As the number of confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) increases in the United States, health officials are advising people to take preventive measures and steps to prepare in the event the virus impacts their communities.
The health, safety, and well-being of our clients and their families is always our top priority. We continue to closely monitor information about the virus as it is released by reputable public health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We are committed to providing best practices for prevention and the most up-to-date information available.
At this time it is important to consider taking measures that may limit your exposure to your community, as well as learning about and implementing heightened hygiene protocols that can reduce your personal risk of contracting the Coronavirus and other infectious diseases. The current stance being taken towards prevention and protection has moved from a state of awareness to one of caution as more cases have been identified globally as well as within the United States.
The CDC has released information that those who are at the highest risk of developing acute symptoms from COVID-19 include the elderly, as well as immunocompromised individuals who would be more susceptible to the advanced stages, such as pneumonia and respiratory distress. In some instances so far, medical facilities have experienced higher volumes of concerned patients and skilled nursing facilities across the country are beginning to limit visitation and contact with the outside world to reduce the risk of person to person transmission within their vulnerable communities.
In an effort to support those senior citizens and people with weakened immune systems, our caregivers are able to provide necessary assistance with the Activities of Daily Living in the comfort and relative safety of your own home. SYNERGY HomeCare has increased training and awareness within our offices across the country regarding current best practices for preventing the contraction and transmission of community spread pathogens. We take every situation seriously, and are actively working with our staff and the available resources distributed by certain government agencies to improve the quality of service we can provide at this time.
Senior citizens and the disabled are a segment of our population that already regularly experiences periods of isolation due to climate and other factors, and we want to remain committed to our focus on providing compassionate care and companionship to our clients. Situations like this, where many schools, social gatherings, and local businesses are choosing to cancel events and close doors to the public, are critical times to insure that those who are less capable of taking care of themselves have access to food, personal hygiene, and a support system that can monitor their well-being and keep them more secure than if they were on their own.
Please take the time to read through and watch some of the information we have compiled so far in an effort to bring increased awareness on how to limit the spread of the Novel Coronavirus.
This Section includes breaking news and information, and may be regularly updated to reflect current conditions.
There is no higher priority to our entire SYNERGY HomeCare Family than the safety of our clients, caregivers and franchise partners nationwide. We aim to help keep all of you out of harm's way and to support you through this challenging time.
Rest assured that our SYNERGY HomeCare COVID-19 Task Force has been working hard for the past several weeks to provide the most credible tools and resources to our franchise partners and their caregivers. Our entire system is continually educated on the best practices to minimize risk and exposure to COVID-19.
Our system leverages state-of-the-art technology to expedite timely communications, some of which provide daily reminders to our caregivers to conduct all safety measures such as properly washing hands and cleaning countertops with disinfectants.
Our COVID-19 Task Force and your local offices are closely monitoring updates from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the WHO (World Health Organization) to ensure we are swiftly adjusting and responding to changes as they happen.
On our website homepage, you will find a link to our COVID-19 Educational Resources Page, which provides tools and resources to help minimize risk and exposure.
As the founder and CEO of SYNERGY HomeCare, you have my word that we are all tirelessly working to minimize the risk of COVID-19. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and take actions necessary to help keep our clients, caregivers and franchise partners safe while providing the quality home care you have come to expect. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by this worldwide crisis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as in grocery stores and pharmacies, and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
The CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
The cloth face coverings recommended are NOT surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
The CDC recommends that health care workers utilize National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved N95 respirators or higher to assist in preventing exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19), especially in instances where they are providing care to an individual who is exhibiting symptoms or is known to have the virus.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC, the increase in demand has caused a shortage in the supply of N95 respirators and many suppliers have reported that it may be several months before they expect to have them back in stock. The CDC suggests that health care workers "protect themselves when caring for patients by adhering to infection prevention and control practices... It should be noted that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as the N95 respirator is just "one aspect of safe care of patients which COVID-19."
In the event that you need to wear a protective mask, the following guidelines from the WHO website explain how to do so properly. A link to a video demonstrating proper mask use is included.
