Although scientists are developing new treatments for infectious diseases all the time, respiratory illnesses like COVID and pneumonia are still one of the top causes of death. Elderly and disabled people living in New York care homes are at risk because they are in constant contact with dozens of people. Fortunately, there is another way. In-home health services are a safer option for many vulnerable residents of Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn.
In-Home Health Services Reduce the Risk of Transmissible Diseases
In nursing homes, the risk of transmissible diseases is very high because patients come into contact with many people daily. Not only do they live with several other elderly or frail patients, often in the same room, but they are also taken care of by various nurses and doctors throughout the day. During the COVID-19 pandemic, over 200,000 residents and employees of long-term care facilities caught the virus and passed away.
Home health care can significantly reduce the chance of infection because your loved one won’t live in a high-risk environment. They will stay at home and have more control over who they come in contact with. Every day, they’ll be visited by a home health aide, who will take precautions to reduce risks. For this reason, home health services are an excellent choice for elderly, frail, and immunocompromised patients.
Recognizing Problems Early On
Another major advantage of home health care is that the aides will recognize the symptoms of a transmissible disease early on. During their training, they learn what each disease looks like and what to do when a patient falls ill. They can evaluate whether your loved one is likely to recover on their own or whether additional medical attention is required.
This is important, especially for people who live alone and don’t have a lot of social contact. When such patients fall ill, they are sometimes unwilling or unable to call emergency services. The home health aide will monitor your loved one’s condition and let you know if there are any changes. That way, a more severe form of the disease can be prevented because the patient will gain access to the medication they need.
Which Diseases Are a Concern for Elderly and Vulnerable Patients?
In the past few years, the public has become more aware of the danger of infectious diseases due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID is one of the most dangerous infections because it affects the patient’s lungs and, therefore, their ability to breathe. Although the disease is harmless in most people, those aged 70+ and those with a weakened immune system have a high chance of developing complications or even passing away.
Pneumonia and influenza are other common diseases with similar symptoms, including fever, chills, a sore throat, a cough, and fatigue. Both of these can cause complications that require a hospital stay. Additionally, elderly people might also suffer from urinary tract infections or skin infections. A good home health aide can recognize the symptoms of all these diseases and help your loved one to access the right kind of medical care.
How to Reduce the Risk of Infection
Although in-home health services are much safer than care homes, there is still a small risk since your loved one will be visited by an aide daily. At Parent Care in New York, we ask all our staff to adhere to safety guidelines that protect vulnerable service users. Some of our measures include paying attention to personal hygiene, wearing PPE when necessary, ventilating rooms, and cleaning the patient’s home.
We also encourage all Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, or Brooklyn residents to get their immunizations, including the COVID and flu vaccines. Although they don’t always protect patients from contracting diseases, these vaccines can reduce the severity of the symptoms and prevent death. If your elderly loved one hasn’t been vaccinated this flu season, ask us about your options. Many senior citizens can access vaccinations for free.
Maintaining good personal hygiene is one of the best ways of preventing infectious diseases. All our home health aides know and follow the core principles, which include taking a shower every day, washing their hands with soap after using the restroom, covering their mouth and nose with a sleeve or tissue when coughing or sneezing, and washing their hands after using public transport, eating, or touching an animal.
Our aides will help the patient to take a shower or bath daily, wash their hands and face, and change their clothes. This not only makes infection less likely, but it also helps the patient to feel clean and prevents body odor. If necessary, the aide will also help your loved one to brush their teeth, floss, and use mouthwash so they don’t suffer from bad breath, cavities, and other dental problems.
Personal Protective Equipment
During the COVID pandemic, healthcare workers had to wear masks and gloves whenever they came into contact with patients. While some of these strict rules have now been lifted, we at Parent Care continue to follow the CDC’s guidelines. During flu season, we might wear masks when visiting patients at home, especially if the person is immunocompromised or elderly.
We will also wear gloves when performing certain tasks that involve contact with bodily fluids. This is important because many infectious diseases can be transmitted through blood, mucus, urine, or feces.
Meeting other people outdoors or in a well-ventilated space is much safer because viruses and bacteria are more likely to dissipate. When visiting an elderly person at their home during flu season, open a window or turn on the ventilation system in the room. Our home health aides will assess the patient’s home and help them to ventilate it during each visit.
High touch points are areas of the home that are touched frequently, like door handles, light switches, and the flush button of the toilet. The aide will make sure that these surfaces are sanitized regularly. They will also check areas of the home that are prone to getting dirty, like the bathroom and the kitchen, and help your loved one with cleaning whenever necessary.
Accessing New York Home Health Care in Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn
Home health services are an excellent option for patients who wouldn’t be comfortable or safe at a care home. If you’d like more information, contact us at Parent Care, and book a care planning appointment. We’d love to learn all about your elderly or disabled relative and help you access the right kind of care.
Each of our home health plans is tailored to the individual. If your loved one is still quite mobile, they might only need one appointment every few days, but if they are frail, you can book two visits per day for them, one in the morning and one in the evening.
In-home health services are much safer for elderly and vulnerable patients because the risk of infectious diseases is minimal. The New York home health aide who visits your loved one in their home will take precautions, such as cleaning high touch points frequently and wearing personal protective equipment during flu season. Call us at Parent Care to determine whether your relative is eligible for our services in Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, or Brooklyn.