What can I expect during my home visits throughout the pandemic?
In keeping with Public Health guidelines, we are actively screening all clients and family members for COVID-19.
Your PSW should always wear a mask, gloves and eye protection (face shield or goggles) during every visit. In addition, they will wear a gown and shoe coverings if the client is confirmed COVID-positive, or if there is a risk of exposure, or symptoms are present according to the guidelines set out by Public Health Ontario.
We are fully compliant with all recommendations from Public Health officials. All of our PSWs are specially trained in best practices around infection control, hand hygiene and preparedness for COVID-19. We provide regular updates and education to our PSWs to ensure they stay safe in the community.
If you are concerned that your PSW is not wearing the correct protective equipment during your visit, please contact your Client Services Supervisor or your Service Coordinator.
As a client, what does Circle of Care ask of me?
Before your PSW begins providing care to you, it is important for you to let Circle of Care providers know if you or your family members in the home are sick, experiencing flu-like symptoms, or have been advised to self-isolate.
Where possible, we encourage clients and their family members to wear a mask, as tolerated, while your care provider is in the home. This is recommended as added protection for clients and care providers.
When your PSW is not providing direct personal care, we have asked all our employees to maintain a 6-feet physical distance from you or your family members during their visit.
Lastly, if you have a new visitor in your home that does not live with you, please let us know immediately so we can take the necessary precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus and maintain physical distance from your visitor. Depending on the visitor’s original place of residence, we may ask that this person remains in another room during our visit.
I would like to place my services on hold until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, what do I do?
Please contact our office. We will place your services on hold due to COVID-19. This hold will remain in place until you contact us again to resume services. You will not lose your service if you put it on hold due to COVID-19.
We cannot guarantee that you will get the same PSW back after you resume service, however we will make every effort we can to restore your services back to how they were pre-pandemic.
I am experiencing flu-like symptoms, or I have tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?
Please call our office immediately. A Client Services Supervisor will follow up with you. We will work with you to prepare a plan of action that will protect our PSWs while being able to provide any essential care that you may need.
Will my PSW or homemaking services be cancelled because of COVID-19?
If we become aware of any situation where a client or PSW has tested positive for COVID, we will act swiftly with direction from Toronto Public Health to prevent further spread of infection.
Please understand that we will work through each affected client’s situation on a case by case basis. Our first priority is always to ensure the safety of our clients and our employees. We may need to cancel or modify services to prevent the spread of infection on very short notice. We ask for your patience as we continue to work through this challenging time.
I returned from my international travels (including the U.S.), and want my services resumed. What are the steps I need to take?
At this time, by law, all individuals returning to Canada must self-isolate for 14 days. This means you cannot leave your house for any reason, including buying groceries, for 14 days after arriving to Canada.
Please contact our office and let us know that you have returned to Canada recently. A Client Services Supervisor will follow up with you to complete an assessment, and make a plan as to when you can resume service.
What is Circle of Care doing to protect PSWs who can’t work now or have to stop working?
The well-being and safety of our clients and staff is, and always will be, our priority. We continue to closely with the Ministry of Health, Public Health Agencies and other community partners to ensure we have the latest information, and can educate and equip our staff and clients as best as possible. Our PSWs have access to our Employee Assistance Program, which provides counseling services at no cost to them. Also, we are also ensuring that they are compensated if they cannot work during this time.
What precautions are being taken when my PSW goes to several clients, and then comes to me?
Infection prevention is especially important when PSWs are moving from client to client. This is why our PSWs are performing screening assessments prior to each client visit and practicing precautions as directed by Public Health. They have been provided training and education on the correct techniques for donning and doffing personal protective equipment between clients. PSWs are also trained to practice hand hygiene before and after every client visit, as this is the best way to prevent the spread of infection.
Why can’t I get the same worker for all my visits?
Continuity of care is something that we take very seriously and it is wonderful when we have the ability to schedule a single worker for each client. However, this is not always possible, due to scheduling conflicts related to the provision of time-sensitive care to other clients as well as PSW availability.
Is it possible to limit the number of PSWs being sent to cluster sites/retirement homes due to COVID-19 precautions?
Yes, this is something that we are working towards and have already put in place at numerous retirement homes where we now have assigned a dedicated group of PSWs that will provide service only to that building. This decision has been made for numerous reasons including limiting the risk of spread of infection to our clients and PSWs.