Homecare California
Coronavirus & COVID-19
Safety & Infection Prevention Protocols

Home is, by far, the safest location to receive care services for seniors.  It always has been, but the COVID-19 crisis has only accelerated the shift to providing as many services as possible including medical diagnosis, monitoring and even video-based physician visits.  Home based care is safer, costs less and is more convenient for everyone.

 

Homecare California has been providing in-home care for over a decade to thousands of Bay Area seniors.  Safety has always been a priority, but infection control safety has now increased dramatically.  These safety measures are for both our clients and our caregivers. We have based our protocols on the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, the California Department of Public Health, Cal/OSHA and local health departments, we have established our Personal Protective Measures protocols for our clients and caregivers to further improve the safety of care at home.  

Caregiver and family education and training are the key to reducing infection risks. A handful of little things, done frequently, consistently and properly go a long way to greatly reduce transmission of the virus and contraction of the disease. We are continually communicating and reinforcing the importance of the following protocols to all team members through weekly communications including training videos, one-on-one conversations, and care visits to support our caregivers during this challenging time. 

 

Our protocols are based on a FIVE-POINT PROTECTION PLAN as follows:

  • Education, Training & Support

  • Caregiver Screening & Symptom Reporting

  • Personal Protective Measures

  • Environmental Protective Measures

  • Change in Client Condition

Education, Training & Support 

Education and training of our caregivers is a responsibility of everyone on our management team not just our trainers.  Our staffing managers reinforce these procedures when they talk with caregivers.  Our client care managers reinforce these measures when they visit client's homes for Quality Assurance Visits.  Our Care Success Coordinators review these procedures with caregivers starting care with new clients.  And of course our trainers emphasize this information during new hire training, through video seminars, ongoing annual training as well as frequent texting of short 1 minute "drip" training videos.  Some of the channels of communication we use are:

  • New hire orientation training

  • Ongoing annual training

  • Specialty training

  • Consistent daily verbal, text and email communication with caregivers, clients and family members

  • Drip training videos sent via text such as this example on proper hand washing

  • Caregiver surveys

Caregiver Screening & Symptom Reporting

Prior to assignment to a new case, our staffing managers screen our caregivers to determine if they have been following the safety protocols of sheltering in place, social distancing and personal protection measures.  Caregivers that have not are disqualified from working for the company for at least 2 weeks. 

 

Prior to the start of their daily shift, caregivers are required to answer a series of screening questions related to their compliance with personal social distancing measures, no COVID-19 related symptoms, and intent to follow our infection prevention measures outlined here.

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Personal Protective Measures

The following measures performed regularly will help limit any possible viral transmission or contraction of the disease.

  • Hand Washing & Sanitizing - Frequent, vigorous hand washing and sanitizing

  • Physical Distancing - consistently remaining more than 6 feet of distance from others in the home

  • Limited Physical Contact - should only take place when absolutely necessary to facilitate personal care only. 

  • Facial Coverings or Masks - when within 6 feet or less of another person, always wear a clean three-ply cloth mask provided by the company or a clean disposable mask provided at the client's home.  This is primarily for the benefit of others and does not protect you from being infected.

  • Coughing/Sneezing Etiquette - sneeze or cough into your elbow (rather than your hands) to limit airborne particles 

  • Avoid Touching Your Face - especially eyes, nose, mouth or any cut on the body

  • Avoid Using Your Fingertips - when possible use you elbows, knees, etc. to open doors, cabinets, etc. if possible

  • Limit Visitors Inside the Home - if the client must have visitors, consider meeting outside at a distance well-beyond 6 feet.

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Environmental Protective Measures

Cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces reduce viral contaminants in the home which include: 

  • Kitchen and bathroom counters, kitchen tables, chairs and other high use surfaces

  • Appliances - refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, oven, microwave, etc.

  • Knobs, switches, levers and handles such as door knobs, handles, light switches, faucet handles, toilet handles

  • Surfaces on boxes or groceries brought into home

  • Electronic equipment such as home phones, cell phones, TV remote controls, laptops, keyboards, etc.

  • Frequent washing of client's clothing and linens after a single days use

 

​Approved cleaning and disinfecting solutions are listed here:

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cleaning-disinfection.html 

​Change in Client Condition

The following are a list of official symptoms from the CDC.  But in addition to these symptoms we also ask caregivers to be on the lookout for general changes in client conditions such as listlessness, unusual fatigue or confusion, forgetfulness as well as strong urine odor that can represent a UTI.  Weakened immune systems make us more susceptible to any type of viral or bacterial infection.  Caregivers are instructed to report any significant changes to the office.

  • Fever 

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Chills

  • Repeated shaking with chills

  • Muscle pain

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • New loss of taste or smell

If you have any questions, please contact your Care Manager at 650-324-2600 any time of day 24-hours a day, 7 days per week, or send us an email at clientcare@homecarecal.com.

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