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.
UPDATED (as of March 11, 2021): We are doing everything we can to provide as much safety as we can for our caregivers. According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Home-based Health Care Workers are in Phase 1 of the vaccine rollout and are eligible for the vaccine. Our agency, along with all home care agencies in Massachusetts, are highly encouraging all home care workers to be immunized as soon as possible. We have provided all of our Caregivers with the Vaccine locations and links to more information and appointments.
You are welcome to watch our brief video encouraging our Caregivers to get vaccinated.
While we encourage every one of our Caregivers to obtain the vaccine as quickly as possible, we continue to talk to our caregivers before every shift, with screening questions (see below), and send reminders about wearing masks in the home for the entire shift. We all know that the best way to protect others is with good hand hygiene and wearing a mask. Please be assured that we are staying on top of this important issue.
Our pre-visit, telephonic screening (prior to client visits): Beyond reviewing potential symptoms, given the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission potential, our screening is focused on confirming our Caregivers’ adherence to our protocols when providing care with Clients as well as understanding the degree of contact our Caregivers have experienced when they have not been working with Clients. As the number of cases have risen dramatically in Massachusetts, we are further probing our Caregivers’ commitment to wear masks, socially distance, avoid gatherings, limit indoor activities and avoid discretionary travel. We have also enhanced our supplies of PPE which we have made available to our Caregivers. Questions follow:
- Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea?
- Have you had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or someone under investigation for COVID-19, or ill with a respiratory illness?
- Are you wearing your mask the entire time that you are with your client?
- Studies show that the spread is increasing due to small family and friend gatherings when held indoors. Are you keeping your personal get-togethers to less than 6 people and wearing a mask when indoors in a group setting?
Also, rest assured, we have specific procedures which we follow to restrict the work of caregivers who are suspected or confirmed with COVID-19. We welcome you to read these COVID-19 Caregiver Protocols and contact our office with any questions.
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.
As the situation often changes on a daily basis, we will be posting real-time updates for you on this page. Please check back as often as you like for the latest information.
Once again, if you have any questions, please call us at 781-559-0220. 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.
Steve Stern and Wendy Adlerstein, Owners
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