COVID Resources

Safe and Successful Starts of Care in 2020

May 11, 2020

With new infection control protocols, advanced planning, and more flexibility, you can convert cautious prospects into new clients.

As the coronavirus crisis continues, many families have concerns about introducing new caregivers into their loved one’s home. Yet the need for home care continues—and may even increase over time as families reconsider moving their loved ones into facilities.

To meet this demand, the most successful agencies will be able to show prospective clients their commitment to safety—starting with the Care Consultation. Want to secure more Care Consults in a COVID world—and sign new clients safely? Here’s what we recommend:

  • Update your intake form.
  • Provide flexibility and transparency.
  • Commit to safety.
  • Be prepared for new questions.

With a few tactical changes and clear communication, families will feel more confident in your ability to safely provide care for their loved one.

Update your intake form.

If you haven’t done so already, update your client intake form before your next Care Consult. This will help you better assess infection risks once you sit down with a prospective client—and show that safety is your top priority. Key questions to add:

  • Has the client tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Has the client come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

By asking specific infection-control questions during the intake process, you’ll get a more complete understanding of your clients’ health profile and exposure risk.

Provide flexibility and transparency.

Previously, you may have done your entire Care Consult in person—but now, flexibility in your process is key. To minimize their risk of COVID exposure, many families are limiting their in-person interactions with non-family members, so they may prefer to do the consultation virtually.

Woman browsing internet on laptop

Think through your process and figure out which parts must be done in person and what can be done effectively over phone or by video call. Working with our Honor Care Network Partners, we’ve learned that we can perform the majority of our Care Consult remotely. But a brief, in-person home assessment is critical for developing the right Care Plan—and ongoing successful care.

If you decide to require an in-person assessment as part of your Care Consult, let prospective clients know why it’s so important. Explain that a brief home visit is essential for you to assess for stairs, fall risks, pets, and other factors in the home that will inform the Care Plan. Help them understand that by thoroughly assessing the home, you’ll be better prepared to create a comprehensive, accurate Care Plan and provide the best possible care.

Then, offer a few options. And let your client decide how they’d like to do the rest of the consultation—by phone, by video, or entirely in person. Adapting your process a bit to accommodate your clients’ comfort level will help them feel supported from the start.

Commit to safety.

Once prospective clients have agreed to the in-person home assessment, show your commitment to safety during the visit by:

  • Wearing a mask at all times. Many local governments require essential workers to wear masks on the job. But even if yours does not, we suggest you wear one to reduce the risk of transmission and to build confidence.
  • Maintaining social distancing. Be sure to stay at least 6 feet away from anyone inside the home at all times.
  • Keeping in-person time to a minimum. Assess the home thoroughly so you can gather the information you need to develop the Care Plan—but make your visit as brief as possible.

Be prepared for new questions.

Everyone is thinking about COVID-19 and concerned about infection control, especially older adults. So we’ve created a guide to the types of questions prospective clients are asking agencies before they decide to start care. Reviewing these questions will help you develop the right COVID preparedness plan for your agency. Be ready to answer all of them completely and confidently. By showcasing the investments you’ve made in additional safety protocols for your staff, your caregivers, and your clients, you’ll stand out from your competition and provide a greater sense of trust and confidence.

We hope this is helpful to you and your agency during these challenging and uncertain times—take good care.

Sign up for our newsletter.

Want to learn from leaders and innovators in our industry? Want to stay up on home care tips and tactics—and trends that affect your business? Give us your email, and we’ll keep you informed.