Families asked to consider Plan-B for home health services

Across the province organizations are facing staffing challenges because of the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Guided by Dr. Henry’s announcement yesterday that businesses should prepare to have up to one-third of their staff away sick at one time, home health organizations are bracing for the worst. Difficult weather conditions are also adding to COVID-19 challenges in many parts of B.C.

“Over the next number of weeks EngAge BC is recommending that families have a plan in place in case services need to be cancelled or rescheduled,” says Terry Lake, CEO, EngAge BC and BC Care Providers Association.

“People do not arrange for home care or home support services unless they need them. We recognize that not having access to these resources is tremendously difficult. We are asking for the public’s understanding as providers navigate this new turn in the pandemic,” he continues.

Home health care remains overwhelmingly safe and clients should feel comfortable asking what steps an organization is taking in terms of infection prevention control. This is one of the measures operators are assessed for through EngAge BC’s quality assurance program called Assurity. Things to look include policies on the usage of personal protective equipment, handwashing, staying home when ill and staff and client screening processes.

EngAge BC and BCCPA would also like to remind the public to consider shoveling and salting of sidewalks or pathways into the home of an neighbours who are elderly or living with other health or mobility challenges. Snow and ice can lead to slips and falls for visitors including home support workers.