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Coping With COVID-19

Post by: Tanya Teglo (Tanya is a PA Self-Directing Program Participant)

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Dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has not been fun for anyone. It’s changed the American mindset and culture. It has forced us to become isolationist, and more reliant on technology than ever. There are fields and industries that still have to operate that can’t rely on technology to get the job done. One of those industries are personal care services. Being an employer that uses a self-directed model can be, and will be a particular challenge as the pandemic continues. I myself have more questions than answers at this point, but I’m trying to maintain as normal of a life as possible. But let’s be real: there are challenges and obstacles to be faced, and overcome. As an employer, my biggest concern is how to keep myself, and my employees safe, but also keep everyone functioning at the same time. Here are some of my suggestions on how to maintain a healthy workforce:

  1. Make sure everyone is washing their hands frequently. 
  2. Gloves should be used when assisting with toileting.
  3. Disinfect all surfaces and items that are touched by multiple people. Do this at the beginning and end of every shift.
  4. Be prepared to make changes to a workforce at a moment’s notice.
  5. Only send your DCWs out on errands when necessary. Get everything done in one trip, if possible.
  6. Don’t cough of sneeze on each other.
  7. Use mask and other protective equipment if you have them at your disposal. 
  8. Check in with service coordinator if workers need to change shifts around.
  9. Use telehealth for appointments when possible.
  10. Be courteous and kind. We all have to work together on this. 
  11. Have fun, when possible.

In addition to being an employer, or a participant, one must do what they can to help their community right now. Give suggestions if you have any. See what is being done in your local communities to combat COVID-19, and ask how you can help. Stay active, stay involved, and most importantly, stay safe and healthy. 

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