COVID-19 Information for Clients, Families, Caregivers and Individuals Residing in Supportive Housing or Assisted Living Facilities
In an effort to reduce community transmission of COVID-19, we are reviewing services to determine visits that can be safely postponed or modified during this unprecedented time. This includes only services where rescheduling would not create a serious and immediate risk of deterioration in our client's health status. This assessment will be based on each individual client's needs and circumstances, and will vary by client. We would like to reinforce that this is a temporary situation, which will be re-evaluated as the pandemic evolves, or if an individual's condition or situation changes over time.
We have been having, and will continue to have, discussions with you, our clients and their families and caregivers to explore rescheduling visits, or reducing the frequency of in-person, in-home visits where feasible and where it's safe to do so. This includes providing the option of virtual visits when safe to do so, in order to decrease the number of health care providers attending to sites.
We need to have these conversations for your safety and the safety of our staff; to conserve the supply of personal protective equipment for services that cannot be postponed, and to ensure staff time can be prioritized for services that cannot be postponed. There has been some confusion around what this means for baths. To clarify, it has always been the position of the home care program that baths are important, and as such the review was not to determine need, but frequency of need.
We acknowledge that navigating this is difficult for everyone, and we want to assure you that we are doing our part to adjust, plan and provide care as new information becomes available. We are having these discussions with our clients in order to explore individual solutions with each of you and your care providers, so we can provide the best possible care. Each client's care needs and supports are unique.
The program has asked all case coordinators to review service plans based on the specific health needs of each client and the capacity of family or informal caregivers. This has been done in collaboration with clients and their families/caregivers in order to ensure any adaptations to services will continue to support the health needs of clients and the safety of caregivers. The goal is to ensure significant health needs continue to be met while implementing back-up plans and/or virtual visits wherever possible. Not everyone is being contacted at this time, but you may be contacted in the future as the situation changes and as we continue to plan and prepare.
Families and caregivers are an essential element of the care continuum, and in these unprecedented times, they can be a critical link. One aspect of the Home Care program is to work in partnership with caregivers as much as possible. Families and caregivers that are providing care as a part of the backup plan at the request of home care have always been a part of the care plan. This has been part of the program expectations for many years. We will continue to collaborate with you on services you or your loved one receives.
You may also receive some additional phone calls as we will also be implementing scheduling optimization protocols to minimize the number of different health care providers providing care to you and others at your site, which may mean some changes to your current schedule.
We want to assure you that we are committed to do our best to support ongoing services, and to minimize the need to have families involved as caregivers, but that cannot be guaranteed. There may be times when we may not be able to provide service without them and we trust that in those situations and circumstances you, your families and caregivers and the Supportive Housing and Assisted Living facilities will work collaboratively with us towards resolution and safety for all.
Please continue to reach out to your community care coordinator and if you have any additional questions or concerns contact WRHA Client Relations by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 204-926-7825.