Due to COVID-19, more and more Americans are practicing social distancing. While working at home, schooling from home, and sheltering in place, it’s understandable to wish for a simpler time when you could leave the house or interact with others outside of your household without worry. With new recommendations from the White House to continue social distancing through at least April 30, it’s more important than ever add a variety of entertainment to your life to keep yourself from feeling stir crazy. Here is a list of activities to help pass the time at a socially responsible distance:
- Utilize social media and video apps to stay connected to friends and family. Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts and Zoom are all video options you can use to connect with your long-distance friends.
- Walk, jog, hike or bike outdoors (while practicing social distancing from others).
- Read your neighborhood forums to see what types of social-distancing activities they have in place. For example, many neighborhoods are participating in bear hunts, where community members place teddy bears in windows so that kids can look for and count bears during their walks.
- Take a virtual tour of the Yellowstone National Park: https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/photosmultimedia/virtualtours.htm. Many parks, aquariums, and zoos are offering free online tours or virtual experiences at this time.
- Write letters to your friends, family, nursing homes, and first responders.
- Do some spring cleaning.
- Play cards, board games or do a puzzle with your immediate family.
- Cook dinner – make a pizza from scratch or try a recipe that you’ve never made before because it was time-consuming.
- Join an online book club or meet with your friends virtually to discuss a book.
- Take a nap.
- Watch a movie or your favorite TV series on Netflix.
- Dig out your old coloring books. Coloring isn’t just for kids!
- Call the elderly people in your life and check on them. This would be a great time to interview your grandparents to learn more about their lives.
- Make a photobook online by uploading your favorite pictures from this past year.
- Buy gift cards from your favorite local businesses to use after social-distancing ends.
Let’s make the best out of this current situation by staying positive and being responsible. Spread the love, not COVID-19!
Our Continued Diligence to Patient Care
- Abode Healthcare has hired an infectious disease physician as an expert resource to help guide our decisions related to prevention and management of COVID-19.
- All employees of Abode Healthcare have been re-educated on infection control, proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as effective handwashing techniques.
- Abode Healthcare has implemented new policies and procedures related to PPE and all medical equipment to decrease the potential for disease transmission.
- As a company, we have revised and implemented new ways for communication to take place within the leadership of our company to ensure that any and all important information is distributed, received and acted upon in a timely manner.
- Abode Healthcare has developed a national two-level screening process for our patients.
- Level one is a screening tool that is used for ALL of our patients.
- Level two is an enhanced screening tool that is implemented in areas where there are conﬁrmed cases of COVID-19.
- Nationwide, Abode has implemented a screening process that takes place daily for our employees to decrease the risk for any transmission of the disease.
- We have developed and implemented use of the Abode’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan, created speciﬁcally for our agency based on current recommendations from the CDC and the WHO.
- This is a dynamic tool that will we will continue to revise and adapt as the situation evolves.
- Abode Healthcare has secured necessary supplies for infection control practices as we continue to monitor and purchase more to effectively replenish our stocks.
- Each of our locations has performed a live “mock” training event across every Abode agency with all employees to review our plans, discuss our speciﬁc roles, and ensure that every employee feels conﬁdent during this time to continue to provide the best care to our patients.
- Conﬁdence and dedication to patient care is key!
- For patients being treated in Nursing Facilities with restricted access to outside visitors, we have implemented the following procedures:
- Abode Healthcare has developed a remote visit for visits other than nursing, that can be done via phone with the patient, the caregiver, and with a representative at the facility that can provide information to us in order to collaborate on their plan of care.
- Remote visits are available for social worker, chaplain, and music therapy visits.
- The patients, families, caregivers, and physicians will be updated of any changes to the frequency or type of services we are allowed to provide.
Our dedication to our patients and family members during this time of need is our focus. We are here. Please let us know how we can help assist in any way with any patient in need during this time.
According to the Center for Disease Control, handwashing is your best defense against the spread of germs.
The CDC recommends washing your hands before, during, and after prepping food; before eating; before and after caring for a loved one; before and after treating a cut or wound; after using the toilet; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; after touching an animal or animal waste; after touching garbage; or after changing a diaper or cleaning up after a child.
Also consider washing your hands after touching surfaces in a public space; before and after work; and after using public transportation.
What is the best hand washing technique?
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – the same amount of time it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song twice.
- Wet your hands.
- Apply soap and lather well.
- Scrub your hands, including the backs of your hands and in between your fingers. If you’re wearing a ring, make sure to scrub underneath it!
- Rinse your hands well.
- Dry your hands.
If you do not have access to soap and water, consider a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover your hands with the hand sanitizer and rub your hands together until your hands are dry.
Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, but especially with unwashed hands.
For more information on the science behind washing your hands, visit:
This time of year can be challenging for those who have a terminally ill loved one. If this friend or family member is in hospice, the holiday season may feel “off” or a little less joyous this year.
While there are certainly challenges you will have to face, there are still ways you and your family can celebrate the season with your loved one in hospice. We’re here to provide you with some encouragement to navigate this time of year.
Coordinate with hospice staff.
Those working in hospice are not just there for the patients during this time, they are also there for the families. Hospice staff serve as a crucial resource for trying times like these and are more than willing to assist. They can help coordinate visiting schedules to work around holiday events, offer suggestions for support groups, and make arrangements for any holiday traditions you’d like to celebrate with your loved one. Among many other tasks, hospice staff are there to aid you this holiday season.
Adjust your holiday traditions.
While it may seem difficult to change any holiday traditions you have to better suit your loved one in hospice, just know that it will be wroth it. Including your loved ones in these traditions is what the season is all about, so making certain they are a part of some of the traditions you enjoy the most will bring everyone closer together and create a special meaning this year.
Above all, enjoy time with your loved ones.
We know this may sound hard – maybe even impossible. It’s important to use this time to bring everyone together and create memories while you can. Surrounding yourself with friends and family can serve as a reminder that you are not alone in this process.
We’ll leave you with this question – What’s your reason for this season? Is it to cherish another holiday with your loved one?
Your loved one can no longer do the many tasks they once could. They now depend on you for many of these things. The easiest solution may be to simply take over and make decision, but it’s important to be respectful of your loved ones. As a caregiver, you want to protect your loved one’s dignity and sense of self-worth.
Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine if your independence had slipped away. You can no longer drive, walk, or get out of bed. These once simple tasks now require help from someone else. How would this make you feel? You may feel frustrated. This loss of freedom would most likely cause you to want to keep control over as much as you possibly could.
Here are some helpful suggestions:
- Put yourself in your loved one’s place. How would you want to be treated if you were being cared for?
- Educate yourself on your loved one’s condition. This can prepare you for what’s ahead.
- Help them do what they can on their own for as long as possible. This will give them a sense of control.
- Talk openly and honestly with your loved one. Try to involve them in decisions and be a good listener.
- Be flexible. Try an accommodate reasonable requests if you can.
- Give positive feedback if your loved one does a task on their own.