COVID-19 has made life a lot more frightening for residents of Santa Ana and elsewhere. In some cases, it has led to hospitalizations, death, economic instability, and unemployment, plus very valid concerns about further contamination and possible infection. There are uncertainty and even controversy about who can contract it, how it can be spread, and how it can be defended against. Some people who are diagnosed with it haven’t shown any symptoms. Some may end up needing in-home care for weeks or months due to severe lung damage, and some are sick for a while but then are able to return quickly to full health.
The team at Accredited Home Care is always concerned about the coronavirus and other contagious diseases. We take a variety of precautions to make sure our clients remain free of infection and also take efforts to make sure none of them infect our staff either. We like to help educate our clients about possible best practices they can follow at home and with their families. Learning and trying this advice is useful for not only focusing on beating the coronavirus but how to deal with future public health challenges and infections.
The Positive Side
Looking beyond the fear and anxieties that come with COVID-19, there are some bright spots, even positives, that are being seen. These in no way can detract from the pain and anguish that thousands of families are going through who have lost a loved one or are treating someone who has been infected. But 2020 has also led to some changes that some say are for the better.
For instance, some employees are now able to work remotely, which means no long commutes or having to get up early to get ready to work. Families are able to spend more time together, which is often something people have wished for during busier days when everyone goes in different directions. Shops that are allowed to remain open may allow fewer people inside, cutting down on crowds and noise.
From a health care perspective, precautions about COVID-19 have led to other changes that some say can be quite helpful. These can include:
- More attention to sanitation. Public health experts have been encouraging people to take precautions against contamination for years, especially in health care environments. These wishes are becoming reality as clinics are able to take concrete steps to regularly wipe down fixtures and common areas on a more frequent basis. Many locations also offer tools for patients, including hand sanitizer stations. Some locations even limit people in the waiting rooms by inviting patients to wait in their cars or patient rooms until they are ready to be seen. Family members are also discouraged from waiting as well, reducing the risk to them and to other patients.
- Telehealth options. More providers are offering the opportunity to offer routine check-ins through video and audio streaming on computers or phones. With an Internet connection, you can answer questions and have a discussion in real-time. He or she can also offer their professional opinion and send a prescription to a pharmacy if needed. This service can be handy for people who don’t want to leave their home or sit in a waiting room with other possibly infected people and staff. It could also be handy for people who don’t want to drive a certain distance to see a specific doctor or a clinic (such as veterans) or are unable to drive. Not all visits can be done through telehealth, but it can offer another option for people concerned about their health or possible interactions with others.
- Final goodbyes. In a quarantine situation, people are generally not authorized to be near someone who is infected, even a loved one or close family member. This policy makes sense from an infection control perspective but can be difficult for trying to visit someone in critical care or someone who is dying. However, technology has evolved so people can be present – remotely – at these final moments. A nurse or employee can often hold up a tablet or a phone and let people talk to each other but still keep infection protocol intact and reduce the risk of further infection. This isn’t necessarily a positive but it is an alternative that didn’t exist prior to high-speed Internet.
At Accredited Home Care, we’re taking our own precautions when we work with our clients. Although we have always taken safety seriously and made sure we focused on patient health, our staff is taking extra efforts to minimize infection and reduce the anxiety of our clients but still provide them with quality care.
This includes our staff using gloves and masks and also encouraging clients to also use masks. Our staff has been trained in infection control, and many of them have worked for us for years so are familiar with our procedures.
What we also like to provide is reassurance. Because many of our clients are in the highest risk group for infection due to age and health condition, they may be terrified of what they’ve heard of the virus. We try to present the facts and some tools to stay aware but less anxious, which helps everyone.