Dated as of May 22, 2020

Dear Caregivers –

You continue to inspire us with your dedication to our clients during this difficult time. We sincerely appreciate you and we will be extending several significant caregiver appreciation benefits over the next month including increased pay, financial assistance for time off, cash advances through PayActive, and client referral bonuses.

Background:

Like many businesses, Family Tree continues to feel the impacts of COVID-19 and we have had to make some difficult decisions and overcome several challenges to weather the storm. Despite this, we feel extremely fortunate to be in business and to retain our team. We want you to know how much we appreciate you.

On April 28th, we announced our first round of caregiver appreciation benefits to THANK YOU for helping our business survive this challenging time. The continued hard work and dedication of you and your support team in the office make us feel more confident every day in the future of Family Tree.

Please know that while these benefits continue to remain temporary, we will do our best to extend them as long as we can through this crisis.

In this memo:

  • Appreciation Pay – Extended for the June 5th payroll
  • Bonus for Referring Clients to Family Tree – Extended
  • Financial Assistance for Time-off Due to COVID-19 – Extended
  • Caregiver Cash Advances Through PayActive – Extended

Appreciation Pay

On your next paycheck (June 5th, 2020), every caregiver who worked from April 26th through March 23rd, 2020 will receive appreciation pay as a token of our appreciation for your service and hard work during these unprecedented times. You will receive an additional $3 for every hour worked in this time period. Every caregiver’s situation is different, but the average caregiver should see anywhere from a 20-30% increase in your gross pay.

Bonus for Referring Clients to Family Tree

Any caregiver who refers a client to Family Tree after May 1st, 2020, will receive a $1,000 bonus after the client completes 200 hours of care with the company. Tell your caregiver friends this applies to them as well, even if they don’t work for Family Tree yet!

Financial Assistance for Time-off Due to COVID-19

During the next month, we are expanding our financial assistance program for time off during Coronavirus. In addition to those required to quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 test, we will consider time off requests for additional COVID-19 related reasons.

Caregiver Cash Advances Through PayActiv

During the next month, we are doubling our caregiver cash advance program through our trusted partner, PayActiv. Every caregiver will be able to access up to $500 of their earned wages faster during this time of need. To access your cash advance, please contact your local office for more information.

PayActiv is a trusted partner we have engaged to assist you in this time of need. Here are just some of the benefits they offer.

  1. Earned Wage Access: Most importantly, PayActiv allows you to access up to 50% of the money you’ve earned with a maximum of $250 but haven’t yet been paid between paychecks. During the next month, we are increasing this limit to $500. This is NOT a loan and it carries NO interest. It’s your money that you’ve already earned. Listen to a 30-second description of Earned Wage Access here.
  2. Bill Pay: Avoid paying a bill in person. The PayActiv app will let you use your earned wages to pay bills directly, and with no fees.
  3. Uber: Struggling with transportation? Use the PayActiv app to order and pay for an Uber using your earned wages.
  4. Financial Counseling: Stressed with financial worries? PayActiv will connect you with a financial counselor at NO cost.

 

Thank you for your dedication to our clients. You are our heroes.


Latest News on PPE

During this unprecedented time, we want to keep our clients, employees, and community partners updated on our aggressive efforts to secure person protective equipment (PPE) and keep our employees and our clients safe. There are many constraints on PPE supply including distribution bottlenecks, supply shortages, and an alarming amount of scams. Despite these headwinds, our team is working as fast as possible to arm our employees and protect our clients with PPE and ultimately meet our new company standard for protective equipment: EVERY EMPLOYEE, EVERY SHIFT.

If you’re having trouble coordinating a time to pick up PPE from your local office, please call and we will find a way to get it to you ASAP.

