Helping During A Crisis Like COVID-19
During March and April 2020, we have seen dramatic changes to the way the world operates during the COVID-19 or Coronavirus pandemic. The changes, and impact, have been felt across the world. One thing it has highlighted for the elderly and vulnerable is a certain amount of isolation, loneliness and helplessness. Many of our clients in Florida are frightened and unsure of what to do and how to look after themselves.
One of the major changes, for now, is that our clients are unable to attend scheduled medical appointments. In the short term, this is manageable, but we’ll need to find new solutions like teleconference or videoconference options (this could be a challenge with HIPAA restrictions). Either way, we can, and will, be present to advocate for our clients. We have had clients in a hospital during the pandemic and we have managed to communicate well with the doctors and nurses during this time. There might be challenges with the discharge options (i.e. where to go, how to plan and bringing people into the home etc.). Fortunately, we are well resourced within our Florida communities to find the right solution.
Managing home healthcare brings with it some new complications (as does having a client in a facility). It’s generally impossible to have the same person for a client 24/7 (we did manage this for a 4 week period at the start of the pandemic at a facility in Fort Myers, but this was an exception to the rule). We’ve been lucky that we have found some members of the team who have been prepared to self isolate to keep some of our clients extra safe. This is not usually possible with agency staff – when they are used it’s important to take extra precautions like PPE, handwashing etc to keep vulnerable clients safe.
For those in a facility, our only real contact is via the phone at the moment (with the client and the facility). Most Assisted Living Facilities and Skilled Nursing facilities are on lockdown. This has been working well for us as the teams are happy to communicate as normal with us and they actually have a little more time as they are not distracted by people coming in and out all of the time.
Do you have parents or loved ones in Florida by themselves?
Many of our parents or loved ones spend the winter in Florida. The towns are normally bustling with snowbirds at this time of year. There are also so many who have now moved to Florida towns like Sarasota, Longboat Key, Lakewood Ranch, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, Tampa and St Petersburg on a more permanent basis. This makes it difficult to keep an “eye on them” and to make sure they are being properly looked after (especially now with the travel restrictions).
IKOR can help. At the time of writing in mid-April 2020, it isn’t that easy to have face to face meetings with your family members, but it doesn’t stop us being there to help by giving them the support they need. By being their local advocate, we can give them (and you) the extra support needed if they require hospitalization or extra medical care. More importantly, we have relationships with the hospitals and other facilities to coordinate care if it is needed. We can also “virtually” check in on them to make sure they are well (let’s face it Mom and Pop are more likely to be honest with a nurse than their kids!
Would you like to know how we can help with your loved ones in Florida? Please FILL OUT THIS SECURE FORM or call 941-306-2363 and we’d be delighted to chat.