The global pandemic has drastically impacted the entire world and there’s no individual out there who isn’t affected by the outbreak.
Talking about the United States, the country is going through the toughest time in its history. While the COVID-19 crisis has thrashed diverse industries, home care organizations are now being forced to adopt changes in their daily practices that no one ever imagined.
Several weeks were quite crucial and tough for the home care industry that necessarily need to stay up and running to ensure quality care for the seniors.
Many home care agencies are essentially tailoring their services to meet the unique challenges of the elderly and the ones who are at a higher risk of getting an infection.
Let’s understand how some home care organizations are altering their services and considering new aspects of care delivery.
Remote Care Delivery and Telemonitoring
Many organizations are agreeing that their skilled caregivers now prefer delivering care remotely to the ones with basic care needs.
Elderly adults requiring help in daily chores or just guidance can reach their caregivers through a video or a voice call, which is an ideal way to manage care for the ones that critically require the presence of a skilled caregiver.
Apart from this, telemonitoring has provided enough relief to the families expecting better care for their adults living separately. Caregivers can monitor their overall health and activities remotely and even manage emergencies expediently.
Acquiring enough PPE
One of the biggest challenges that home care agencies are facing is acquiring PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for their caregivers and other employees.
Since the country is already facing a shortage of PPE, ensuring enough supplies daily is a top priority for agencies delivering care across the US.
Facial masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer are currently in a huge demand, which is the reason why agencies are continuously making efforts to ensure they meet the surging demand.
Delivering care to the areas that are in the contamination zone is yet another challenge for the individuals that are already managing a limited supply of PPE.
Leveraging Technology to Pre-Screen Caregivers
“Technology has played a crucial role” agrees most of the renowned home care agencies delivering personal care services in the United States.
Keeping the current scenario of COVID-19’s impact on the elderly, screening caregivers before their shift is crucial more than ever before.
No agency owner has ever thought of screening caregivers before the can deliver care to the ones who are entirely relying on assisted living.
Agencies are now concerned with the overall safety of their clients and caregivers, and using smart home care management software to screen caregivers helps minimize the risk of infection.
A home care mobile app with a “Pre-Screening Module” is perhaps the perfect way to ensure the safety of clients from COVID-19 impact.
Here’s how it works:
- A notification to go through the pre-screening questionnaire is displayed on the caregivers’ smartphone before they clock-in for their shift
- Once the caregiver answers the questions related to their health and travel history and found to be satisfactory, they are allowed to clock-in to their shift
- If any caregiver is found with early symptoms, they are quarantined and the agencies ensure they don’t deliver care to any of the clients
- The entire health-related data is stored and updated in the agency’s software dashboard
Grocery Shopping Services
While most caregivers are managing their tight schedules to meet the surging demand of in-home caregivers, most of them are also helping the elderly in shopping for groceries.
Since the ones with underlying health issues are more prone to getting severely ill from the infection, caregivers need to place equal emphasis on their daily needs for which they need not step out of their homes.
Essentials are delivered at their doorstep and ensured they are properly sanitized before they can be used to minimize the risk of contamination. Every individual associated with the home care community is putting the best efforts to enhance the safety of their clients.
Medication Pickup Services
Apart from grocery shopping, caregivers are now providing door-step delivery of medications for the elderly who aren’t advised to leave their homes due to the pandemic outbreak.
While people with severe health issues like Alzheimer’s or Dementia were already dependent on their caregivers for their timely medications; seniors without any underlying ailment are also leveraging these services.
Besides care delivery, another challenge among home care agencies and caregivers is to manage transportation for the clients in case of any emergency requirement.
Most clients who require medical help outside the coronavirus impact can’t be delayed. Also, the ones with symptoms associated with COVID-19 need immediate medical attention.
This is perhaps the reason why caregivers need to manage the transportation of their clients, which is essential to proper treatment and medication.
Managing proper care along with an equal emphasis on ensuring safety from contamination is yet another part of the caregiver’s job. Agencies are precisely monitoring the needs of diverse clients so that they can alter their care delivery and train their staff accordingly.
Another crucial task for home care agencies these days is to manage adequate training for their caregivers who are undeniably on the frontline fighting against the novel coronavirus.
Adequate aspects including the use of PPE, maintaining hand hygiene, social distancing, and self-isolation are covered in these training modules, which is compulsory for all the care professionals delivering care services in the United States.
Furthermore, training should be designed in a way that it follows all the regulations offered by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). This ensures the highest standard of care delivery along with proper preventive measures from the caregivers’ end.
The home care industry is significantly impacted during the COVID-19 outbreak. The entire community is putting every possible effort to ensure that care delivery isn’t compromised.
Whether it is maintaining the safety of the clients & caregivers or ensuring the supply of PPE, agencies are playing a crucial role in dealing with the global pandemic.
Related blog posts:COVID-19 Outbreak- Impact on the US Home Care Industry
COVID-19 Software Update- CareSmartz360’s Pre-Screening Module for Client and Caregiver Safety