The pandemic has upended all of our lives but especially vulnerable older adults. We on the frontline have done and will continue to do whatever we can during this national crisis. While lockdowns and quarantines are necessary measures for public health, the social and emotional costs can be great. You may have decided you need extra help navigating at this time and wonder what precautions are being taken in my practice.
Since mid-March 2020 I have been exposed twice in my work but to my knowledge never have had COVID. Early in the pandemic I was doing psych consults in nursing homes which were hit very hard. Shortly after that I provided daily direct COVID care in assisted living for a client of mine with Alzheimer's who stopped eating and drinking when she became ill with the virus. Much to my relief, she has since recovered fully and many if not all of our senior communities and facilities have opened to some social interactions and visitors.
Everywhere I go is in compliance with state guidelines by taking temperatures, tracking information and screening everyone in the building where we are all required to wear masks all the time. Whenever possible we meet outdoors six feet apart where masks can be removed for a short time for people with cognitive or hearing problems. I sanitize every time I get in and out of my car and wash my hands as soon as I am able. My rule of thumb is "least amount of people, the least amount of time, most amount of distance and air". I do Zoom sessions whenever I can. If needed we don full PPE including masks, face shields, gloves, gowns and booties. Once I had a full hazmat suit on!
My family is also following strict guidelines to protect each other as well as the seniors in my care. We have all gotten the flu vaccine as well and look forward to a day when we will be inoculated against coronavirus and can come together again. I miss holding hands and hugging my clients!
Be well and safe,