As a caregiver, you are a lifeline for your clients (or family members) during this national health crisis. Without you, these individuals may be cut off from critical services and supplies. Here are some guidelines for providing safe care to those in need.
If you are feeling sick, notify your clients by phone, activate your backup plan, and stay home!
Discuss a backup plan with each client. Find out if they have any friends or family who could help out if you become ill.
Collaborate with other individual caregivers or agencies. Talk to your social workers (if applicable) about authorizing another provider as backup.
Stay healthy and self-isolate for the sake of your clients. Avoid unnecessary trips to stores, restaurants and any place that appears to be crowded.
Assist your clients with setting up grocery and pharmacy delivery services.
Wash or sanitize hands when you arrive in the home, during your visit, and when you leave.
Wipe down groceries and other supplies brought into the home with soapy water or sanitizing wipes.
Wipe down surfaces, such as counter tops, after you put supplies away.
Wipe down refrigerator door handles and cabinets.
Assist clients with rotating food items in the refrigerator and throwing away out of date items that could make them ill. Now is not a good time to seek medical care for a food-borne illness.
Maintain as much distance as possible between you and your client. When providing personal cares, be sure to turn away and cover if you must cough or sneeze, and try to minimize close conversation.
If you suspect one of your clients was exposed to COVID-19, ask for guidance from your Human Services Zone and local public health unit. You may also want to ask for guidance if you are older or have serious underlying medical conditions.
Human Services Zones: https://www.nd.gov/dhs/info/news/2020/3-23-human-service-zones-continue-to-provide-vital-services-but-restrict-public-access-to-offices.pdf
Local Public Health Units: https://www.ndhealth.gov/localhd/