Dated as of March 31, 2020

Latest News on PPE

Many clients have continued to reach out to us to ensure we will continue providing care during this crisis and similarly, our employees are expressing their strong desire to continue care for their clients in the safest way possible. We want to ensure you that we’re not going anywhere and we feel fortunate that we open and available to support you. Our aggressive action to secure person protective equipment (PPE) is one of many ways we plan to keep our employees and clients safe.

As promised, we want to keep you up-to-date with our exhaustive efforts to secure personal protective equipment (PPE) for the safety of our employees and clients. To date, we have placed the following orders and while we cannot guarantee their arrival in the coronavirus logistics landscape, we’re confident we’ve chosen reliable suppliers that will do everything they can to get our product to us:

  • 2,000+ KN95 masks – ETA tomorrow, 4/1
  • 25,000 gloves – ETA this week
  • 1,000 Goggles – ETA next week
  • 1,000 gowns – ETA this week
  • Thermometers – ETA TBD

The above order do not include PPE that is already at various local offices. Reach out to your local office to inquiry about the availability of PPE today.

With these orders in transit, we’ll provide our branches regular updates on the status of our these shipments and ensure our employees can safely access PPE once it arrives.

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

As “Shelter-In-Place” and “Stay-at-Home” Orders are being instituted in various cities and states across the country, we wanted to keep you informed of how these protective measures impact your families. Many of you have expressed growing concerns should a caregiver be unable to work under these circumstances. Thankfully, every one of these ordinances has protected the work of caregivers, nurses, and care managers as “Essential Workers” for care in the home. As such, we wanted to reassure you that:

Under a “Shelter-In-Place” or “Stay-at-Home” ordinance, there is absolutely no prohibition on providing care to your loved one in their home (including senior living residences)

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and update you as circumstances change. More importantly, we continue our strict employee safety protocols including regular heath screening, access to available personal protective equipment, and client safety screening during each visit.

We are grateful that Federal (including the President’s National Emergency Order), State and local law and policy makers have recognized that our caregivers, nurses, and life care managers are employed in an essential capacity, providing home care services to vulnerable individuals, the elderly and people living with disabilities.  Where a “Shelter-In-Place” order has been enacted, we have provided formal letters to all caregivers, nurses, and life care managers for them to carry just in case they are questioned by a law enforcement officer.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to call our office. In order to help foresee any issues we could be facing due to COVID-19, we have been consulting every day with highly reputable agencies in Washington, California, and New York who are all under “Shelter-In-Place” orders and who are experiencing COVID-19 is a more pronounced way than we are. Fortunately, they have all been able to continue their work and do what we do best – care for those who need it most.

 

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 your caregiver for their 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 your 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