Elderly woman with Sharp Home Care caregiver, both wearing masks.

Proudly serving East Cobb, Marietta, Kennesaw, and Roswell 

The Best Remedy is Prevention

All of us at Sharp Home Care are striving to be proactive to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, and our priority remains the well-being of all of our Clients and our Care Team. 

Prevention remains key to stopping the spread of infection.  We are taking NO CHANCES and have robust procedures in place to ensure the safety of all Clients and Staff. We are working hard to put your safety at the forefront of all our services. 

We are actively monitoring the progression of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure that we have the most accurate and latest information on the threat of the virus.  As you know, this situation continues to develop rapidly as new cases are identified in our communities.

While many cases of COVID-19 symptoms are mild, causing only fever and cough, approximately 20% of cases become severe and may progress particularly in the older population and people with underlying medical conditions. Because this is the primary population that Sharp Home Care serves, we understand your concerns and want to share with you how we are responding to the threat of COVID-19 as it relates to our home care services and daily operations.

We are following updates and procedures from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the State of Georgia, local and county authorities, and other agencies and resources. Our response and plans may adjust according to the recommendations from these organizations.

The following protocols, including existing infection control policies and procedures already in place, are being implemented:

Caregiver Wellness Checks

  • Through mobile app and text messaging, each Sharp Home Care caregiver is asked prior to clocking in:  (1) Are you sick? (2) Do you have a fever or cough? (3) Have you had close contact with an individual(s) diagnosed or under quarantine for COVID-19?  (Note: Caregiver cannot clock in until these questions are answered) If a caregiver answers “yes” to any of these questions, they are to contact the office immediately and are instructed to contact their physician or local health department for evaluation.
  • Caregivers are also instructed to stay at home when sick and must report this to the office when they are feeling ill. Although this is standard policy on illness, it is even more important to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
  • Caregivers will be asked if they have a “return to work order” before being assigned back to shifts with clients.
  • As a standard practice, our emergency preparedness plan is in place. We continue to follow it as this situation evolves or will update it accordingly.
  • All caregivers follow established protocol regarding staying home when sick and will not provide home care. This practice is not new to our staff, but we are operating under heightened sensitivity to any sign of illness at this time.
  • Communication with caregivers to assess any known risk factors, such as travel to areas with widespread outbreaks or local contact in areas known to have reported cases are ongoing. Our staff is advised not to report to work or provide home care if they are deemed high-risk.

Client Wellness Check

Quality Assurance (QA) visits are an important part of the care we provide. During this time, QA visits normally scheduled for in person will take on a different look per Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recommendations. These will be conducted more frequently through the use of technology to support “social distancing” and protecting those receiving care.

  • Sharp Home Care is checking in virtually and/or by phone calls, between caregiver shifts, with all clients to ensure they are feeling well and to see if there is anything needed before the next scheduled visit.
  • Clients who are not feeling well or are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 will be instructed to contact their healthcare provider or local health department immediately. We will also work together to identify how continued care needs will be met.
  • For clients we serve, who reside in facilities or other group-type living situations, we work closely with the facility on any protocols, exchange of information, or other guidelines as necessary.
  • Many of our clients are especially at risk, given they are older adults or have underlying health issues. As a home care provider, 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.

Enhanced Cleaning and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Protocol

Keeping areas in the home clean safe has always been a priority for Sharp Home Care. Additional cleaning protocols for all clients’ homes include:

  • Cleaning and wiping down surfaces big and small from countertops and tables to light switches and doorknobs.
  • Frequent and consistent hand washing before coming to the home, while in the home,  and after leaving the home.
  • Continued virtual training on infection control and prevention and housekeeping to all caregivers.
  • We provide all our caregivers PPE to wear while caring for our elderly clients. Based on the assessment of our clients’ health needs, our caregivers wear masks, gowns, and gloves to avoid exposing our clients and caregivers to the virus.
  • Even if the client’s health needs does not require PPE, and the client request our caregiver to wear masks and gloves, we gladly comply to make the client feel more comfortable.

Minimizing Loneliness Associated with Social Distancing

The effects of isolation are felt by millions of people and those ages 65 and older are at increased risk for feelings of loneliness, especially at this time when visitors are restricted even in the home. With increasing “stay at home orders” that are happening all over the country, loneliness, helplessness and boredom are real problems seniors will face more than ever.  The following is what caregivers bring to their clients:

  • Ideas to address the loneliness, helplessness and boredom that social distancing causes, staying active in meaning and purposeful activities, such as philanthropy, spiritual or recreational (reading, yoga) activities. (Click here to read blogs with more ideas.)
  • Keeping people engaged in activities of daily living, such as participating in cooking and continuing with personal hygiene and grooming each day.
  • Continue person-directed care by empowering individuals to participate in decisions about things like ordering food and medicine online for delivery.
  • Facilitating connection with friends and family via virtual access.

Home Remains the Safest Place

Finally, we believe home remains the safest place for you or your loved one, as indications show that the virus is spread more quickly in facilities and larger group or public settings. Possible exposure will remain the lowest for those who are able to stay in their homes with limited outside contact. Sharp Home Care feels fortunate to be able to provide in-home care that can keep people at home through personalized care and support.

We are here for you. Let us help you receive the peace of mind that everyone is seeking during this unprecedented time.  Call us today.

Family caregivers who are concerned about spreading possible germs to an elder loved one can check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website’s tips on keeping yourself and others safe.

For more information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit: The Center for Disease Control

Call Us Now for Peace of Mind. We’re here 24/7 to help you. 

Call (770) 874-2744. Or click HERE to schedule a free in-home consultation.

By Charlotte Sharp, Sharp Home Care team.

Images:  Depositphotos