Recommendations for Vulnerable Populations

 In Covid-19

Most, if not all, of our patients at Allumé are considered particularly vulnerable to coronavirus/COVID-19.

Who is considered high-risk?

  • Older adults
  • People with serious underlying medical conditions:
    • Heart disease
    • Lung disease
    • Diabetes
    • Persons with a recent respiratory infection or pneumonia
    • People with asthma
    • Pregnant women)

It is our top priority to ensure the safety of those most vulnerable.

Keep in mind:  The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Based on recommendations from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), we are recommending all our patients and our direct care team (nurses, home health aides, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and social workers) adhere to these recommendations:

 

Receive At-Home Care

  • If you are already receiving care at home, work together to ensure infection control and safety with your home health team
  • Receiving at-home care ensures your health is managed and helps prevent the need for care in a facility where infection risk dramatically increases

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Practice Social Distancing

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Maintain 6-foot distance between you and others
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Make a Plan

  • Meet with your home health team to develop an individualized COVID-19 emergency plan specific to you and your needs.
  • Meet with household members, other relatives, and friends to discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community and what the needs of each person will be.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Talk with your neighbors about emergency planning. If your neighborhood has a website or social media page, consider joining it to maintain access to neighbors, information, and resources.
  • Create an emergency contact list. Ensure your household has a current list of emergency contacts for family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.

Stay Home if You Are Sick

  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.

Stay Home. Period.

  • As much as possible, just stay home.
  • Ideally, everyone you interact with should also stay home.
  • If you get cabin fever, go outdoors for a walk, or take a drive, but avoid going into public places.

Limit Exposure to Small Group of People

  • Ideally, you are interacting only with a small group of family members at home, who are also staying home.
  • Working with at-home team of nurses and medical professionals to receive services needed to keep you healthy and out of the hospital

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Stock Up On Supplies

  • Medications, medical supplies, cleaning supplies, masks, etc.
  • Plenty of groceries, including frozen and canned items
  • This enables you to stay home where you are not exposed to COVID-19

Take Everyday Precautions

  • Avoid and eliminate contact with sick persons
  • Avoid touching high-touch surfaces including elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking, etc.

Stress and Coping

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media.
  • Take care of your body.
  • Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.

Identify Aid Organizations in Your Community

  • Partner with your home health agency to ensure you are in touch with organizations that can help.
  • Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, health care services, support, and resources.
  • Consider including organizations that provide mental health or counseling services, food, and other supplies.

 

Here is a video from the CDC that speaks specifically to the risks and precautions of older adults, however, similar risks and precautions apply to other high-risk individuals:

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