What proactive steps are we taking at Aberdeen?
- Providing daily updates to our Team from the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
- Postal Mailing and Emailing our updated Infection Control protocol documents and specialized COVID-19 instructions to all members of our staff, and are receiving mandatory confirmation of receipt and comprehension of materials.
- Initiation of a dedicated email: Virus@AberdeenAtHome.com, to receive all questions or concerns from any member of our community.
- Ongoing Social Media campaign to inform, educate, and reassure our communities.
- Dedicated protocol for our 24/7 On-Call Team to be able to manage all potential scenarios of exposure or development of symptoms (for Clients and employees) of COVID-19.
- 03/31/2020 UPDATE – Every scheduled caregiver and nurse now has one N95 Mask!! We are so lucky. Months ago, we placed several orders for N95 masks for our staff – trying to get any PPE that we could get. Up until now, our caregivers each had ONE surgical mask to use (which we were thankful to have at all).
- Members of Aberdeen’s Management Team met at our office (don’t worry, they kept at least 6-feet from each other!) to assemble kits of ONE N95 Mask for our caregivers and nurses currently caring for our Clients. They will store their mask in a paper bag. IF we are able to get more PPE (especially N95 Masks), we will distribute them to staff immediately.
- Our Clinical Team delivered these masks to staff.
- 03/30/2020 UPDATE – Globally, there’s a severe shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), especially N95 and surgical masks. In many hospitals, nursing homes, and home care settings, health care workers are given a paper bag and ONE mask to hold on to for dear life. People all over the world are dusting off their sewing machines, and have started a movement: sewing homemade masks. Doctors and health care workers are wearing these homemade masks over surgical or N95 masks, trying to prolong the coveted masks’ limited life spans. “Something is better than nothing.”
- We are SO happy to announce that we have received several homemade masks, sewn with LOVE, by our dear friend Gail. She is currently sewing masks for our Clients and Caregivers that we will be distributing. Thank you, Gail, and everyone else out there diligently working at their sewing machines for our health care workers. You are all HEROS.
- Gloves are readily available at each Client’s home and are used in appropriate circumstances, changed, and discarded according to policy.
- On 03/15/2020, members of Aberdeen’s Management Team met at our office (don’t worry, they kept at least 6-feet from each other!) to assemble kits of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our caregivers and nurses currently caring for our Clients.
- Each caregiver received a separate kit for each client they work with, with instructions to only use that equipment with that client. If someone had three clients, they got three kits – all in separate Ziploc bags and labeled with a specific client/caregiver name. Since masks are in short supply nationwide, we are abiding by the CDC recommendations for reusing/conserving PPE.
- These kits contained a mask or masks depending on how frequent they were there and two informational notices. One notice reminded staff of the proper “Use of Protective Equipment,” and the other was a reminder of “How To Stay Safe During Coronavirus Containment.”
- Our Nurse Case Managers delivered the kits to our Clients’ doorsteps on Sunday 03/15/2020 and Monday 03/16/2020.
- Hand sanitizer is readily available, however vigilant handwashing with soap and water is the preferred method.
How can you help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
- Carefully select your sources: News outlets are often looking for ratings. Avoid clickbait.
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are solid sources.
- Everyone is now “an expert.” Rely on the REAL experts. Not Facebook or Twitter…
- Help older adults and others in your network understand the risks and suggested behavior modification. Click here to read the CDC’s recommendations.
COVID-19 is an airborne virus. Contaminated nasal, lung, and oral secretions make their way to the air, to hands, and to surfaces.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Dispose of tissue and wash hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol.
- Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances, and in your car for use after getting gas or touching other public surfaces.
- Frequently clean/disinfect surfaces and frequently touched areas (light switches, doorknobs, faucets, etc.). Use disinfectant wipes at the store when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.
- Take precautions when dealing with groceries. Watch this video of a Michigan Family Physician demonstrate proper technique here.
- Don’t shake hands – instead try a fun wave, nod, etc.
- Keep your hands AWAY from your eyes, mouth, nose…FACE.
- Keep children’s hands clean and consider their public exposure.
- Open doors with a paper towel, closed fist, or your hip. Try not to grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way. Especially bathroom, Post Office, and commercial doors.
- Most protective equipment (masks, gloves, gowns, etc.) is being restricted for use by healthcare professionals.
- If you MUST be out in a public place, medical office, or Emergency Room, you can use a scarf or other fabric barrier over your nose and mouth.
- We recommend to our Clients and staff that they adhere to strict social restriction / social distancing.
- Avoid public and private events, especially in confined, poorly ventilated spaces.
- Maintain maximum self-care regarding your own health: recommended amount of sleep, healthy diet, and hydration, management of prescription medications, and awareness of onset of any symptoms related to the COVID-19 virus.
- Communicate with family and friends by email, telephone, or FaceTime.
- Limit visitation of frail or elder loved ones. If the delivery of meals or visits is mandatory, reduce your time face-to-face.
Who is at risk and what should you do if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19?
- Those with chronic conditions
- Elders or others who are frail
- Those currently ill or recovering from other illnesses
- Those who have recently had surgery
- Those who are “immuno-compromised”
- Organ transplant individuals
- Chemotherapy / Cancer treatment patients
- Information based on our sources, as of Friday, March 13, 2020, indicates that Health Care Providers are NOT seeing patients in their offices if they suspect they have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Instead, they are suggesting VOLUNTARY QUARANTINE (or “Self-Quarantine”) for fourteen days.
- DO notify your Provider, however, as they are keeping important statistics for the Department of Public Health.
- If you develop symptoms of fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, or any significant change in your baseline health status: DO INFORM YOUR PRACTITIONER. Click here to read the CDC’S recommendations.
- If you become ill and need medical attention, notify your Health Care Provider. They will direct you accordingly.
- Notify your employer and those you have been in close contact with, if you are CONFIDENT you have been exposed to someone who has tested POSITIVE for the COVID-19 virus, and recommend that they notify their Health Care Provider, too.
Call their i211. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are free and confidential. Interpreter services are available in multiple languages.