Family & Nursing Care and COVID-19
In-Home Support for Seniors During COVID-19
June 8, 2020 Update
Older adults are extremely susceptible to severe illness from COVID-19. The CDC currently recommends older adults remain in their homes to reduce these risks. In-home caregivers are serving as the vital link to keep seniors safe and cared for.
In February 2020, Family & Nursing Care assembled a COVID-19 Task Force that meets daily to manage our response to this crisis. To better serve clients, families, and referral partners, we began communicating via email and have provided regularly-updated resources on our website.
Safety of our clients and families, our staff, and caregivers are top priorities. To that end:
- We are not referring caregivers who are symptomatic and tested positive to COVID-19 for a minimum of 14 days, have a negative test result or until they are cleared by a health care professional.
- We are not referring caregivers who have traveled outside of the country until they have self-isolated for 14 days after their return
- Caregivers are utilizing proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Protocols for effective cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and hands are in place
For in-home care for older adults in Washington, DC
and Maryland, call 301-588-8200 or email us.
We continue to support and educate clients, caregivers, and families, as well as our professional partners. Continue to check back to our Frequently Asked Questions pages in this section. There is also a new page for outside resources. We will continue to add to each of the FAQs pages, as well as the Resources page as more information becomes available.
While we continue to heed the basic recommendations of the CDC, we wish to share the extra measures we at Family & Nursing Care are taking for the safety of our clients and caregivers.
- The majority of our office team will begin operating in a remote work environment to help limit unnecessary interaction between the caregivers and others in the company. Fortunately, over the past few years FNC invested in the technology to make this possible, and even has staff working in other parts of the country in case our area is significantly impacted.
- Home and senior community visits by our Client Services Team will be limited to absolute necessity, but we will make our staff available for video conferencing if needed.
- We have been working closely with the senior communities in the area and have provided updated information regarding each of the community’s unique protocols to our staff and caregivers.
- We continue to reinforce to caregivers to wash their hands properly, to stay home when they are sick, and follow the recommendations by the CDC whenever possible.
- Our COVID-19 task force is meeting daily, and more if needed, to review any new information and recommendations from local and national health authorities. We stand ready to make any changes necessary at any moment.
- Mass text messaging capability with our caregivers enables us to share recommendations and directives in real time.
We will continue to assess the situation and take steps to adjust as it develops, but in the meantime will do our best to continue to care for vulnerable seniors.
As more information about the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, becomes available, we want to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information on how Family & Nursing Care is taking action, and on how to best protect yourselves.
We are requesting that all caregivers who are returning from areas of heightened exposure (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html) NOT work with a Family & Nursing Care client until they have spent at least 14 days symptom-free after their return. We are also limiting unnecessary visits from our office staff to clients and caregivers. Lastly, we are increasing our training around universal precautions, such as proper hand washing techniques, for caregivers as well as office staff.
In addition to our efforts, many senior living communities are implementing their own policies to protect their residents and staff, and we are committed to assisting those communities in protecting their residents and staff. Please be patient if this results in any unexpected delays or inconvenience.
Our local health department and the CDC have been sharing frequent news updates. We are following their communications closely during this rapidly evolving situation. We recognize that older adults are among the most at-risk members of our community, and we want to provide as much information as possible. I hope you find this link to CDC’s page on high risk groups helpful:
We continue to closely monitor the situation and commit to being in touch as circumstances change and develop.
There has been a lot of news lately surrounding the respiratory illness known as Coronavirus, or COVID-19, that originated in Wuhan, China in December of 2019 At Family & Nursing Care, we are taking steps to prepare and protect our clients, caregivers, and office staff as best as we can.
We are staying informed. The Montgomery County Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been sharing news updates and recommendations. We are following their communications closely during this rapidly evolving situation. Should you like additional information about this outbreak, please visit the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
We are advising our caregivers and office staff on preventative measures, which include:
- Stay away from people who are sick.
- If a caregiver/staff member is sick, stay home until he or she is fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medications.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If water is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60-95% alcohol).
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands—germs spread that way.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces—especially if someone is ill.
- Take heed of the travel warnings and alerts issued by the CDC and take appropriate actions re: avoiding contact with others if Coronavirus symptoms are present after traveling.
In addition, we encourage each of you to practice the above preventative measures.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation and commit to being in touch as circumstances change and develop.