For caregivers enterring the home of a client or providing care for a relative in their own home, there are several, critical things to keep in mind for your own safety. We advise you to take note of these tips to so that you and your client are as safe as possible from contracting COVID-19.
#1 KEEP AS MUCH DISTANCE AS POSSIBLE
Thehomecarespot.com says caregivers should stay in another room or be separated from the client as much as possible. Caregivers also should use a separate bathroom if there is one available and a separate bedroom if you are a relative of the client and living in the same home.
#2 IMPROVE AIR CIRCULATION
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if the caregiver and the client must share the same space, such as a room, make sure that room has good air flow. “Opening a window to increase air circulation goes a long way to improve air flow in a closed environment,” said Andy Cruz, Vice President of Pride PHC. By increasing your ventilation, you are able to improve the likelihood of removing respiratory droplets from the air, lessening the chance of catching germs.
#3 WEAR A MASK AT ALL TIMES
While in a client’s home, the caregiver and your client should be wearing a mask at all times to avoid passing as many germs as possible. “If the client is unable to wear a mask, the caregiver needs to take responsibility and wear a mask, and stay as far away from the patient as possible, unless performing activities of daily living for the client such as dressing or assistance with bathing and toileting” said Cruz.
#4 TRASH ALL PPE AFTER CLEANING AND WASH CLOTHES THOROUGHLY
After thoroughly cleaning the residence, the caregiver should take all personal protection equipment that they were wearing, including gloves and facemasks, and dispose of them immediately. Then wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.. Cruz also said, “Any clothes the caregiver has worn during the cleaning should be washed immediately in hot water and dried thoroughly.”
#5 LOOK OUT FOR SIGNS OF COVID-19
The Department of Health and Human Services says that while caregivers are in the home they should monitor their client for any signs of COVID-19.. Those signs include a fever, cough, or any sign of trouble breathing. If a caregiver notices any of these symptoms, they should immediately contact the patient’s physician to determine a proper course of action.
“We recommend you follow these tips so that you have peace of mind, knowing you’ve done everything possible to protet your health and your client’s health, all while helping to keep their home in tip-top shape,” said Cruz.
If you or your client come down with a fever, or experience a new, dry cough that is not related to allergies, or you have shortness of breath, exposure to someone with COVID-19, or you or your client test positive for coronavirus, please call your physician and your provider agency immediately.