Protecting Our Community:
A letter to loved ones of Element Care participants from Element Care Medical Director, Joanna Duby, M.D.
Dear loved one of an Element Care participant,
We are writing to you today because your loved one is a member of Element Care PACE. We know this is a challenging time. We want you to know Element Care is here to support you and your loved one. We are reaching out to provide education and recommendations to help keep you and our participants safe.
The majority of members of Element Care have multiple medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or even just being overweight. Should they contract COVID 19 all of these conditions put them at high risk of serious complications such as hospitalization or even death.
Currently there are no specific treatments for COVID 19. Those who are ill enough to need constant monitoring may need hospitalization for oxygen or intravenous fluids. MOST people can stay home when ill.
Our best defense against this disease is to avoid it. Please see the links below on the best way to avoid getting the virus that can lead to COVID 19. You can also go to the CDC website for additional recommendations and education www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
Over the last few months we have learned that the virus can be spread by people who have no idea they have it. These persons have not come into contact with anyone that they knew was ill, have not traveled outside of the country and have no symptoms themselves. Some people never get symptoms and some people develop symptoms days after being contagious or being able to pass on the disease to others.
It is for this reason it is of the utmost importance that you continue to try and prevent yourself and your loved one from being in contact with the virus. Please do not go out unless it is absolutely necessary. If you must go out wear a face covering and wash your hands as soon as you come inside. Stay 6 feet or 2 arms lengths away from anyone that you may be in contact with.
If you bring groceries to or help care for your loved one keep contact to a minimum. Wear a face covering and wash your hands when you get to their home or before contact with them. Stay 6 feet away if possible.
We know how hard this social isolation is for our participants and you but it is the best way to help your loved ones stay well.
We are here to help and support you and your loved ones. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Element Care PACE team.
Joanna Duby MD on behalf of Element Care
Element Care PACE
What you should know about COVID-19 to protect yourself and others: CDC
Guidance for Large or Extended families Living in the same Household
3/16/2020 Message from Element Care’s Medical Director Joanna Duby
Important Phone Numbers:
Central Center/Lowell: (978) 513-7300
Cummings Center/Beverly: (978) 712-3360
Emerson Center/Gloucester: (978) 283-7375
Market Street Center/Lynn: (781) 595-4717
Nevins Center/Methuen: (978) 686-2807
School Street Center/Lynn: (781) 715-2390
Participant Advisory Letter:
3/12/20 Element Care Coronavirus Notification
Referral Partners and Housing Communications:
7/21/2020 Element Care Fan Mail
4/21/2020 Coronavirus Disrupts Routine for Dementia Patients
4/16/2020 Element Care Enrolls while Social Distancing
4/10/2020 Thank you to our Nurses and Front line Staff
4/6/2020 Element Care Doctors are Experts in Caring for Older Adults and Getting to Know the Whole Patient
3/31/2020 How Element Care is Serving our Participants at Home
3/26/2020 Avatar Home Companion
3/26/2020 Taking Care of Our Caregivers
“Massachusetts Department of Public Health” health care provider phase Reopen Attestation
Click here to learn more about the Reopening Massachusetts phased approach at mass.gov
Protecting Yourself and Others
As you may know, there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Older adults and people who have underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19. That said, it is important we all take precautions to protect the most vulnerable in our community. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Take these steps to protect yourself and others:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Stay home if you have a respiratory illness (cough, fever, runny nose) and avoid close contact with others.
- The Centers for Disease Control recommends older adults avoid crowds such as theaters, shopping malls, casinos, and sporting events.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, as illness can occur when viruses are carried from your hands to those areas.
- If someone at home sneezes or coughs on a surface, use a disinfectant to clean the surface. However, do not use chlorine-based disinfectants on your hands or face, as they can cause significant skin irritation. Soap and water are the best cleansers for your body.