Current PPE Status:

  • Masks
    • KN95 and surgical masks are available at every branch office.
    • An additional large supply of surgical masks are in route to our offices based on new CDC guidance for healthcare workers. The current delivery status is 2-10 business days.
  • Gloves
    • Gloves are available at every branch office with more in route. We’re providing a set number of gloves to ensure the protection of as many employees as possible. We’re evaluating the current supply and distributing more as needed.
      • 20,00 pairs of gloves in Houston
      • 12,000 pairs of gloves in San Antonio
      • 5,500 pairs of gloves in Denver
      • 200 pairs of gloves in Austin
  • Hand Sanitizer
    • We’ve purchased over 6 gallons of hand sanitizer and packaged them into ½ oz bottles. They’re being distributing to each office. Currently supply is as follows:
      • 160 bottles in Houston
      • 140 bottles in San Antonio by Thursday
      • Supply to Denver and Austin is in route
  • Thermometers
    • We’ve purchased thermometers for all employees who do not currently have their own personal thermometers. Thermometers are used to check temperature before every client visit.
    • Current delivery status is 7-15 business days.
  • Goggles
    • 1,000 are in route to our Houston office. The original ETA was April 11th, but that’s been pushed and we’re awaiting a status update.
  • Gowns
    • 1,000 gowns are in route to our Austin office with an unknown ETA at this time, but we are in close communication with the supplier.

*For the most up-to-date availability of PPE and access to our supply, please call your local office.

**In addition to PPE, our experienced team of clinicians reviewed several training options on infection control and selected a training specific to COVID-19 that every employee in the company is required to complete and pass before accessing our PPE supply. We’re proud to say that hundreds of employees have completed this test with 90% scores or greater. Those that scored less than 100% are provided additional training and a chance to retake the test before getting their PPE.

“Shelter in Place” / “Stay at Home” FAQ 

Dated as of March 25, 2020

You may have heard of “shelter in place” or “stay at home” orders in the news. Below is some background on these orders and what they mean for you. Most importantly, you need to know that “shelter in place” and “stay at home” orders do not effect caregiving.

Is there a “shelter in place” or “stay at home” order where I live?

Yes. Austin and San Antonio have a “shelter in place” order. Denver and Houston have a “stay at home order.” While they have slightly different restrictions, they mean the same thing for caregivers who provide services to seniors and disabled individuals. For more information on the difference between “shelter in place” and “stay at home order”, click this link.

As a caregiver, can I still work?

Yes. The shelter-in-place order also does not apply to those going to work in an essential business or essential function. Home Care is considered an essential activity and home care employees (caregivers) are not required to remain home – caregivers can continue to leave home to work and provide services to clients. The orders generally don’t restrict caring for elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or other vulnerable persons.

Some states have declared a statewide ‘shelter in place’ or ‘pause’ order. What does this mean?

State residents are to remain in place at their homes except for essential activities, essential business and essential government functions. In most cases, Home Care is considered an essential activity and home care employees are not required to remain home – caregivers can continue to work.

As an office staff, can I still work?

Yes. For office staff, the order requires working from home if possible. We believe if home care is deemed an essential service, we may be able to also obtain approval for some office staff to work at the branches on a limited basis.

Can I leave my home?

Yes, for essential tasks to maintain health and safety, such as medical needs, getting necessary services or supplies for family or household members, such as food and supplies, pet food and other supplies necessary for staying at home. You may also do outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running if you maintain six feet of physical/social distancing.

If I leave my home to report to work, will I get stopped by police or other government officials?

Possibly, but do not worry. We will provide you with a formal letter declaring you an “essential worker” which will protect your ability to serve the business. Be sure to have your Family Tree badge with you at all times to show and explain that you are an essential health care worker. Other people will be out in the public as well, getting essential supplies, etc. so we don’t expect excessive patrolling by law enforcement.

What are considered essential services?

The list is surprisingly long and in other states includes:

  • Health care operations/health workers, including home care
  • Essential Infrastructure, construction, public transportation, and utilities
  • Grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores
  • Businesses that support economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities
  • Pharmacies, health care supply stores, and health care facilities
  • Gas stations, auto repair facilities
  • Banks
  • Garbage collection
  • Hardware stores, plumbers, electricians and other service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences and other essential businesses
  • Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning
  • Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food and goods directly to residences
  • Childcare facilities providing services that enable essential employees to go to work
  • Roles required for any essential business to “maintain basic operations,” which include security, payroll and similar activities

Can my child leave the home or be taken to a childcare facility?

