My 88-year-old mother has a difficult personality, and we have been through many, many caregivers during the three years she has received care at home. She is now finally tolerant of her present staff of caregivers, but some of these caregivers also work in nursing homes. I realize that the caregivers who work in nursing homes are more susceptible to contracting the coronavirus, since the elderly population they care for is more at risk of contracting it. Is it wiser to let the nursing home caregivers go, or to allow them to stay on given my mother's tolerance of them? Without my even raising the subject, the caregivers who also work in nursing homes have assured me that they will take precautions to prevent contracting the virus (hand sanitizing, repeatedly monitoring temperature, etc.). I appreciate their pro-active stance, but I feel I must do what is correct to protect my Mom. Does anyone have a similar situation, or have an opinion on this matter? Many, many thanks!

Where I live staff are being screened every day before they are allowed to enter the building, in my opinion they are safer than workers in the community who are not facing that level of scrutiny.
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Reply to cwillie
momissues Mar 16, 2020
Thank you for that!!
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If you let them go, can you manage your mom on your own? ANYONE who has any contact with the outside world has a chance of contracting this virus. Even if you order groceries online & have them delivered, the items could have been contaminated at the store. Pumping gas. You would have to find a person with NO one living in their house & never having contact with anyone/anything to remove all risk. That's just impossible. I'd trust the nursing home workers as much as anyone else.
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Reply to mollymoose
momissues Mar 16, 2020
Thank you so very much for setting my somewhat scattered thoughts straight! I cannot manage my Mom on my own. I'm an hour away and I work. The caregivers I've hired are intelligent, pro-active and sincere. I'm going to let things be for the time being and keep a close eye on the situation... Many, many thanks!!
Some times in Life We have no choice therefore We are compelled to take a risk. As your Mom likes these Caregivers I would keep them on, after all you can not manage your Mom's Care with out Them.
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Reply to anonymous275053

I think it's important to keep things as normal as they can be during this trying time. I think as long as the caregiver is taking the precautions that we all should be taking it's fine that they continue to care for your loved one. If you have to do it on your own it will burn you out and remember stress makes us sick. Best wishes and remember to take care of yourself as well!
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Reply to Sharona74
KaleyBug Mar 17, 2020
That was my moms doctors concern it was more for me as the caregiver not getting exhausted and being more susceptible due to that. The lady we have is working at an Assisted Living that is locked down to visitors. The staff and residents are having twice a day temperatures taken. Which is a good precaution for those homebound that do have to step out here and there.
I hear you, I've had to take the very same decision 2 weeks ago, and I have literally agonized over it. And my mom's (93yo) helpers weren't even working in a nursing home, they were just taking public transports.

I'm in Europe, in Italy.
2 weeks ago we weren't in a lockdown yet. I didn't sleep for a couple of nights about this decision. I really didn't know what to do, the helpers are payed per hour and I felt terrible leaving them without a job in a difficult moment for everybody. I also didn't feel the strenght to do everything by myself, from cooking, to therapies, to cleaning, foodshopping etc. I talked with a friend and she told me to write down a list with all the pros and cons.

My pros of them keeping coming were essentially about less stress for me, and a help for them in a difficult economical moment.
My cons were the risk of me or my mom dying.

The list made me decide instantly. I put all of them in payed holiday leave for 2 weeks and cancelled all appointments. Today, with our present situation, I can tell you that I feel very, very happy about my decision. We are in a lockdown now, so they wouldn't be able to come anyway, but I did my part, and I know my mom hasn't been in contact with anyone for 2 weeks already and this makes me sleep at night.

This is just my experience of course, perhaps your list will be different, but it was a very good tool for me.

Everything will be alright. :)
Warm wishes
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Arwen31
Beatty Mar 17, 2020
Arwen, your answer I'm sure has helped the OP. It has helped me - I also have relatives relying on daily carers.

I have been watching the news & the only positive thing has been watching the Italians singing from the balconies. The community spirit was so touching & reminded many people what is important.

Wishing you & your Mother safety though this time.
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Thank you for posting this question. I have been wrestling with the same question, except that none of my mother’s caregivers work in a nursing home. Two of my caregivers ONLY work with my mom. The other works for an agency and I received a letter saying that they were training their people on Coronavirus hygiene. I also work some days and nights. I don’t think that I could physically or mentally take care of her by myself. If it comes down to it, I will have to, but for now...after reading these posts, I will keep the caregivers I have hired. Thank you!
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Reply to Lgdf61

I'm writing from King County, Washington which is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the US. Please remember that all the deaths in the U.S., with the sole exception of one in Kansas (as of this writing) have occurred in King County and Snohomish County (right next door to King County) and that the total today, in the entire United States, is 48 deaths. With only a couple of exceptions, these occurred in one Life Care Center in Kirkland, WA, one rehab center in Stanwood, WA, and one Life Care Center in Kansas. Many people have been exposed, but only 48 have died. The fact that this has affected very elderly people first is, indeed, very scary, and it is important that we all practice social distancing, avoid large crowds, practice good hygiene, and insist those who care for our elderly do the same. I hate to see you fire the caregivers, when you, yourself, may have already been exposed to the virus. You won't know that unless you are tested or showing obvious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) and it is hard to get a test if you aren't showing symptoms. This is a very tough spot for all of us with elderly people in our lives. If you are truly concerned about the caregivers, I'd ask what is being done to isolate the elderly folks in the nursing home(s) where they work, and you stay informed about anyone who may be infected there--if any at all. Again, at this writing, only the homes in Washington state and the one in Kansas show any reports of people being affected and no new cases from those homes have been reported.
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Reply to horticulturist
DebRocky Mar 17, 2020
Two more just died last night here in Clark Co. , Wa. It was community spread.
We are self quarantined because my husband has health issues besides dementia. It’s been difficult to go for walks and keep a distance from people because he is friendly and wants to talk to everyone and pet their dogs. Then he gets angry with me for trying to stop him. Just another complication in our already complicated lives.
Contrary to many posts, Assisted living and nursing facilities are safer than most places from the virus. Seniors are "at risk" of the serious results like death, but are at less risk of contracting the virus. More concern should be directed at caregivers who go to the grocery store.
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Reply to jimnclare

I would not let them go. But I would ask them to change clothes, if they have come from another client. As a family member, make sure supplies are available & convenient to use such as hand wipes in every room.
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Reply to dads1caregiver

I would continue with the current situation having good infection control measures. At least you have the reassurance knowing that they will be vigilant. If you introduce new caregivers, you don't know if they will be a good fit for your mom and how vigilant they will be regarding infection control? The adjustment to new circumstances for your mother may be quite difficult.
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Reply to Peanuts56

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