Follow
Share

Mom (90, dementia) and I live together and since the quarantine, I've been working from home and suspended the aides. Now it seems I may be working home for a long, long time and the 24/7 with no break is too much. I want to bring the two long-time aides back so I can get some work done and some rest. Their job is mostly companionship, and I'm understandably nervous. What is everyone doing about aides in your home? Do they wear masks all the time? Gloves? Keep a distance? I need your insight and experience. It seems a lot of the intimacy they've shared with mom will be lost with all those barriers, but what to do so everyone is safe AND effective?

I'm in the same boat, I have to bring mom's aide back next week so I can get out, I haven't left the house since March. I will make sure she wears a mask and takes her shoes off. Her aide doesn't do any bathing or feeding, she's a companion so I'm thinking of having her stay 6 feet away and watch TV with her. I'm nervous about someone entering the house, but there's not much of a choice at this point.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to kbuser
Report
jacklynnendime May 21, 2020
I am living all alone in a condo in Florida, My husband of 72 years passed away suddenly in Nov.I was still very much in the grieving stage when this pandemic started in March, I had to help him a lot because he constantly fell and even broke his collar bone. I had a caregiver for him for a while until he was able to get around with a walker. I am 91 and all our family is up North. I have no help except for a cleaning lady who comes every 3 weeks to do the bathrooms and kitchen, I told her not to come because of the pandemic but after 2 months I found I very much needed her to help me. She came back wore a mask and gloves and stayed for 4 hours. I worried for 2 weeks hoping she was not a carrier! This is not going to be over anytime soon so we just have to bite the bullet and allow help to come in. Some do not want to come back even though they need the money. We are all living in a cloud of fear of the unknown. You need to have help so you can get out and have a life. I have been in my apartment since March 10th. I know how frustrating it gets. Hang in there things will improve, I am blessed to be able to take care of myself. My son just ordered a medical alert pendant for me so I feel safer now. Good luck Honey Bunch.
(4)
Report
See 2 more replies
As an RN, here is my take. Always wash hands upon entering your home and before doing hands-on care of your mother. Wear a mask when doing hands on care but masks off when providing companionship - until she can get a vaccine. Aides should do extra cleaning of counters, door knobs... any high-touch areas where they and your mother are. Save the gloves for toileting and bathing perineal areas.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Taarna
Report
Edward1234 May 21, 2020
Thanks for your response. Very informative from a health care worker.
(1)
Report
Gloves, yes if there is personal contact.
Mask , yes if they are going to be closer than the 6 foot recommend distance.
Covering for clothing, yes again if there is going to be personal, bodily contact. (this can happen transferring or guiding someone to a chair or to the bathroom or just walking) ((I suggested in another post to possibly buy a few "scrubs" and have them so a caregiver can change when they come to the house and change before they leave, you can wash the scrubs and they will be clean and dry for the next day))
Screen caregivers before they come in, are they feeling alright, fever, aches, any contact with anyone that has been ill or has tested positive.
You need a break. Your mom needs a break. You need to get work done.
This is a decision you make and you weigh the "Benefit VS Burden" when deciding what is the right thing to do.
No "right or wrong" answer...........
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Grandma1954
Report
jshdoff May 18, 2020
Scrubs! Such a good idea! They both already have "house shoes" they store here, so that's taken care of. Thanks for that.
(6)
Report
Are they ready to come back to work? Are you paying them while they are at their homes? By having someone come in, you're taking a risk, but the goal is to minimize that risk as much as possible by limiting exposures and interactions. Masks are so important. Get some cloth face coverings for the home -- silk or pretty ones in splashy colors for everybody so they dont have to buy them. Keep some at the house, some for them in their personal life that are more protective N95s for their protection. Next, set up additional handwashing basins / stations and have nice smelling handcream to make it more appealing. You have to take care of them so they can take care of your mom.Ask the aides what they are doing to limit exposures in regards to shopping especially; maybe get their groceries delivered for them, to your house or theirs and find out if you can help Also important is fhelp them apply for every covid program to increase their financial independence so they don't need another job. TAlk to them about not coming to work if they have any symptoms which isn't a guarantee bec they could be symptomless. Another thing, have a washable housecoat they could don upon entering your house, again limiting any cross-contamination (The CDC has a new advisory out about CV not so communicable by surfaces which I have to research). You can get a forehead scanner thermometer, although I got one and it's junk: everybody is 97.7. When I scan it over my open mouth, it was 98.6. They can bring their own thermometer and check their temp before entering your house. Bec this is traumatic for everyone, sweeten the pot with extra gratitude towards them.
The CDC recommends having good ventilation in her room, so open windows are a plus. I don't know if AC units are helpful.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to purrna2go
Report