Yes. Childcare is considered an essential service, especially for health care workers.

 

Family Tree In-Home Care is actively monitoring developments and guidance around the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Currently, we are conducting business as usual though we’ve added additional safety precautions which we’ve outlined below. Additionally, we continue to prepare diligently for all other precautionary measures as needed.

The COVID-19 situation is evolving, and while we do not know what is coming next, we want you to be fully aware of and confident in the ways we have been preparing our teams to work within this higher-risk environment. We feel fortunate to care for our clients in the safety of their homes and we have devoted significant resources and efforts to mitigate possible adverse impacts from COVID-19. Our COVID-19 preparedness is coordinated as part of our company-wide continuity efforts and is intended to allow us to support our clients’ needs while keeping clients, caregivers, nurses, and all other team members safe.

Keeping You Safe

Our top priority is the health and welfare of our clients and employees. As a result, we have enacted the following precautionary measures, among others:

Live-In Caregiving. Many clients may request a live-in caregiver so that they can avoid interactions with the outside world. This could pose an excellent opportunity for caregivers looking for stable work in a single, isolated environment. This requires you as a caregiver to serve the client during the day and sleep in a private bedroom in the client’s home at night, with access to suitable bathroom facilities.  You are not expected to provide care during the night but do need to be available to respond in an emergency. If you are interested in serving as a live-in, please contact the office, and we will discuss this option with you.

Regular Employee Screenings. Your health and safety are our primary concern, so we will be conducting screenings of all of our caregivers, nurses, and other team members 2x per week indefinitely during this crisis. We will continue to re-evaluate the ongoing frequency and necessity of these screenings. Every employee will be screened for the following risk factors, and all screenings will be documented:

  • Fever or signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat;
  • Contact in the last 14 days with someone who has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19,
  • Traveled within the previous 14 days to a country with sustained community transmission per the CDC guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
  • Close contact in the last 14 days with someone who has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, is under investigation for COVID-19, or is ill with respiratory illness. “Close contact” is defined by the CDC Guidelines as:
    • being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case; or
    • having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on)

Caregiver Quarantining. We will be abiding by CDC recommendations by preventing any high-risk employees from serving a client for 14-day period if that employee does not pass the above-mentioned screening. An employee cannot pass the screening if they have (1) recently travelled to a banned country, (2) exhibited flu-like symptoms, or (3) been in contact with someone believed to have COVID-19 per the CDC guidelines above. An employee return to work if they are determined to no longer pose a risk to any client or other employee.

For any caregiver who report symptoms of COVID-19, we will strongly recommend they follow the CDC guidelines for What To Do If You Are Sick, and immediately contact their doctor for further instruction.

As part of our commitment to our caregivers, we have enacted a policy to ensure that any caregiver who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or is individually asked to self-isolate by a public health authority will receive financial assistance for up to 14 days while their ability to serve our clients is on hold.

Protecting Clients in Their Homes. In addition to the documented care plan of each client, every employee will be required to follow a COVID-19 protocol for every visit in a client’s home, including:

  • Wiping down all metal surfaces with disinfectant at the beginning and end of each visit;
  • Ensuring the client’s and care provider’s regular and rigorous hand washing with anti-bacterial soap during the visit;
  • Use of the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) as necessary and available; and
  • Ensuring adequate hydration of the client.

For any clients who report symptoms of COVID-19, we will recommend they follow the CDC guidelines for What To Do If You Are Sick, and immediately contact their doctor for further instruction.

Preparing You. We are currently stocking up on items in each office that will be made available to you for your use in the field. These include all available personal protective equipment suggested by the CDC. Based on the client’s condition, guidance for PPE will change:

    • Gloves;
    • Gowns;
    • Masks; and
    • Goggles or face shield

As always, thank you for being the heart of Family Tree. It is an honor to serve you and your clients, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly.

Be well,

Alex Bonetti, Founder & CEO

 

Questions?

Please contact your care advisor or our office directly.

Austin: (512) 337-8882

Denver: (303) 791-3155

Houston: (713) 333-9991

San Antonio: (210) 764-8500