The home health care world has been flipped upside down.
Right now, many home health aides are taking extra steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even though these providers must go into their client's homes, they are still practicing social distancing.
Home Care Assistance Client Care Manager, Kelsey Nein, said, "The client may be sitting in one room and the care giver sitting on the opposite side simply to keep that distance between them."
Staying six feet apart isn't always possible for an in-home care giver.
"Because our caregivers are working with such a vulnerable community, we do require them to be in full PPE," said Nein. "We actually have all of our care givers in gowns, masks, and gloves when they are physically handling our clients."
BrightStar Home Care Director of Nursing, Pam Dace, said, "We want to make sure we're using the right solutions to make sure we disinfect everything. We want them to be very conscious of wiping down everything, handles in the clients home."
The pandemic is taking a mental toll on care givers and their clients, too.
"One gentleman that I went to go see on a nursing visit, he had some anxiety, and I didn't pick up on it right away, but he asked me how many patients a day that I saw," said Dace. "I got to thinking about it, I said that's his anxiety, so I made sure he knew the measures that I took as far as disinfecting equipment and making sure that we practice good universal precautions and infection control."
Right now, the care giver is often the only person who can see their client.
"If we have family members who are still visiting, we've really had to be that encouraging voice to say hey, maybe let's cut it back from four times a week to once," said Nein.
Personal protection equipment is still in short supply for many health care workers.
Home Care Assistance is taking up donations of PPE. Call them for more information.