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Why is PPE Important for in-home health care during COVID

Why is PPE Important for in-home health care during COVID

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential for caregivers, but what is PPE? Those who care for loved ones, as well as individuals who provide professional care services for others, must minimize their exposure to infectious illnesses. PPE provides that protection. In recent months, COVID-19 has opened our eyes to how easily infection spreads from one person to another before we realize the threat exists. We also know that the elderly and those who have compromised immune systems are more susceptible to infection. One way to protect ourselves and each other is to wear PPE.

Types of PPEs

According to the FDA, PPE helps block the transmission of contaminants from body fluids, respiratory secretions, or blood. It provides a non-disease specific barrier between infectious viral and bacterial contaminants and the skin, mouth, nose, or eyes. There are several different types of wearables that help prevent the spread of infection.

  • Masks cover the mouth and nose; however, other types of masks also have a see-through plastic shield covering the eyes.
  • Clothing, including gowns with long sleeves, aprons, head coverings, and shoe covers, prevent the transfer of contaminants between patients, the environment, and other individuals. Protective clothing reduces the spread of droplets or other body fluids to the caregiver’s skin and clothing.
  • Gloves are worn to reduce the risk of contamination of the caretaker’s hands and to reduce the transmission of contaminants from the caretaker to those they are providing care for.
  • Boots and closed-toe work shoes are recommended in areas where you may come into contact with harmful chemicals or are cleaning areas where infections have occurred.
  • Respirator masks with eye protection are recommended for healthcare workers when performing aerosol-generating procedures such as tracheal intubations, tracheostomies, CPR, or bronchoscopies. These procedures have a very high risk of infection exposure to those performing and assisting with the procedures.

The Importance of Wearing Gloves for Caregivers

In addition to frequent handwashing, PPE provides additional protection from spreading an infectious condition. Wearing gloves is essential. Caregivers come into contact with saliva, blood, urine, stool, or other body fluids. Gloves are a crucial safeguard. Pathogens that cause disease can enter the body through the eyes, mouth, nose, or urogenital openings. They can also enter a person’s body through a wound or bite that has broken the skin. Caregivers wear gloves to not only protect themselves from infection but also to prevent spreading contaminants to others in the household or nearby surroundings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends wearing gloves when handling the laundry of those with an infection. Additionally, wearing gloves while disposing of trash that contains items used for the care of the individual is another key safeguard against cross-contamination.

Face Masks Offer Additional Protection

Another line of defense against the transmission of illness is a face mask. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that cloth face masks be worn by infected individuals when they are around others in their homes or out of the house and at a doctor’s appointment, for example. Although the CDC does not consider cloth face masks to be PPE, they are appropriate for those who are not working in an infectious environment like a health facility. Those who have a medical condition that weakens their immune system should also wear face masks when leaving their home. For professional in-home caregivers and family members who serve as caregivers for a loved one, wearing a disposable face mask protects both the person they are caring for and themselves.

The Role of Shoe Covers

Healthcare workers wear shoe covers to prevent the spread of pathogens, although they are not currently a recommended PPE for healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients. They are beneficial for those seeking to maintain a cleaner environment and to keep shoes clean and free of contaminants or hazardous materials. Shoe covers are easy to put on and take off and are disposable.

Reusing PPE: Masks, Gloves, and Gowns

Some types of PPE can be washed and reused, but most are designed to be used one time by one person, then thrown away. Cloth face masks can be washed in a washing machine in hot water, then tumble dried. They can also be washed by hand. Lather with soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds with warm to hot water before tossing into the dryer. Respirator masks and protective eyewear can be reused, but proper decontamination should follow each use. Disposable gloves, masks, gowns, and aprons should also be thrown away after each use. However, many healthcare institutions are currently reusing paper and plastic gowns due to shortages to optimize the use of some PPE as per CDC recommendations. There is some disagreement within the professional medical community as to the safety of reusing these types of PPE.

Those who provide personal care services should be conscientious and vigilant when it comes to protecting the health and well-being of those they care for. Our caregivers follow the latest guidelines to ensure the safety and comfort of your loved one. Whether you are seeking around-the-clock care, respite care, companionship, meal preparation, or medication reminders, we’ll provide the hands-on assistance you need.

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Client Reviews

24 Hour Home Care review summary

Reviewer: Patricia
Patricia 2020-09-18 via Google
I like working for 24hr home care because they allow me to have a flexible schedule and I can take advantage of how far away from home I'd like to travel for work.
Reviewer: Liliana D
Liliana D 2020-09-18 via Google
Improving getting better and better really listen to our voice send us a recognition letter congratulating us as frontline workers, send us a little gift for our performance, send us an gift certificate from amazon for school supplies pack of $30 dollars for our children looking forward for more improvements feels good to be recognize as a great frontline worker helps us get more motivated afterall thats going on. Ive never got anything or a congratulations from them ever its the first time in the 3 years ive work with them and today they call me to say happy bday i feel special. Thank you 24hr homecare
Reviewer: Tatyana
Tatyana 2020-09-18 via Google
Pros: It’s nice working here. With this agency, you have a very flexible schedule. There are a lot of 4-5 hour shifts, although they do offer overnight shifts as well from 8 hours, maybe 12. You can qualify for employee benefits after 1 year of working here. They have “emergency rate” wages as well, these are last minute shifts that can raise from $1-5 an hour; if they hired you at $14hr and they give you an (e-rate) emergency rate then it’ll probably be from $15, $16, $17+ depending on the case. Traveling is required and they did have a virtual interview with me. They have employees working 24 hours if you decide to call them. They use the CC-Go app to clock in and clock out. They also give you a link to a corporate perks website that will give you discounts on phones, plane tickets, hotels ect. Cons: Communication with the office/managers can be difficult at times because when you call, anyone/random person can answer. My personal recommendation as a company request for employee(s): Sending each caregiver a “care package” in a ziplock bag with gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, ect. in case a facility or client doesn’t have the supplies needed. Having these “care packages” would help the company prevent any further sicknesses when dealing with urination and bowel movements if anything were to happen.
Reviewer: Samantha
Samantha 2020-09-13 via Google
Highly recommend!
Reviewer: Samantha
Samantha 2020-09-13 via Google
Great, award-winning company!
Reviewer: Samantha
Samantha 2020-09-13 via Google
Great company! Highly recommend.
Reviewer: CAROL
CAROL 2020-08-01 via Google
Reviewer: Laura
Laura 2020-06-12 via Google
Our care givers are loving, friendly and devoted. They are family! Thank you for being here for us.
Reviewer: Richard
Richard 2020-06-09 via Google
Our Care-giver Mudrakat is a blessing for us, with a big heart, and a very professional approach and skills - she will go far...
Reviewer: Raul
Raul 2020-05-28 via Google
Great place to work for!

The Most Trusted Caregivers

The success of our clients and company is entirely dependent on the quality of our caregivers. We make certain to find and provide our senior clients with the industry's best caretakers so that they have a positive in-home care experience. We submit all of our caregivers through nationwide background checks, assessment tests, and verify multiple references. All of our caregivers are required to be compassionate, reliable, experienced, and above all else, TRUSTWORTHY. We understand that you are entrusting your loved one's home and well-being with our company, and we take that very seriously.

24 Hour Home Care® is committed to improving the lives of our senior clients. By assisting seniors with their daily living activities, we are able to keep them at home where they are comfortable and allow them to thrive during this chapter of their lives. Not only do we strive to exceed customer satisfaction, but we strive to exceed employee satisfaction. We want all of our caregivers to be proud and happy to work for 24 Hour Home Care® so that they will provide the best senior home care possible!


Reach out to your local 24 Hour Home Care® representative to receive a free in-home consultation today!

So that you and your loved one can experience the 24 Hour Home Care® difference!