HCAOA The Voice Fall 2020

12 HCAOA The Voice MEMBER NEWS Early in the coronavirus outbreak, HCAOA assembled a team of physicians, clinical experts, and emergency preparedness leaders to help guide home care agencies through the pandemic safely. What are the most important things that an agency can provide for their caregivers during the pandemic? JB The most important things an agency can provide their caregivers during the pandemic is guidance and understanding. COVID-19 has been difficult for everyone from trying to understand what to do to stay safe to knowing what to do if you’ve become ill. As agencies we can be a guiding light and a helping hand to our caregivers by providing information on how to stay safe, what to do if they need to get tested, and understanding that some caregivers may not be able to work as they care of themselves or their loved ones during this difficult time. SF Emotional Support: It is important to provide emotional support to maintain the caregiver’s caring nature which will translate into better care for the client. Educational Support: Accurate and timely information regarding COVID-19 is necessary to decrease caregiver anxiety while at work. The increased confi - dence that comes with knowledge will make them more apt to come to work and not call off. PPE: Appropriate and sufficient PPE is essential to show that the agency prioritizes the health of its employee. It allows the caregiver to perform their job confidently and efficiently. Financial Rewards: Monetary rewards in the form of bonuses for employees shows an appreciation for their hard work and dedication. Scheduling Flexibility: The pandemic does not spare caregivers and their families from being effected personally. Paid Leave: Although it is difficult to definitively verify the source of an infec - tion, it is essential that employees not be penalized financially for exposure during the performance of their job. What protocols can a home care agency not do without? JB Home care agencies should have a protocol for handling the contact of exposures/possible exposures. Knowing who to contact and what to say can be one of the most difficult things to manage when you come across an exposure situation. Having these protocols ready will make it easier when reaching out to clients, caregivers, and other applicable parties. Advice for Home  from HCAOA Medical Advisory Council Jake Baker, MM, BSN, RN Jake Baker is the Director of Clinical Services for ComForCare. Prior to joining ComForCare, Jake worked as an Emergency Depart - ment nurse and healthcare systems trainer. He is certified to train Nursing Assistants in the State of Michigan. JB Dr. Steven C. Fox, DO Dr. Steven C. Fox is a licensed physician and surgeon. He was the founder of Wellspring Gerontological Services. In 1993, Dr. Fox assisted in the creation of Wellspring Personal Care. He continues to serve as a Physician Consultant to WPC. Dr. Fox is a founding member of the Midwest Private Geriatric Care Managers Association; a member of the American Osteopathic Association; American Geriatrics Society; the American Academy of Home Care Physicians; American Society on Aging; and, the American Medical Directors Association. SF