Nightingale Homecare is dedicated to ensuring our patients’ safety and good health during the COVID-19, or “coronavirus” pandemic. Anyone can get the virus and may have mild or severe symptoms. However, if you are an elder adult with underlying conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease, hypertension or diabetes, you are considered to be at higher risk for developing more severe complications from the virus, and need to be particularly cautious.
Of course, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus, so it is important to stay away from people who are sick, or may unknowingly have the virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person who are in close contact, or through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
People with pre-existing conditions are encouraged by the CDC to stay home whenever possible and to go out only for medical care. If you do venture out, do so with a cloth face covering, avoid crowds, and stay at least six feet from others at all times. It is especially important to use hand sanitizer while out and to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after being in a public place.
While home, you should pay special attention to your hand hygiene, especially after blowing your nose or coughing, and avoid touching your face, nose and mouth. It is also important to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily: tables, counters, doorknobs, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, and light switches.
Anyone who does come into your home should always self-screen, and not come in if they are feeling sick, have a temperature, or have been recently exposed to anyone with, or suspected of having, COVID-19. In addition, your guests should wear a cloth face covering, practice good hand hygiene, and stay at least six feet from you at all times.
All of Nightingale’s patients are asked to self-screen for the virus daily. To self-screen effectively, you must know the symptoms associated with COVID-19. The following is a list of known symptoms of COVID-19:
|·||· COUGH||·||·||· DIARRHEA|
|·||· SORE THROAT||·||·||· VOMITING|
|·||· SHORTNESS OF BREATH||·||·||· NEW CONFUSION|
|·||· LOSS OF TASTE/SMELL
· CHEST PAINS
· BLUE COLOR IN LIPS, FACE OR EXTREMITIES
|·||·||· TEMPERATURE > 100.4
· SHAKING WITH CHILLS
· MUSCLE ACHES
At Nightingale Homecare, we ask all our patients to go through the following self-checks daily. We use a tool called a stoplight self-assessment, and patients are asked to evaluate if they are in the GREEN, YELLOW or RED ZONE.
THE GREEN ZONE
If you can affirm all of the statements below, you would be considered to be in the GREEN ZONE, and would not need to do anything other than monitor for symptoms that may develop and continue taking precautions.
- I am breathing easily.
- I have no fever or chills.
- I am not coughing, wheezing, or experiencing chest tightness or shortness of breath.
- I do not have a sore throat.
- I am able to maintain my normal activity level.
- I am alert without confusion or unusual fatigue.
- I have no loss of smell or taste.
- I have no diarrhea or stomach upset.
- I have no color changes in my face or extremities.
THE YELLOW ZONE
If you note any of the following symptoms, you would be in the YELLOW ZONE, and you would need to contact your health care provider right away.
- I am coughing more than usual, or have a sore throat.
- I have a fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit when taken orally (or a tympanic recording), or 99.4 under the arm (or temporally).
- I have loss of smell or taste.
- I have diarrhea or vomiting.
THE RED ZONE
If you affirm any of the following statements, you would be in the RED ZONE and would require immediate, emergency medical attention:
- I am experiencing unrelieved shortness of breath.
- I have a persistent cough.
- I have a fever over 101.4 degrees Fahrenheit when taken orally (or a tympanic recording), or 100.4 under the arm (or temporally).
- I have a change in the color of my skin, nails, or lips to gray or blue.
- I have unrelieved chest pain.
- I have confusion.
Contact the Phoenix in home care team at Nightingale Homecare for more resources to help protect yourself and those you love from COVID-19 and other illnesses, and to learn more about our professional, customized home care services for seniors, available throughout Phoenix and the surrounding area.