cases, are ongoing.
- We believe that home remains the safest place for the individuals in our care, as indications show that the virus is spread more quickly in facilities and in large group settings. Possible exposure will remain the lowest for those who are able to stay in their homes with limited outside contact. For this reason, we feel fortunate to be able to provide care that can keep people at home or with limited exposure in group settings through personalized care and support.
- For clients we serve who reside in facilities or other group-type living situations, we will work closely with the facility on any protocols, exchange of information or other guidelines as necessary.
- Many of our clients are especially at risk, given they are older adults or have underlying health issues. We are vigilant about our need to help protect these individuals from illness be it the flu, COVID-19, or any other communicable disease. These measures are not new to us as we seek to minimize risk regularly for our clients, regardless of an outbreak such as this new coronavirus.
- At all times, regardless of a viral outbreak or other situation, we strongly recommend that our clients and families have alternative arrangements for the provisions of care in the event we are unable to provide services. We encourage our families to consider putting into place back-up plans now, as the severity of the spread of this illness and planned interventions is still uncertain.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Your Family
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If no tissue is available, use the crook of your elbow. Never sneeze or cough directly into your hand.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
- Eat well, drink lots of water and get plenty of rest to help strengthen your immune system.
- Have a family emergency preparedness plan that includes care coverage and back-up support, if possible.
- Practice social consciousness by distancing yourself from others, especially if you have underlying conditions that put you at a high risk of getting sick.
Thank you for placing your trust in FirstLight Home Care.
Jacqueline & Audie Flowers, owners
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