Our Processes for your Protection
Safe, Quality Senior Care
Loving Homecare has always held the highest standards for protecting the vulnerable we serve (we have always instructed caregivers experiencing unexpected illness symptoms to not report to work and instead of looking to find a replacement). Yet we have elevated our game, both to meet and in some practices exceed CDC, CDPH, and LA & OC Health Department expectations, we want to be transparent in letting you know how we approach both infection prevention, and potential infection response.
Infection Prevention and Screening
Our priority is to prudently screen, survey, and monitor our team to minimize any potential exposure risk. To do this, we do the following universal precautions:
- All caregivers and office staff wear face coverings while on shift
- Hands are washed immediately upon entering home, and throughout day before approaching or touching anything that will be given close exposure to a patient (medication, food and drink, before touching to help dress or to transfer, etc)
- Maintaining 6+ feet distance with patient, unless activity or communication requires a coming within this distance.
- Caregivers complete a COVID-19 Questionnaire the night before and no later than before beginning their shift, confirming they do not have specified symptoms, nor been around those with such symptoms, or been to locations or places of known risk.
- We are extra vigilant even about explainable and mild symptoms. For example, perhaps it’s the time of year that a caregiver normally gets allergies (and symptoms such as sneezing or congestion). Because even these are now considered possible COVID symptoms, we are not having such individuals report to work until COVID can be ruled out.
- Caregivers complete a temperature screening upon arrival, using Loving Homecare provided thermometer strips or contactless thermometer scanners, record their results for family and care management to see, and immediately leave home and contact our office if they have a fever.
- We coach and communicate with our caregivers to ensure that full quarantine procedures are followed if a caregiver if informed that they have been a close contact (see each healthcare authorities guidance or instruction below):
- California Department of Health
- Los Angeles County Department of Health
- Guidance for Home Healthcare Related Visits
- Orange County Department of Health
Tracing and Testing
Whenever a caregiver learns they are a “close contact”* or symptomatic, we direct them toward getting a COVID test (4-5 days after “close contact” exposure, and as soon as possible upon the manifestation of symptoms).
Loving Homecare then informs all patients and their families, and all caregivers, who have had contact with this exposed or symptomatic person. All caregivers who meet the definition of a “close contact” within 48 hours to another caregiver, staff member, or patient who is symptomatic or who has a positive COVID test, will be removed from work and quarantined.
Loving Homecare seeks to get all the facts and accurate information and to communicate with you as quickly as possible with the knowledge and action to take in any potential exposure or “close contact” situations.
While on a shift in good health, and while working with non-COVID patients, caregivers wear face masks, wash hands, and wear gloves when performing tasks that require the appropriate protective gloves provide (toileting and incontinence care, etc).
If a caregiver is working with a COVID “Close Contact” patient, or a symptomatic of a confirmed-positive patient, the caregiver will only work if they consent and agree to work with such an individual. If so, Loving Homecare provides the care provider with N95 or KN95 respirators, a face shield, gown and gloves to ensure their protection.
Also, if a care provider is working with a COVID-positive or suspected COVID-positive patient, this caregiver will not be allowed to work with any non-COVID patients until the necessary quarantine period has passed.
Incentives for Your Protection
You may be familiar with some of the significant outcomes of 2020’s Families First Coronavirus Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). One of its significant provisions is for certain employees who cannot work from to be provided with special “COVID Sick Pay” equivalent to two weeks worth of their regular work hours, in addition to their regular sick pay.
Employees are exempt from this extra sick time if they work with an employer with less than a certain number of employees, and if they are healthcare workers. However, employers who qualify to be exempt from offering this additional “Covid Sick Pay” may still opt to offer it.
Loving Homecare, while an exempt organization, proudly chooses to participate in the FFCRA “Covid Sick Pay.”
This is for two reasons. First is your protection. If a person is economically incentivized to work while sick, they may report to work and ignore or hide their symptoms. By providing the same opportunities for our care team that many other American employees have, we seek to minimize and eliminate this conflict of interest.
The second reason is it’s the just thing to do. While this puts Loving Homecare at increased risk of having staffing-shortages or to abuse of this benefit, we know how hard our care providers work. We know how much they sacrifice to be with families in their challenges. Thus, we want to provide them the greatest amount of income stability and peace of mind should they contract a virus they have done their best to avoid.
Loving Homecare looks forward to seeing positive outcomes from the distribution of the first COVID-19 vaccines in early 2021. As of the writing of this article, the California Department of Social Services has determined that home-based care providers are eligible for vaccines in Phase 1B of vaccine distributions.
As of this writing, both federal and state governments do not require home-based care providers to have a vaccine. Loving Homecare does provide education and resources to our team, both for testing and for vaccination action steps, for those needing and desiring to do so. We aim to continue to be a resource provider to our team and clients.
Who Will You Trust to Partner in Your Protection?
Your choice of an in-home caregiver here in Los Angeles and Orange County is a crucial decision of trust. Our mission is to steward both the lives and the legacy & resources of the families we are entrusted to serve. Contact us, and let’s discover together if we are the right trusted partner for you.
*Per the CDC, “a Close contact is defined by CDC as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to testing specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.”