Like most employees across the country, you may be working from home for the first time. Transitioning to a home-based office can feel overwhelming. To help make the transition easier, we pulled together information from the most credible resources. In their article How To Succeed At Working From Home, Forbes sites several pro tips for working at home. A few examples are listed below, along with suggestions for how you can apply them when working at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic:
If you would like a additional resources to help you transition to a successful home-based office, check out these articles:
The CDC has recently released multiple recommendations to help Elderly Americans understand the ways they can limit their chance of exposure to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). One of the strongest measures recommended has been for seniors in particular to practice Social Distancing as a means of reducing the number of people and places they could come into contact with the virus from. The act of Social Distancing is akin to that of Self Quarantine, but is done more proactively than reactively, whereas Self Quarantine is generally only required after a person has been identified as infected by the Coronavirus or other highly infectious disease.
For seniors, maintaining a well-balanced diet and getting enough to eat is crucial for several reasons. Nutrients and vitamins that come from good food can help seniors combat different illnesses and keep up energy and strength. However, as adults age, they can struggle with different issues that make it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy diet and people living alone can struggle to find motivation to prepare meals for just themselves. Mobility issues can also be an issue, making access to grocery stores and restaurants difficult; injuries and illnesses can make it hard to cook and even grocery shop, and cognitive disorders can make cooking a safety risk for some. It’s not always an easy task for seniors to access food and keep up a healthy diet. Now that COVID-19 Coronavirus is a global pandemic, it dictates that seniors practice social distancing, which includes using grocery delivery services.
Thankfully, seniors in today’s world have a number of resources they can utilize to have groceries brought to them, and to help with meal preparation. Here are five of the best ways seniors can get food delivered straight to their doors.
These options have not been available to previous generations. Seniors and their loved ones that live in today’s world have many more resources available to them and have much more help maneuvering through life more independently. Many seniors move on to assisted living facilities much sooner than they would like to because of their struggles with being able to remain independent. Today, seniors do have the option of living comfortably where they want, longer, thanks to the many growing resources available.
This interim guidance is to help household members plan for community transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages household members to prepare for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in their community.
COVID-19 is caused by a new virus. There is much to learn about its transmissibility, severity, and other features of the disease. We want to help everyone prepare to respond to this public health threat.
A COVID-19 outbreak could last for a long time in your community. Depending on the severity of the outbreak, public health officials may recommend community actions designed to help keep people healthy, reduce exposures to COVID-19, and slow the spread of the disease. Local public health officials may make recommendations appropriate to your local situation. Creating a household plan can help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community. You should base the details of your household plan on the needs and daily routine of your household members, being sure to factor in any elevated risks posed to those elderly adults who may be at higher risk of experiencing acute symptoms.
Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan. Meet with household members, other relatives, and friends to discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community and what the needs of each person will be.
Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications. There is limited information about who may be at risk for severe complications from COVID-19 illness. From the data that are available for COVID-19 patients, and from data for related coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, it is possible that older adults and persons who have underlying chronic medical conditions may be at risk for more serious complications. Early data suggest older people are more likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. If you or your household members are at increased risk for COVID-19 complications, please consult with your health care provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. CDC will recommend actions to help keep people at high risk for complications healthy if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community.
Get to know your neighbors. Talk with your neighbors about emergency planning. If your neighborhood has a website or social media page, consider joining it to maintain access to neighbors, information, and resources.
Identify aid organizations in your community. Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, health care services, support, and resources. Consider including organizations that provide mental health or counseling services, food, and other supplies.
Create an emergency contact list. Ensure your household has a current list of emergency contacts for family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
Practice everyday preventive actions now. Remind everyone in your household of the importance of practicing everyday preventive actions that can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:
Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. Identify a separate bathroom for the sick person to use, if possible. Plan to clean these rooms, as needed, when someone is sick. Learn how to care for someone with COVID-19 at home.
Learn about the emergency operations plan at your child’s school or childcare facility. During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, local public health officials may recommend
temporary school dismissals to help slow the spread of illness. School authorities also may decide to dismiss a school if too many students or staff are absent. Understand the plan for continuing education and social services (such as student meal programs) during school dismissals. If your child attends a college or university, encourage them to learn about the school’s plan for a COVID-19 outbreak.
Learn about your employer’s emergency operations plan. Discuss sick-leave policies and telework options for workers who are sick or who need to stay home to care for sick household members. Learn how businesses and employers can plan for and respond to COVID-19.