Starting from the city of Wuhan, China, the outbreak of COVID-19 has shown the devastating effects around the world. With 176 countries or rather we should say 90 percent of the countries on the global map being affected by the SARS-CoV-2, the world has moved to a stage that may lead to a major downtime with all operations and businesses.
It has become a critical matter of concern surrounding the damages it has brought to lives apart from the economic meltdown experienced across the world. With China facing a major drop in the economy compared to the year 2019, bearing a total of $1.1 trillion lost income may take months to recover.
The situation is getting worse and the entire health care infrastructure has proved it is not sufficient to counter such a pandemic and the inflow of patients that tested positive for the virus. It is very important to design response plans that could help cope with the situation. Since most people during this stage are looking to the medical communities and centers, the home care industry has walked the extra mile in taking care of people with the help of a workforce who was willing to risk their health.
When everything was under lockdown, when people were frightened to meet and greet anyone close or distant, and when those who needed care while aging in their own residence, it was the home care community that stood up and is continuously serving the needy while the novel virus looms.
Most of us were hit by this question at some point in time that if lockdown cannot be the complete solution and if awareness on social distancing is also lacking to control the virus, what else could be done? Especially, regarding the home care industry, what practices can benefit caregivers, and how will it affect them?
What Home Care industry should do?
Even though President Trump with the help of some health care representatives has planned steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 with tactics like restrictions on travel from the European nation to the US, the home care agencies need to be proactive after a rapid exposure of fresh new cases in New York City.
There is an immediate need to understand that if there is a right time to take action, it is now. It is necessary to plan ahead before the outbreak hits or the numbers grow higher. It is the only area where we are lacking because people are not following basic action steps beforehand.
What is different in the home care industry after the outbreak? How has it impacted business and what practices and measures were included?
- Patients, staff, and all communities associated with home care providers started getting the necessary support against novel coronavirus.
- Immediate screening of all staff and patients to track any signs of infection. Also, any staff who recently visited the area of infection should self-quarantine and in case of positive results, get immediate medical attention.
- Training the staff on minimizing the chances of infection and prevent transmission with a complete understanding of symptoms, safety, and screening.
- Apart from these, staying connected with the emergency response system helped to get all the updates on development that can deter the crisis situation.
- Home care agencies also collaborated with federal agencies to have the best picture of guidelines that can reflect updated medical information.
How Caregivers Assist by Changing the Pattern to Caregiving
At this time, the primary concern of the caregivers should be taking care of the patients as well as prioritizing self-safety. And this may need all the updated details and information on COVID-19 that can help to reduce stress.
A good read: COVID-19 Outbreak- Impact on the US Home Care Industry.
Though the outbreak may demand caregivers to take better care of the people who belong to sensitive groups or are having inefficient immunity, there are certain practices that caregivers could adopt to deter physical or emotional trauma.
- Preparing for potential infection and keeping up with rapidly changing information.
- Reducing the risk with special attention to hygiene, medical facilities, and supplies that can help during the outbreak or quarantine scenarios.
- Caregivers should understand the need to communicate information to avoid stress and panic in patients.
- Encourage health and hygiene by guiding the patient as well as their family members.
- Caregivers should have the utmost concern for self-care as it will reduce any chances of contagion with sensitive patients.
- Above all, it is necessary to practice patience, tolerance, and reassurance when dealing with a person who is susceptible to damage.
Home care businesses and independent agencies now ensure that special efforts are in place to guide caregivers and plan strategies to mitigate the risk of the epidemic. Either it is guiding caregivers to be cautious or planning strategies to deal with patients, maintaining sanitization, being extra careful with bodily fluids, a lot has changed in both the way care is provided and the ways agencies used to function pre-Covid.
We don’t have any choice other than waiting for the cure or the end of COVID-19. Though the concept of social distancing and quarantine could work to some extent, there is a greater need to have a cure to avoid affecting the remaining population. For a home care business, it is time to make an informed decision and have the best home care software solution to function as per the guidelines and federal mandates during and post the pandemic.
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