As we adjust to our new normal here at Assisting Hands, we are so happy that our Caregiving Team has been able to continue to serve our senior community with sunny smiles on our faces! Thank you for having us, because we love serving you.
In addition to keeping you happy, our top priority is keeping everyone safe. With this particular threat to our communities, protecting ourselves IS protecting others. Here is some information on how everyone can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone in our Assisting Hands family safe.
You may be tired of hearing about it, but it’s true! It is believed that the virus is mostly spread person to person. Social distancing is the #1 way to avoid becoming infected and/or spreading the virus.
- Do not meet with anymore or enter public places unless necessary. Limit your chances of exposure as much as possible. If you go to the grocery store once in two weeks instead of twice you are cutting your potential for exposure in half!
- If you must go into public places, say 6 feet away from other people
Review of Hand Hygiene
After social distancing, your next basic line of defense against COVID-19 is hand washing. Here are a few more pointers to remember, but you can review a breakdown of handwashing and other guidelines in our other blog Guidelines for Caregivers:
- Wash your hands as soon as you enter your home or a client’s home.
- Avoid touching your face or your client’s face unless you have just washed your hands.
- As you are washing your hands more frequently, be aware that your hands are more likely to get dry and cracked, which can make you more vulnerable to germs on your hands! Make sure you are using lotion on your hands when needed to prevent broken skin.
An Overview of Personal Protective Equipment
As an additional update to our previous list of guidelines based on CDC and WHO recommendations, the CDC is currently recommending that the public wear masks in public places. We are all being introduced more to the use of PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment, and here is some information on its proper use.
It is currently believed that the virus is mostly spread person-to-person from respiratory droplets when someone coughs, sneezes, or talks. The CDC has therefore started to recommend that everyone wears a cloth mask when in public places, primarily to minimize the amount of respiratory droplets we are releasing into the air.
It is possible that as many as 25% of cases of Coronavirus have no symptoms but could easily spread the virus to others. That is why it is so important that everyone follows CDC guidelines to try to minimize the spread of the virus.
Please remember that wearing a mask is one preventative measure to minimize risk of spreading your own respiratory droplets, but it does not completely protect you from exposure to COVID-19.
Always maintain social distancing guidelines even when wearing a mask.
It’s also important to wear and handle your mask properly. Here’s how to do it:
- Wash your hands before touching your mask.
- Wash your hands after removing your mask.
- Handle the mask by the ear loops, or the homemade straps. The outside of the mask is essentially your germ filter…try not to touch it!
- Wash your cloth masks as soon as you take them off, between each use.
- Don’t touch your mask while you are wearing it! Taking your mask on and off, or fidgeting with it while you are wearing it will spread any germs that may be on it.
At Assisting Hands, we have some medical masks and homemade cloth masks for our caregivers to use to help protect our caregivers and clients when necessary. But it is recommended that everyone wear a homemade mask when going out in public. You can find a wealth of information online as to how to easily make a homemade mask!
Here is some information from the CDC on homemade masks
Gloves are generally used by healthcare workers when exposed to germs and/or bodily fluids and they are immediately disposed of. Caregivers should use gloves following these guidelines:
- Gloves should be worn by caregivers when providing personal care.
- Gloves should be removed properly (without contact with hands) and should be immediately disposed of after personal care.
- Caregivers should wash their hands after removing gloves.
While wearing gloves, it is important to remember that gloves can very easily transmit the virus and other germs from one surface to another. Gloves don’t kill germs, they just keep them off of your hands!
- If you are wearing gloves, never touch your face.
- If you are wearing gloves and you touch other surfaces, those surfaces need to be disinfected.
- Always wash your hands after removing gloves.
- The CDC recommends frequent hand washing and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces for daily activities.
- And one little tip: Remember to disinfect your phone!
The CDC Website to stay up to date on current guidelines for protection from COVID-19
Free Training Courses on PPE and other COVID-19 related topics