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Covid-19 Update: How we are prepared to ensure the health and safety of all our patients and employees. Read More
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Don’t Forget About Diabetes!

Monthly Archives: March 2020


Don’t Forget About Diabetes!

 

 

We know you have a lot on your mind.

We are, after all, in the middle of a Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic that has turned a lot of lives upside down.

People are stuck indoors, away from their routines, living out of their pantries, unable to go to the gym or the park.

That’s hard enough on healthy people. But when you are dealing with a chronic condition, it’s that much more difficult to maintain your vigilance and watch your baseline health.

Even in ordinary times, controlling your diabetes is a challenge.

Constantly monitoring your blood sugar and insulin levels and watching your diet are always a concern. Now you have the additional difficulties of getting healthy foods when the grocery stores are sold out of essentials—or even closed.

Even getting your regular insulin or other medications may be a challenge, and people with chronic conditions or immunodeficiencies should be especially careful about going outside unnecessarily.

Don’t lose sight of your goals!

Being cut off from your usual healthy diet and exercise habits may tempt you to take a “vacation” from your customary vigilance. That would be a mistake. You’d be increasing your risk of

  • Heart disease, heart attack, and stroke
  • Nerve damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Eye injury and vision loss
  • Hearing loss
  • Foot damage such as infections and sores that don’t heal
  • Skin conditions such as bacterial and fungal infections
  • Depression
  • Dementia

 

Strategies for coping: Obtaining healthy food

Luckily there are ways to get around these issues. Diabetes patients who are independent can use grocery or food delivery services such as

…and others, to minimize their exposure to risks.

Paying in advance and tipping through the service protects both delivery people and yourself, and don’t forget to wash your hands after handling the groceries or food delivery.

Obtaining your medical supplies

We don’t encourage advance-ordering of tons of medications or supplies, especially perishables. But now would be a good time to convert your regular prescription to 90-day supply. Ask about arranging delivery—if your insurance and pharmacy will cover it—to reduce your exposure.

If your insurance provider has previously denied you a 90-day supply prescription, now’s a great time to ask again. During these difficult times, many insurers are relaxing their rules.

If you don’t have access to food or medication delivery, check for local volunteers, or perhaps your neighbors, family or friends. In any case, choose someone who doesn’t have added risks such as age, heart conditions, or diabetes to help you out.

Special instructions for caregivers

If you are a healthcare or personal care aide taking care of diabetic patients, remember: you may be the greatest point of exposure for your vulnerable patients. In recent nursing home outbreaks, visiting nurses were a major vector for the spread of Coronavirus. And more serious outcomes are associated with chronic conditions like diabetes, so follow your hygiene practices carefully:

  • Begin your sanitation at the front doorknob, and wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you enter or leave the patient space. Do the same when you return to the office, clinic, and your own home.
  • If you handle food and medication packages that have come in from outside, sanitize them and yourself afterwards.
  • Remember, aides are not allowed to handle needles or sharps. If the patient cannot perform any aspect of their glucose monitoring or self-medication, speak to your Coordinator.
  • Follow the protocols in the Diabetes Management Handout carefully.

 

In addition, these COVID-19 precautions are recommended:

  • Remember, the virus can be spread asymptomatically, so protect yourself—and your clients—from infection. Use your PPE and maintain social distance except as necessary to care for your client.
  • Monitor your temperature—and your patients’ temperature—at least once daily. A fever over 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C), especially if accompanied by a cough, may indicate a COVID-19 infection.
  • Whether you or your patient is affected, report any flu-like illness, especially a worsening, dry cough, to the Nurse Supervisor. You may save a life!

 

Bottom Line: Diabetes and other chronic conditions add to the challenges we all face at this time. Be safe!

Precautionary Measures for Covid-19

 

We want to update you on how COVID-19 has impacted our Operations and how we are prepared to take steps to ensure the health and safety of all our patients and employees.


Platinum Home Health Care has implemented the following steps to protect our patients and employees:

Platinum has implemented our EOP (Emergency Operations Plan) all patients have been called to confirm Emergency Contacted information is correct in our system. 

The attached form is being used to gather information especially in the event that our aide(s) or Field Nurses are unable to go to work.

Standard Precautions: Handwashing has been reinforced. Hand sanitizer dispenser are located on walls all over the office and desk tops are sanitized daily. Field Nurses should have hand sanitizers and soap in the nursing bags at all times. 

Staff education: Communication to our members and the use of member assessment protocols prior to in-home visits as recommended by the CDC.

Platinum Home Care has limited the entrance to our non-essential personal and In-service classes has been canceled and will resume back on Monday, March 31, 2020. In-service will be available via Medflyt. 

A blog on the Corona Virus has been posted as well as information on the Corona Virus on Platinum’s website and a blast message sent to our Home Health Aides. 

An email on Corona Virus has been emailed to all the Field Nurses.

The Director of Patient Services is responsible to monitor all aide calls outs and evaluate reasons and symptoms aide reports. Field Nurses are responsible to report symptoms listed below to Director of Patient Services or Clinical Director immediately. 

Aides or Field Nurses will be blocked and unable to work if they exhibit:

Fever >/= 100.4 and lower respiratory symptoms i.e. cough, shortness of breath 

  • History of recent travel to China, Italy or other areas where we have identified an incident of Corona
  •   Close contact with anyone diagnosed with Corona Virus, suspected or tested within last 14 days

 

We will work closely with Contracts if there is any suspicion of Corona Virus exposure.  Director of Patient Service and Clinical Director will document all incidents into the Infection Control Manual.

 

As this is a quickly evolving situation, we will continue to evaluate our clinical and administrative protocols to best meet the public health and safety needs of our patients.  

We are closely monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York Department of Health (DOH) and following guidance from the government and public health agencies.

 

We will continue to update you as this public health crisis evolves and we adjust our approach to meet the needs of our patients and employees.