Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
FirstLight Home Care is Open and Ready to Serve
To our Clients, Families, Caregivers and Home Care Partners:
We value and appreciate the trust you place in us to take care of you and your loved ones.
Home care is essential, especially now. Please know that FirstLight® Home Care is still here and we remain available to serve you.
Regardless of any situation, the safety and well-being of our caregivers and clients is our top priority. That’s why we’ve taken extra care to provide our team with the most up-to-date safety information and training to keep everyone protected and healthy during this time.
We value and appreciate the trust you place in us to take care of you and your loved ones. Because of this we have initiated protocols to follow for most situations that may arise due to COVID-19.
COVID-19 OPERATIONAL PROTOCOLS
- Keep apprised of current guidance on COVID -19 by regularly checking governmental and local web sites (CDC, OSHA, State of California, County of Los Angeles and South Bay Cities)
- Provide updates to Staff and Clients as the situation changes
- Provide training to staff and document this activity on the topics of:
- Hand hygiene
- Infection prevention and control practices
- Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Infectious or communicable diseases
- Screen clients or patients and other household members for COVID-19-like illness
- Minimum: in advance and by phone if possible
- Better: by phone immediately before a visit (if community spread is ongoing in the area and the care is not 24 hours a day)
- Better: communicate with or check local health department website where the client or patient resides to determine if any prospective clients or patients are under mandatory quarantine or precautionary quarantine for possible COVID-19 infection before providing services to a new client or patient Maintain plans for:
- Even though the client is responsible for maintaining PPE levels in the home, for crisis or high need periods we maintain, N95 and three-ply surgical masks, face shields, gowns, gloves and antibacterial hand washing
- Advise and refer direct care workers for medical attention when they exhibit signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as a fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath/ difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, or nausea or vomiting, diarrhea
- Plans for continuing client or patient care should a large proportion of staff become sick or need to be absent for other COVID-19-related reasons, or there is an unexpected influx of clients due to COVID-19-related reasons
- Addresses the emotional health of our direct care workers
- Addresses hiring, orientation, and training in a virtual environment
- Develop and maintain the following policies:
- Addresses how we will respond to an employee with a communicable disease (with reference to COVID-19, as well as others)
- Care and management of a patient or client with a communicable disease
- Emergency preparedness plan (and/or emergency management plan)
- Infection prevention and control policies
- Families First Corona-virus Response Act (FFCRA)
Here are the steps we continue taking to keep everyone safe:
- As a standard practice, we have an infection control plan in place. Our infection control practices conform to OSHA regulations, CDC guidelines, the Accreditation Commission for Health Care Standards and state and local regulations. Our response plans may adjust due to recommendations from these organizations.
- We also have personal protective equipment (PPE) policies and procedures in place to ensure the proper use of gloves, masks, face shields, goggles and gowns when necessary.
- Communication with our caregivers is ongoing. Team members continue to self-monitor daily for COVID-19 symptoms. They report any signs/symptoms to us and follow established protocol regarding staying home when sick.
- 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.
Here are the steps you can take to continue protecting 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, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and other people outside of your home as some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Be alert for signs such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and these other symptoms of COVID-19.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may be stressful for family caregivers. Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming. For tips and strategies on how to accept and deal with stress while caregiving, download our free Family Caregiver Stress Solutions Guide.
If you have any questions, or would like further information on our protocols, please contact us here. We take great pride in our team and are committed to assisting you every step of the way. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve you.
Thank you for placing your trust in FirstLight Home Care.
Peace of Mind is our Home Care goal
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