The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put pressures on all of us, but among those affected, one group has met incredible challenges: home health care workers.
While healthcare systems deal with staff shortages and political and financial pressures, healthcare workers on the front-lines are expected to act heroically. The valiant sacrifice of nurses and doctors in hospitals and nursing homes is well known and rightfully applauded, but let us not forget that the front-line of the COVID-19 battle includes the home-front as well. Home health care workers have carried on in these difficult times with much less of a spotlight, having to cope with little or no extra resources, while doing the vital work of caring for the most vulnerable in our community.
This important group of healthcare workers’ contributions to the pandemic response is nothing short of heroic. Their dedication to continuing to provide holistic care to medically complex patients, including those with COVID-19, in varied home environments has exemplified what home care always accomplishes. Both in times of crisis and in times of normalcy, home health care workers sacrifice their personal safety in order to keep others healthy and independent at home.
Since the start of the pandemic, our home health care workforce has worked harder than ever. Their jobs have put their physical, mental, and financial well-being at higher risk while providing essential care to patients in their homes. When schools and business closed their doors, and people embraced working remotely and stay at home orders, home care workers have suited up each day to face new fears, anxieties and intensified needs.
They have had to enter the homes of patients, which even with diligent screening, could never be guaranteed to be free from COVID-19. There have been constant worries about running out of personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitizer, becoming sick, and transmitting the disease to patients or to their own families. Despite these uncertainties, with sheer determination and concern for patients, our home health care team has not stopped providing the care our patients need.
The spread of COVID-19 has meant taking extra precautions when entering patient homes. Our team at Day Kimball Healthcare (DKH) At Home has risen to the occasion. They have diligently followed ever-changing public health guidelines and safety standards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Public Health (DPH), keeping the health and safety of patients at the forefront of their minds.
Now more than ever, the in-home care we provide is a vital part of preventing emergency room visits and unnecessary hospitalizations, while keeping our patients safe in the comfort of their homes. Our team has earned the trust of our patients and caregivers to continue to provide care in their homes. While patients delayed medical care out of fear of contracting COVID-19 at their doctor’s office or hospital, they have opened their doors to home health care workers.
This has allowed us to assess patients, collaborate with their health care providers regarding changes in health status, navigate technology for telehealth visits, and educate them about the importance of not delaying medical attention and the extra safety precautions hospitals and doctor’s offices have taken to provide COVID-safe care.
Our talented team of nurses, therapists, social workers, aides, and homemakers at DKH At Home have demonstrated how valuable their skills and caregiving are even during a pandemic. As we move forward, I am certain our home health care workforce will continue to reveal how invaluable they are. Their resilience is inspirational, their skills are second to none, and their caring spirits are worthy of recognition.
Let’s remember to keep our home health care workers in the forefront of our prayers as we approach the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you encounter a home health care worker, please thank them for the dedicated care they provide to the most vulnerable patients in our community.
DKH At Home encourages individuals to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their homes and in the communities. If you suspect that you were exposed to the virus, contact your healthcare provider to see if you can be cared for at home. To learn more about coronavirus disease precautions for the home and recommendations for close contacts and caregivers of patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, click here.
For the latest information, refer to the CDC website, www.cdc.gov and the CT DPH website, www.ct.gov/coronavirus. Local measures to contain the spread of the virus are available at Day KimballHealthcare at www.daykimball.org/coronavirus, or call 2-1-1, the CT State Hotline for information.