In the midst of the global pandemic, very few people remain unaffected. With so many communities being encouraged to remain indoors and maintain social distancing, COVID-19 shines a light on the unseen heroes that keep our society in motion.
In addition to essential workers, medical professionals, the postal service, grocery store employees, pharmacists, sanitation workers, etc., we want to commend the Geriatric Care Managers and Home Health Aides who are on the front line working with our elder citizens.
While Eddy & Schein staff work in the background on our clients’ financial, legal, and insurance issues to be sure that they have their personal affairs in order, the home health aides and care managers are working hard to keep our clients physically safe and mentally engaged.
Home Health Aides often travel great distances and on public transportation to get to their clients. And now, in addition to their normal responsibilities, they have to follow strict protocols to avoid bringing the coronavirus to our most vulnerable population. Due to shelter-in-place orders and social distancing, they may be the only people clients interact with. The aides ensure that clients are groomed, dressed, fed, taking their medications, and entertained, all the while protecting them from the virus by keeping the home at a new standard of contaminant-free.
Our colleagues, geriatric care managers, also known as aging life care professionals, may be out and about, delivering supplies, and doing medication pours. Or, from a distance, they are supervising aides, dealing with gaps in coverage, checking on clients, and coming up with creative ways to minimize the virus being carried into the home.
During the first week of sheltering in place, we saw the flurry of activity on the part of care managers as they worked swiftly to put plans and protocols in place that would keep clients well cared for and protected during this new era. Some of the actions they took that we know about:
- One care manager worked out a system where aides on 12-hour shifts would both be in the home, one asleep, the other on duty. That way, there was less coming and going from the client’s apartment.
- Another client’s aide was at home sick and a family member who was staying with the client then became sick and moved out to self-quarantine. The care manager, in an instant, was able to find a wonderful private live-in aide and get her on the payroll.
- A sticky building door, unresponsive to the buzzer, resulted in aides not being able to get to the client. The care manager got creative and hung a lockbox on the banister outside the door with the building door key inside. Now the aides can get into the building, walk up the stairs, and be let into the apartment by the client and help her throughout the day.
The extra creativity of care managers during this crisis provides a high level of protection that goes a long way toward keeping clients safe and healthy.
While we have always counted on care managers to be our partners in caring for our elderly clients, and home health aides to be a critical part of a client’s team, during the pandemic, they have all become our heroes.
To learn more about Geriatric Care Managers and/or Aging Life Care Professionals, visit www.aginglifecare.org. If you or your loved one is in need of help in managing in-home care, please call Eddy & Schein at 212-987-1427.