As COVID-19 continues to shake up everyone’s lives, caregivers have been affected in a big way. When families began quarantining at home, they may have stopped seeking care from caregivers. The “stay-at-home” orders are also a cause of a lessened demand for caregivers. However, with some areas slowly lifting requirements, it’s important for families and Joymakers to be on the same page when it comes to safety and care. Here are some recommended questions and considerations we recommend Joymakers to follow.
What should I know when it comes to caregiving and COVID-19?
The most important thing is that if you believe you may be sick, stay home and do not accept Care Dates. Also, reach out to us! We will temporarily pause you from being viewed to be booked. This goes the other way too – as we ask the same thing from families at Joshin. If the family you are scheduled to provide care for has someone in the household who develops symptoms, do not go to that Care Date.
Even if you are currently healthy, self-quarantining is recommended for anyone who has been in contact recently with someone who became sick with the coronavirus, or believe that they may have it. Avoid all contact with anyone for 14 days just in case you have been infected. Your safety and the safety of our families is our top priority.
What should I talk to families about before the Care Date?
You and the family should have discussions about how you will keep each other safe. Make sure you and the family have an agreement on what it means to social distance and the importance of it. With everyone’s actions being interconnected now more than ever, you should both agree to take precautions at all times.
One thing to remember is that the families have the same worries that you are having about providing care during COVID-19. Everyone wants to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy. An open line of communication and clear expectations are essential for keeping everyone safe. If either party seems unsure, there is always the option to provide Virtual Care Dates as well.
Are there specific safety precautions that I can take during the Care Date to protect everyone’s health during this time?
Keep in mind that even if no one is showing symptoms, that does not mean that they have not contracted the virus. Because of this, it is important to be vigilant. Of course no one is expecting perfection from you, but you can try your best and do better. Here are some habits for on-the-job that you can adopt as a routine now:
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water:
- When entering the family’s home.
- Before preparing food.
- After using the restroom.
- Help them do the same.
- When in doubt, it can never hurt to wash your hands again.
- To prevent any cross-contamination between homes, take your shoes off as soon as you enter the family’s home.
- Use hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes – bring your own or make sure that the family has some in their home that you can use.
- Disinfect high-touch surfaces
- Kitchen areas
- Bathroom fixtures
- Try to stay in a designated area of the home during the Care Date to make it easier to control it and clean it.
- When you get home after the Care Date, make sure to remove your shoes and change into a fresh pair of clothes to help reduce any cross-contamination.
- Continue to social distance and keep six feet away from parents and anyone else you may work with.
- The CDC has informative tips on using cloth face coverings.
What do I do when I need to provide hands-on care?
Providing care is usually a very hands-on job. This could mean showing some level of physical affection like a hug, providing hands on support or for safety reasons. So what do you do now?
First and most importantly, check to make sure that the person you are caring for is not exhibiting any cold symptoms. Check for a runny nose, cough or fever. It could also be a good idea to share some of your typical preventative habits. For example, you can make sure that you both are practicing good hand-washing skills. Also, refrain from sharing food since there is the possibility of a transfer of infected droplets.
How can the parents and I work together to keep the child mentally healthy during this time?
Discuss with the family ideas to figure out all kinds of different activities that will be both fun and rewarding. You are not able to go to the playground currently, but you can play their favorite games, read their favorite books, or maybe start learning a new skill such as playing a new instrument.
Sometimes they may not understand why you are being extra cautious and keeping a safer distance during the Care Date, but some creativity may help. One idea could be to play doctor, nurse, patient, etc. to explain that the patient needs to quarantine and social distance, so they now have to find new ways to show personal affection since they cannot give hugs until they are “cured”. Even more importantly, as the trusted Joymaker, you need to be an example by showing mental stability in front of them in order to keep their spirits up.