We hope everyone is staying healthy and starting to adapt to a quieter life at home. As we all continue to figure out how COVID-19 impacts our day to day, our members have been reaching out to their Care Guides with a variety of questions. We have been keeping track of the most commonly asked questions and wanted to share some answers and resources with all of you. We will be updating this blog post with more questions and answers as we continue to get them.What are some precautions that people are or should be taking?
We strongly recommend following CDC guidelines and staying up to date on local news as well as any unique measures your community is taking. For Homethrive’s guide to COVID-19 precautions, click here.
What are some trustworthy news sources? How can I avoid fake news?
When it comes to following COVID-19 news, consider sticking to more well-known and trusted sources. The easiest way to run into news that might not be trustworthy is through social media, so avoid relying on that if you can. To stay up to date on the virus, consider the following sites:
What can I do to protect myself if someone must come to my home?
Be mindful of the risks when considering having someone come to your home. Try to avoid any non-essential contact with anyone. If you have any non-essential workers that usually come to your house for services like cleaning or landscaping, make sure you know what precautions they are taking as a company and that you feel comfortable with them continuing to provide services. If it can wait or you can perform the services yourself, opt for that instead.
Is it safe for me to visit my elderly parents right now?
While visiting your elderly parents is ultimately at your discretion, keep in mind that, based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. If you think you may have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, complete a 14-day self-quarantine before you interact with anyone. Take all the recommended precautions regardless.
What is the purpose of face masks? What can and can't they protect me against?
Wearing a face mask is not a guarantee that you won’t get sick. Even if it does cover your nose and mouth, viruses can still transmit through tiny viral particles that can penetrate masks. However, they may act as a barrier. If you are likely to be in close contact with someone who is infected, a mask might decrease the chance of it being passed on. If you are showing symptoms or have been diagnosed, a mask can help protect others from your sneezing and coughing. Keep in mind that surgical masks are different from N95 respirators, which do filter out 95% of particles in the air – including viruses and bacteria. For an infographic on the differences between the two types of masks, click here. It's also important to note that, without a proper fit, regardless of type, masks are ineffective.
Masks are crucial for health and social care workers looking after patients and have also been recommended for family members who need to care for someone who is ill (both the patient and caregiver should have a mask). However, as you have likely read, both are in critically short supply. The CDC does not recommend the routine use of masks outside of workplace settings. Most often, spread of respiratory viruses from person-to-person happens among close contacts. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as avoiding people who are sick, avoiding touching your eyes or nose, and covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
4/6/2020 Update: CDC rolled out new recommendations about masks. These outline that Americans should cover their faces when going out. The CDC is advising people to use cloth face coverings like homemade masks, bandannas, or scarves in public settings. This change came based on recent research about the virus and how it's transmitted. Please note the CDC is still asking Americans not to buy surgical masks or N95 respirators in order to reserve them for health care workers and first responders.
How can I stay connected socially to my family and my community?
With the technology at our disposal today, staying connected to our families and community has never been easier. Homethrive has put together a Resource Directory that can help you find ways to stay connected and entertained. Playing games together online is a great way to pass the time and have some family fun. We continue to update it daily so make sure you save the link!
I’m worried about getting my medications – what can I do?
The best you can do is take the extra precautions you can to have the supply you need. GoodRX put together a blog with great information on early refills and what to do if you run into trouble. You can access it here. In addition, local pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens are able to mail medications directly to you at no extra cost.
I really need to see my doctor; what are my options?
If you need to see a doctor urgently, contact your primary care physician and get their thoughts first. If they are unable to help, it might be worth looking into telehealth as an option. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services put together a very informative FAQ on telehealth and HIPAA during COVID-19. You can access it here.
I can’t get to the grocery store – what are my options?
Luckily, there are a lot of great options if you can’t make it to a grocery store. Services like Instacart, Peapod, or Shipt deliver groceries right to your doorstep. While delivery times are more delayed than usual, depending on where you live you can usually find a delivery window open a couple days out.
A lot of restaurants around the country are also still offering delivery options either through the restaurant itself or services like UberEats, DoorDash, or GrubHub, among many others.
If you need frozen meals for specialized diets, services such as MagicKitchen or Mom’s Meals are great options.
What precautions are home care agencies taking?
Precautions vary by company, but you can usually find the latest information on their website. For example, Comfort Keepers precautions can be found here. If you and your loved one are using home care services, we highly encourage you to research the relevant company’s specific precautions or contact them prior to having someone come into your home. Make sure you feel comfortable with what the home care agency you are working with is doing.
To view more FAQs put together by the CDC, click here.
If there are any other questions we can answer for you, please let us know! We hope you continue to find our resources helpful. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to learn more about how Homethrive can help support you and your loved ones.