Caregiver Appreciation Pay & Your PPE Costs

To read an update regarding our caregiver appreciation pay and your PPE costs, please click here.


Dated as of April 30, 2020

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 personal 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” 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