Even before terms such as “social distancing,” “self-quarantining,” and “pandemic” became a part of our daily vernacular, we at SYNERGY HomeCare of Chicago have been dedicated to ensuring that the older adults we’re honored to serve are safely and compassionately cared for, with the same level of care we offer to our own family members. And our commitment to this goal has only grown stronger since the onset of COVID-19 concerns.
To provide northern Chicago seniors and their loved ones with much-needed peace of mind during these tumultuous times, we’ve implemented the following precautions – and know that while many businesses begin to lessen their precautions, we remain vigilant in adhering to the most stringent and safest standards.
- We provide infection control and prevention training for all employees.
- We also require all employees (not just caregivers) to take training developed specifically about COVID-19 which provides in-depth details on this disease, how it spreads, and best practices for minimizing the risk of infection and spread.
- We continually monitor and adhere to guidelines and requirements from the CDC, IDPH and local government.
- We are certified as an essential healthcare provider, which allows continued care operations during curfews as well as access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves.
- We update our clients regularly regarding our COVID-19 processes and procedures through hard copy, email and verbal communications.
- Our caregivers also receive regular reinforcements and reminders of our COVID-19 processes and procedures.
Our caregivers’ daily routine includes:
- Daily health checks for symptoms prior to heading out to a client’s home:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Wearing a mask when outside the home.
- Minimizing use of public transportation, ride-share or taxis.
- Practicing self-distancing when in public places.
- Carrying and using hand sanitizer throughout the day.
- No touching of one’s face unless immediately after washing one’s hands thoroughly.
- In the client’s home:
- Utilizing PPE as needed for specific client needs
- Washing hands thoroughly upon arrival and continually throughout a shift
- Disinfecting all common touch areas (doorknobs, faucet handles, kitchen appliance handles, etc.)
- Disinfecting all flat common surfaces including kitchen counters, bathroom sinks, tables, etc.
- Practicing social distancing even with the client when possible
If any symptoms are present, a caregiver will pause working and follow the CDC/IDPH guidelines for self-isolation or quarantine as appropriate. This includes being tested immediately and remaining quarantined until results come back. We also inventory who the caregiver has been in contact with and self-isolate or quarantine and monitor as needed (per CDC/IDPH) guidelines). We follow the CDC/IDPH guidelines for reintroducing a caregiver back into the work rotation as follows:
- If not diagnosed with COVID-19:
- The caregiver will remain out of work until he/she has gone three days with no symptoms
- If diagnosed with COVID-19:
- The caregiver will remain out of work until he/she has gone three days with no fever, respiratory symptoms have improved (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) and it has been ten days since symptoms first appeared
We all know this virus is not going away anytime soon, and the best we can do is navigate through it very carefully and intelligently as we service the vulnerable groups that are more prone to adverse reactions. When the vaccine becomes available, we will ensure all of our staff are vaccinated and work to get our clients vaccinated as well when appropriate.
If you have any questions or concerns about our protocol, please call us at (773) 868-3183 any time. We’re here for you through this storm as well as any yet to come, as the dependable Chicago home care support system you can trust for the seniors you love.