CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, more seniors are choosing to shelter in place and receive care at home.
Always Best Care of Southern Utah provides companionship care and nonmedical assistance to seniors in the comfort of their own homes. Caregivers help seniors with light housekeeping, meal preparation, bathing, dressing and transportation, among other services.
Owner and administrator Henry Lee said that spikes in cases across the country and Utah’s current state of emergency highlight the serious risks the virus poses to the health of everyone in the community – but particularly seniors. Along with more than 100 Always Best Care Senior Services franchise owners across the United States and Canada, Lee made the decision to implement mandatory COVID-19 testing for caregivers on a weekly basis.
“We’re taking this very seriously,” he said. “We want to take that extra precaution and give our clients a better sense of security.”
At the start of each work week, caregivers undergo testing at the company office in St. George and complete a questionnaire to determine if they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Always Best Care uses a rapid antigen test developed by Abbott Laboratories that delivers results in only 15 minutes. Lee said it’s a small price to pay to help protect the health of his clients and employees.
“Seniors are still the most susceptible population,” he said. “People may have their own opinions about the virus, but it’s my responsibility as an agency owner who is in contact with a lot of seniors and caregivers to do as much as I can to prevent this from spreading even more.”
Always Best Care employees wear personal protective equipment, including face masks and shields, whenever they visit a client’s home. Caregivers receive reminders every day, Lee said, to sanitize frequently and wash their hands before and after they come into contact with clients. They must also fill out an electronic symptom checklist before clocking in for each shift.
“We’re always checking in with caregivers just to see how they’re doing,” he said. “We’re in contact with them pretty much daily. We try to make sure there’s almost no way COVID can come from our caregivers.”
As families make plans to visit parents and grandparents for the holidays, Lee urged an abundance of caution to protect those most vulnerable to the virus. Safety starts with practicing proper hygiene, frequently washing hands and being more cognizant of who you come into contact with, he said.
He recommended wearing masks when visiting elderly loved ones. Anyone with cold or flu symptoms should avoid contact with senior family members.
Although many younger people experience flu-like symptoms of varying severity and recover without serious complications, Lee said that statistics indicate a less favorable outcome for the elderly and chronically ill.
“It’s just another challenge that we have to face as a community,” he said. “We will get through this, but in the meantime, be responsible. If you can prevent it, you should.”
Always Best Care Senior Services has been a leader within the nonmedical senior care industry since 1996 and has recently expanded into Southern Utah. Families with elder loved ones who need in-home assistance can schedule a free care consultation at the Always Best Care Senior Services website or by calling 435-216-7080.
Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.
• S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T •
- Always Best Care of Southern Utah | Address: 1079 E. Riverside Drive No. 202, St. George | Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (24/7 call center) | Telephone: 435-216-7080 | Email: [email protected] | Website.
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