Caring for a loved one in a home or non-healthcare setting can be challenging. It’s even more so during a pandemic. Although we have been living with the threat of coronavirus for a year and a half, progress has been made thanks to the availability of vaccines. However, with the rise of the highly contagious Delta variant (and possible future variants that may lie ahead), we must all continue to take precautions to guard ourselves and others from infection. This is even more important for caregivers who may have a COVID positive member in their household.
In the following article, we’ll review some of the necessary safety protocols and precautions that home and elderly caregivers should follow when caring for their COVID-19 affected family members.
Safety Protocols for the COVID Positive
When caring for a COVID positive member of the household, it’s the responsibility of the caregiver to ensure that the patient is properly supported and protected during their recovery. These steps should be followed by the caregiver to help the affected person recover and protect others from infection.
- Help the COVID-positive person follow all of their doctor’s instructions and takes any necessary medications or prescriptions on a regular basis
- Help keep the affected person well hydrated, fed and rested
- Provide everyday essentials for the person, including groceries, medications, toiletries, soap, and clean clothes
- Ensure that the positive person wears a mask when they are in the same room/area as the caregiver or any uninfected person
- If the affected person’s condition worsens and symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain and/or discolored skin appear, seek emergency care immediately
Safety Protocols for the Caregiver
Home or elderly caregivers of COVID-positive family members or friends must follow certain safety protocols not only to protect themselves but also others inside and outside the household. Even if the caregiver is vaccinated, breakthrough cases have been reported. Plus, the Delta variant is highly transmissible to others – even the vaccinated. Considering all of those factors, home caregivers are advised to follow these recommended precautions:
- If they have not already done so, it is strongly recommended to receive one of the available vaccinations
- If possible, quarantine the affected individual in a separate room with a dedicated bathroom
- Caregivers should wear a facemask and disposable gloves any time time they are in contact with or assisting the sick person
- When possible, limit contact with the affected person and practice social distancing (six feet apart) when in the same room or area
- Wash any dishes, utensils and drinkware with hot soapy water while wearing disposable gloves
- Frequently wash hands with soap and and hot water for at least 20 seconds
- Use hand sanitizer after washing hands or any time hands cannot be immediately washed
- Avoid touching the face, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands
Although many of these precautions may seem like second nature after living in a pandemic-affected world for so long, it’s never a bad idea to review these helpful steps. Although this virus has impacted our society on various levels, caregivers are at greater risk than many.
If you are an home or elederly caregiver for someone in your household and you could use some help, the homecare experts at Keen are ready to assist you. Please contact us today to discuss the many options that are available to you and your loved ones.