In-home care

Understandably, families have expressed concerns about the health and safety of their loved ones who receive in-home care. High vaccination rates among healthcare providers have greatly reduced the risk of COVID transmission, but there are still many variables to consider when creating an in-home care plan.


GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

For families with existing in-home care or those looking to hire in-home support, it’s important to understand and ask questions about the level of care your family’s aide or potential candidates can provide, and what steps they’ll take to keep your loved one safe. Here’s a list of questions to consider:

  • Are you currently providing professional or voluntary care for others in any capacity?
  • Please list any safety precautions you will implement into your care routine in light of COVID-19, such as face mask, gloves, etc.
  • Are you fully vaccinated?
  • Will you be prepared to address any COVID-19 related concerns that may arise?
  • Are you certified in CPR? First aid?
  • Are you able to attend medical appointments?
  • Is there anything you will not or feel that you cannot do?


COORDINATING IN-HOME CARE WHEN YOUR LOVED ONE WISHES TO REMAIN IN THEIR HOME

  • Have the conversation with your loved one on wishes
  • Have an emergency or backup plan. If needs become too complex to manage as a family, have an alternative care option (think: does mom come live with one of us?)
  • Openly discuss your plans for if the loved one, family member, or aid/nurse get ill
  • Determine outside activities that need to occur to evaluate if an in-home support aid/nurse can assist with, or, if outside resources will be needed (think: transportation for appointments, meal prep, etc.)


HOME CARE 101

Living facilities

Nursing homes and other senior-living facilities have been hit hard throughout the pandemic. Families are faced with decisions on what to do next — how to ensure their loved ones’ health and safety, adapt to constantly changing guidelines, and manage the soaring costs of care. If your loved one is in a facility, or perhaps you were considering moving your loved one into a facility, here’s some guidance on things your family may want to consider. 

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

If you have a loved one in a living facility, or are looking to move someone into a facility, it’s important to understand and ask questions about protocols and practices being put in place for current or future residents. Here’s a list of questions to ask:

  • What are your health and safety practices for residents and staff?
  • In the event of an evacuation or emergency, what is your protocol?
  • What types of ongoing training are you providing for staff?
  • Will you allow visitors? What are the protocols we should be aware of?  
  • What is the facility’s communication plan for families?
  • What level of care will residents receive? (reminder - nursing facilities provide more medical care than assisted living facilities or independent living facilities)
  • Will residents be able to receive or be transported to outside services?  (i.e., cancer treatments, dialysis, or other tests and treatments)


STAYING CONNECTED

Many living facilities have set up technologies to help residents keep in touch with their loved ones (think: iPads for FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype). Ask the facility if they are offering assistive devices so residents stay connected with their families.

Also, if you’re looking for ways to keep your loved one connected, AARP has a program called 
Community Connections where a volunteer can call and check in on your loved ones in a nursing home or long term care facility.


HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR YOUR LOVED ONE

  • Communicate with the facility on ways to proactively be in contact (email/phone) so you can voice concerns, questions and check-in.
  • If there isn’t someone you trust nearby, discuss potentially having local support outside the facility (think “eyes on the ground”)
  • Contact your state's office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman, which can help with complaints and refer you to the appropriate regulatory agency in your state.
  • Have a care plan in place in the event a loved one needs to be transported to the hospital. This will ensure that proper notifications are happening, and changes can be made in a timely manner.


LIVING FACILITY AND NURSING HOME DATA

Visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid's Nursing Home Data tracker for up-to-date information on resident cases and deaths, or to look up stats for a specific nursing home or living facility.


WHEN FACILITIES ARE NO LONGER AN OPTION

We understand that families may not be comfortable with keeping their loved one in a facility, or change their minds on mom/dad’s future living situation. Guidance and support from Wellthy Care Coordinators helps families understand the available care options. You may be thinking:

  • Should we keep my loved one in a living facility? Or move them out?
  • How do I move my loved one into my home? (tip: understand state legislation on providing insurance coverage or financial assistance for home-based care)
  • How to keep your loved one where he/she lives and safeguard their home appropriately?
  • What does Medicare, Medicaid, VA Benefits, or private insurance cover?

Your Care Coordinator will walk your family through these tough care considerations, evaluate options, set up services, verify costs, and more! We’ll be there with you every step of the way.

