Posted by Eva Owens
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted everyone, but few more than those giving and receiving care.
Many consumers are among the most vulnerable. Rightly so, they are concerned about exposure to the virus. Caregivers are also worried about keeping themselves and their clients healthy, as well as about maintaining their jobs.
The good news is there are things you can do as either a caregiver or a consumer to stay safe while using Carina. This starts by adjusting the interview process, learning safety precautions and asking the right questions. Read below for information about how to protect yourself when finding in-home care and jobs.
Interview questions for consumers:
Consumers are increasingly worried about COVID-19. While caregivers are aware of these concerns and most are actively learning how to keep themselves and their consumers safe, there are some questions you as a consumer can ask during an interview to hear more about their understanding of proper safety precautions and find out if a caregiver has been exposed, such as:
- Have you or anyone in your household been sick with a fever or cough in the past 2 weeks?
- Have you been in contact with anyone sick with a fever or cough in the past 2 weeks?
- What can you do to keep the care environment as safe from infection and transmission as possible?
- What do you use for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces?
- What hand hygiene and cough etiquette practices do you follow when you are providing care?
- Do you change clothes upon arrival to a consumer’s home, and in between consumers?
- Have you read the latest CDC COVID-19 guidelines for caregivers?
Resources for caregivers:
As you may have experienced by now, consumers are stressed about exposure to COVID-19 and hesitant to bring someone new into their home. There is also an enormous strain on caregivers to take safety precautions, as personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies have become hard to find.
Consumers have high expectations of caregivers at this time, and will be asking many COVID-19-related questions of new and existing caregivers. To prepare, use these resources to learn how to keep you and your client safe:
- SEIU 775 Benefits Group is hosting Facebook Live events with various medical consultants to answer growing COVID-19 questions from caregivers. Visit their Facebook page to watch the event recordings, and find out when the next one will be.
There is an online webinar now available to caregivers to learn about COVID-19 safety, called “Infection Control: Coronavirus Precautions”. Visit www.myseiubenefits.org to sign up for one of these webinars.
PPE has been difficult to come by as supplies are running low. Learn alternatives to PPE and where you can order free gloves by visiting this helpful Resources webpage. There are also many grocery and drug stores now offering special hours to vulnerable populations, so they can get supplies before stock runs out..
Carina is all about connecting caregivers with consumers, but COVID-19 requires us to practice social distancing as much as possible. During the interview process there are things you can do to make interactions safer, like:
- Instead of meeting in person for a first interview, start with a phone or video call to get a sense of mutual fit without getting close.
- If and when you do choose to meet in person, try to meet outdoors (with the help of a friend/family member if needed) and maintain 6 feet of distance. If going out is not possible, meet at home but keep 6 feet away and clean surfaces and high-touch areas after the visit.
- Once a caregiver is hired and services begin take place, make sure both of you understand the proper safety precautions, and talk openly about how you are keeping each other safe.