More to think about from the posts here as I posted something similar. I do not feel reassured, and the stress/burden of concern, at this point in time may be worse having someone in than not. Gloves are no different than hands; aides can bring it in with them/be exposed anywhere from other clients and those they have been with to their own family and social lives. Antibody testing imo is an invasive request and what if the aide doesn't stay? What does it prove anyhow? Too many unknowns at this point. Some of the better masks have a valve to get more air in/be less hot...but finding them...that's another matter. I'm still sittin on the fence. Sometimes I think of this as being like a cold...it's out there, we can't avoid it and the majority will fortunately survive...EXCEPT this isn't a cold, it is deadly and many don't particularly if older. Very bad timing in our lives...
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to gdaughter
Report
purrna2go May 21, 2020
Unless they can be a 100% certified part of your bubble, there's a risk, and that's avoidable. When you start with the diarrhea, a rash, malaise, and you think it will go away--it's too late. A large computer screen, interactive, with zoom meetings with the two caregivers, would be a good interim measure. This is needed. I can't see my mom because I caught something; i'll have to do a zoom meeting with my brother, who has taken over as caregiver.
(2)
Report
See 1 more reply
I’m in a similar situation with my parents, we suspended their aides as well who help them with bathing and some other tasks like changing their bed linens and some other personal tasks. It probably hasn’t been hard on me as you though as I had been out of work for the past two months. I have been called back to work now so it’s a bit more challenging. We have been told that it’s safe to bring the aides back in, they do wear masks and gloves (although now we are told not to wear gloves).
We have not made any decision to bring them back in yet, I still think it’s very risky as they do deal with so many other clients plus their own personal lives. But in your case if it’s mostly for companionship, they could probably visit with your mom safely while keeping their distance. Hope this helps xo
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Phoenix11
Report

I believe that after the aide comes in they should wash or sanitize their hands with an alcohol rub and then glove up. Some say if no personal care or cleaning is being done this is not necessary, but I disagree. Reason 1 is the aide is gloving up for their protection-- not the client's-- as the area of care could be contaminated. Reason 2 is when your hands are gloved (and you are masked) you are less likely to touch your face and infect yourself. After the shift is complete the aide should remove gloves and wash or sanitize once again.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to SynergyNJ
Report
elaineSC May 21, 2020
I think globes and masks are for both parties. I keep hearing all of this stuff like masks are to protect the other person. Now it is gloves. I am not buying this. If I put on gloves to open doors and handle products, I am protecting my old self! I am over 65 and husband is over 80 with mild emphasema so you can bet I am wearing them to protect myself. In the meantime, I am protecting others too.
(0)
Report
I wear a mask while in clients' homes, but then I'm not usually in one place for more than an hour or so and I'm not sure I could stand an entire eight hour shift (or longer) wearing one. In fact, I'm sure I couldn't. It isn't fun, and it's a flaming nuisance of an obstacle when it comes to communication, especially with people who are hard of hearing and/or have dementia.

Any way you can arrange for antibody testing for them? How is testing going in your neck of the woods? And what are their home circumstances? - it makes a difference, whether they're living alone, have small children, have other jobs, etc. etc.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report
jshdoff May 18, 2020
One of them has no small children or other clients (plus), but works in the pharmacy section of "has everything" store (minus) - but she drives, so no public transportation (plus)

The other has no kids or other clients (plus) but must take public transportation to get here (minus).

I'm wondering if a face shield might be the best idea, instead of a mask? Hmmm.
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
Make sure they are Okay to come back and Yes...Gloves and Masks.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Parise
Report

I don't know what and when.
My sister use to bathe mom twice a week. It all stopped when we were quarantined. She works for the post office and handles a lot of stuff. She does not do social distancing. I know this is going to be a long time of waiting. At times I feel over whelmed.
I have another sister who works at walmart. She visits mom through the storm door.
I know she will not put up with me keeping her out for as long as I feel she should stay out. I'm concerned.
I just continue one day at a time praying to get through it all
I guess we all have to do what we feel is good for us both and live with the consequences.
I hope you well and do what is going to help you. I feel sometimes it is putting my health at risk also.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Sandrawhocares
Report

See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter