Important Notice Regarding COVID-19

Hi friends,

During this time of global uncertainty, we wanted to let you know that we are continuing to accept new patients. Below are the steps Austin Palliative Care is taking to help keep all of our patients, families, volunteers and staff safe.

General Precautions

  • For the safety of all, our staff and volunteers are checking and recording their temperature twice a day. Any temperature above 99.6 must be reported to Austin Palliative Care’s Employee Health Nurse. Staff is asked not to report to work if feeling unwell, running a fever, or showing any flu-like symptoms.
  • We are asking patients and their families to consider limiting their number of visitors and to screen for illness.
  • We have provided additional guidance to all employees and patients on personal and environmental hygiene activities (hand washing, social distancing, staying home if sick, avoiding sick people, cleaning commonly-used surfaces daily). We are reminding staff regularly to practice heightened and consistent preventative measures.
  • We have provided travel guidance to staff in accordance with the CDC and suspended all corporate travel. All staff and volunteers must notify the Employee Health Nurse before and after personal travel outside of Hospice Austin’s 5-county service zone. Employees and volunteers may be subject to a self-quarantine before returning to work.
  • Any direct exposures to someone ill with the virus need to be communicated to the Employee Health Nurse. This also includes contact with persons traveling to our area from high-risk areas.
  • We are asking patients and families if they would like us to decrease non-essential in-person visits and increase visits by phone as needed.
  • We are abiding by individual procedures at hospitals and long-term care facilities for visiting patients.

The Austin Palliative Care administration is participating in daily calls with the Texas Department of State Health Services to stay current on the most recent guidance to protect our patients and employees. We have also established a COVID-19 task force comprised of physicians and leadership who meet daily to work through rapid protocol changes.

Please call us if you have any questions or if there is something we can to help – (512) 397-3360. In the meantime, stay safe and remember that we are all in this together and together we will help each other through.

 

 

Resources for Caregivers and Older Adults*

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified adults age 60 and older and people who have severe chronic medical conditions such as heart, lung, or kidney disease to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. The CDC is recommending that people take the following actions:

  • Stay at home as much as possible.
  • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications, food, and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time.
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact, and wash your hands often.
  • Avoid crowds
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

For family members, neighbors, and caregivers:

  • Know what medications your loved one is taking and see if you can help them have extra on hand.
  • Monitor food and other medical supplies.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food items to have on hand in your home to minimize trips to stores.
  • If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently, and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.

Reliable Online Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Disease Information

World Health Organization: Basic Protective Measures Against the New Coronavirus

National Council on Aging: UPDATED: Coronavirus: What Older Adults Need to Know

AARP: What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus

City of Austin: Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus Disease 2019

*adapted with permission from AGE of Central Texas

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