Social Distancing and Video Chat

You are buying extra toilet paper, washing your hands more and avoiding large crowds in movie theaters and other social venues.  More importantly, please do our vulnerable seniors in our community a lifesaving favor and take a moment to examine how you can personally reduce the risk that our seniors, parents and grandparents will be infected. Social Distancing!

Even if you don’t have time to read this article, we hope the takeaway will be how important it is for all of us to follow a strict Quarantine if asked to do so or to consider staying home more if we can to limit our spreading of germs.  

After a new Chinese study showed that Covid-19  may be able to linger in the air for at least half an hour, last for days on some surfaces, and travel almost 15 feet, we need to revisit the CDC recommendations to stay 3 feet away from others to prevent transmission. It is going to take more than washing hands and staying 3 feet away from people to keep our seniors safe. 

Time to Set-Up Video Chat 

It may be time to set your senior parents or grandparents up with the technology to be able to video chat with you and their grandkids.  Visit Senior Savvy to find out about the several unique new products on the market designed specifically for tech-challenged seniors that make video calling simple — CandooTech, ViewClixGrandpad, FaceTime, and Zoom.  The free GrandPad companion app and web portal is all you need to connect to GrandPad's private family network via iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or desktop computer. Family members can even upload photos and adjust settings for the GrandPad user.  You may want to teach your loved ones to video chat and practice it a few times while you are at their home.  Putting a standing appointment to video chat in your calendar at the same time every day could help normalize the video chat experience and give them something to look forward to.

According to Barbara Moran, RN, STEPS Home Care Director of Patient Services, “Our knowledge about Coronavirus transmission is still limited, but we know that seniors are at a higher risk of severe symptoms and related complications.  Many seniors have pre-existing conditions, weakened or compromised immune systems and are sharing community spaces in assisted living facilities.”

Not being able to attend their usual social functions can make stay-at-home seniors feel isolated; a visit from a STEPS Home Care aide can provide seniors with needed company.

Our STEPS Caregivers Are Ready

Over the past weeks, we have been advising our Caregivers to monitor our clients with more frequent temperature checks than usual, advising them not to come into work if they have fevers, coughs or colds, stocking up on supplies such as masks, gowns, gloves and alcohol hand sanitizer gels and closely screening their own family members and visitors to find out if  they may have been exposed to the virus in our Westchester community. 

What You Need To Know

For more information on the best way to avoid viruses and other clinical information on what the coronavirus symptoms look like, please link here to read an update by Senior Care Manager, Susan Keating of Honora Care Management & Consulting in Westchester.

According to Barbara Moran, the best way to avoid viruses including the Coronavirus is:

  • Avoid exposure – Obviously avoid close contact with other people who may be sick, but remember, don’t spread YOUR germs to others. Stay home when YOU are ill to avoid exposing others.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Sing happy birthday twice to time yourself. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Keep tissues with you at all times to 1) Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands and to 2) Hold surfaces like handrails. 
  • If someone in your home is sick, clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces such as door knobs and faucet handles with a bleach solution.”
Hotline Phone Numbers
  • People under self-quarantine or exposure to known case, call (866) 588-0195
  • NYS Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline (888) 364-3065
  • Westchester County COVID-19 Information Call 211