A few weeks back Caring Companions had a brush with the dreaded COVID-19 virus. Fortunately, the situation did not yield any long-term complications and everyone is fine. However, the brush made me revisit a BLOG entry I wrote a while back entitled “Do You Have a Plan C?”
The premise of that BLOG was that if you have a loved one that needs care, who is plan A and who is plan B? And, with the introduction of a pandemic, who is plan C?
Many of the families we work with consider Caring Companions their plan A. We are the front-line help and to an extent become an extension of their family. If, for some reason, their primary caregiver cannot go to help them, we send the pre trained on-call manager or they go to plan B. That is usually the family caregiver (spouse, daughter, etc.). However, in the times of a pandemic, having a plan A and B might not suffice.
Imagine this scenario. One morning plan B (the family caregiver) wakes up with COVID-19. They are contagious and, as a result, their normal plan A (Caring Companions) cannot come in due to the risk of infection. Never-the-less, their loved one still needs help. The family member with COVID is flat on their back with a fever and other symptoms. What happens to the one requiring assistance? Is plan C a family member that comes in and lends a hand? Or, is there even a plan C?
Our brush with the virus came in the form of an asymptomatic, but COVID positive caregiver being in contact with a family. Before she even felt sick the caregiver was contagious and had helped the family. As soon as her symptoms kicked in, she was tested and was positive. Fortunately, we had considered the plan C possibility and, because we do not offer skilled nursing services nor do we have the protective gear to service a COVID positive client, had identified another company that could service them with increased gear and nurse supervision.
So, for two weeks, the family was without the beloved caregivers we provide to them. Instead, they had substitutes that got them through the crisis. Once the isolation period was over and the caregiver was COVID negative, we were able to resume service and get the train back on track.
The point of this whole message is this…if you do not have a plan C, you need to get one. As unlikely as it is, the diligence in laying the foundation could mean the difference between an inconvenience and a catastrophe.
Happy caring! Thanks to all you amazing caregivers out there!