Medical appointments

In light of COVID-19 safety protocols, the patient experience is continually changing. The majority of healthcare providers are vaccinated, and the risk of transmission has been greatly mitigated, which means people are now able to safely reschedule any non-essential procedures, elective surgeries, and preventative appointments. However, it’s still best to “know before you go” to ensure there are no surprises during an appointment.


GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about health and safety practices as well as the level of care that your loved one will receive. If the office or clinic staff appear to be evasive about answering the important questions, consider another provider. Remember, you are your (or your loved one’s) best advocate.


ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS WHEN MAKING AN APPOINTMENT:

  • What are your PPE requirements? Do staff and patients wear masks at all times?
  • Is your staff fully vaccinated?
  • How has the check-in procedure changed? And what about the check-out procedure?
  • Will there be a limit on how many people can be in a waiting room?
  • Can someone accompany me to my appointment? 
  • Are there telehealth options available?


HOW WELLTHY CAN HELP

Navigating the COVID-related changes to the healthcare system can be challenging, especially with things evolving so quickly. Our Care Coordinators are here to support you with the administrative and logistical aspects of care. From setting up and scheduling appointments, verifying insurance, communicating with current providers to understand safety practices, arranging telehealth appointments, or finding new providers, we’re here to help. We’ll be there with you every step of the way. 

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Often seen as a good first step when needs are not generally as complex
  • Private option and can be less disruptive
  • Creates consistency in care and familiarity, which can be especially important for loved ones with dementia / Alzheimer’s
  • Encourages independence, with the ability to find alternative solutions of care for within the home
  • Can be less expensive

WHAT TO CONSIDER

  • Needs can quickly fluctuate, where a home may not be a suitable long-term solution
  • Determining cost of coverage (private or covered) for part-time care to 24/7 support
  • Knowing exactly what in-home support can and cannot do, to determine extra support needed
  • Backup support is highly suggested or a plan in place in case anyone gets ill

HOW WELLTHY CAN HELP

We understand that families may need support with navigating in-home support during this time of lingering uncertainty. Wellthy Care Coordinators will learn your preferences, help guide you through the process, and identify and vet potential candidates. We’ll be there with you every step of the way.

Childcare

Finding the right childcare has become all the more difficult as parents may be faced with changing schedules or returning to the office in the midst of a provider shortage. This is in addition to pandemic safety concerns and shifting vaccination guidelines for children under 11. Parents may feel overwhelmed, but asking the right questions and staying up-to-date on the latest information can make all the difference.


GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

Regulations for childcare centers, vaccination requirements, and in-person schooling can vary greatly by location, and there are a number of considerations for families to think through. Here are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself when weighing your childcare options as your family’s care needs evolve:

  • Will the drop-off and pick-up procedures in place fit offer enough flexibility to fit your schedule?
  • Are staff required to be fully vaccinated? If not, are there COVID screening procedures in place?
  • How will social distancing be maintained within the facility?
  • How often will staff and children be required to practice hand hygiene?
  • What cleaning and disinfecting procedures are in place?
  • What will be the policy when a child or staff member arrives with symptoms of illness?
  • How will snacks and meals be prepared and what will mealtime look like for children? 
  • Do you have a direct relationship with a health provider or childcare health consultant?
LEARN ABOUT WELLTHY

Pandemic caregiving considerations

Guidance and information for caregivers navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

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COVID-19 VACCINE

COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination efforts played a pivotal role in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and have allowed us to feel an unprecedented amount of normalcy in our day-to-day lives. Still, there are a lot of questions that are top of mind for many as new variants emerge, and health officials are starting to recommend booster doses for vulnerable populations.


GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

Though many Americans are fully vaccinated, we’re still here to answer any questions or ease concerns anyone may have around COVID vaccines. Below are some of the questions our Care Coordinators have been helping families to understand:

  • What guidance or information can I pass along to a loved one who is skeptical of receiving the vaccine?
  • Where can one receive the vaccine or a booster shot?
  • Can my child receive the vaccine?
  • What are my chances of catching a breakthrough infection? If this happens, what should I do to keep myself and others safe?

For the most up-to-date information, check out the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Page. You can also contact your local health department for guidelines specific to your area.


HOW WELLTHY CAN HELP

Our Care Coordinators are here to support families by providing up-to-date resources and  information, coordinating vaccination appointments, and handling any logistical concerns that may arise.