MemoryCare and COVID-19

GUIDANCE FOR MEMORYCARE PATIENTS AND CAREGIVERS
Updated June 1, 2020

In response to the increase of COVID-19 cases in our community, we will be providing only virtual visits; we want to ensure our services are available to you as needed. Details of the visit will be planned with your Care Manager. Please reach out to us at 828-771-2219 if you would like to coordinate a visit in this manner.

When you are able to come directly to MemoryCare, our office will be taking the following precautions to facilitate
everyone’s safety:

  • Please arrive 15 minutes in advance of a scheduled visit to allow time for the screening process. You’ll stay in
    your car on arrival and be checked in by one of our staff then escorted to a designated waiting room.
  • Your team’s care manager will come to get you when they are ready for you to be seen. Unfortunately we have to
    put a hold on our coffee and snack bar for now.
  • Until further notice we will check temperatures of anyone prior to entering our office and ask a series of screening
    questions (see on back of this page).
  • If anyone in your group is sick (has a fever, cold symptoms, malaise) please do not to come to the visit. If the
    screening shows anyone with a fever, they will be asked to reschedule.
  • MemoryCare’s clinical staff will be wearing face masks during visits.
  • We ask that patients and visitors wear a face mask as well- we will provide one if you don’t have one (our supply is
    limited so we appreciate your bringing your own if you have one).
  • If you use hearing aids, please wear them!
  • We’ll be social distancing with at least 6 feet between us- families who come together can remain closer.
  • You will be asked to wash your hands on arrival.
  • PLEASE NOTE: We are limiting the number of people in our office so we ask that no more than two caregivers
    accompany the patient to the visit. If there are more who want to be involved with the visit, we can arrange to have
    phone or video conferencing to facilitate their participation (please let us know in advance if this will be needed). 2
    caregivers, one patient = max three in person- we can video or telephone others in who want to join the visit

Remember to avoid close contact with people who are sick, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds for 20 seconds. Be well and stay well!

Click here for Coronavirus (COVID-19): Tips for Dementia Caregivers from the Alzheimer’s Association.

We understand that you may have concerns about COVID-19 and we expect cases in our region in the near future. Updated recommendations from North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) are based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), current actions by other states, and the most up-to-date scientific information available about COVID-19. Many of the recommendations are focused on protecting people at high risk of severe illness:

  •  adults over 65 years of age, or
  • people with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, or
  • people with weakened immune systems

This evolving situation is being monitored intensely at the highest levels. We are monitoring reports from the NC Division of Public Health to remain up to date.

  •  Clinical operations will continue but we will avoid organizing events/gatherings with more than 100 people until advised it is safe by public health officials. We will follow recommendations from the public health department regarding regular cleaning of clinic areas and monitoring staff health.
  • We will be available via phone during normal office hours to provide clinical and caregiver support. We recognize that any viral illness can result in increased confusion, functional and behavioral issues in our patients and encourage caregivers to call their care team for guidance as needed
  • If a patient or caregiver has fever AND cough or difficulty breathing, they should not come to our office. We will reschedule any appointments and provide phone support for dementia related symptoms.

What to do and when to seek medical evaluation and advice (Buncombe County Health Department):

  •  If you or your loved one have fever AND cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider or an urgent care if you do not have a healthcare provider.
  • Do NOT show up at your healthcare provider’s office or the urgent c are without calling first.
  • Do NOT go to the emergency room. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve the most critically ill.
  • If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and tell them your symptoms.
  • If you do not have a healthcare provider and cannot afford to be seen at an urgent care, call 828-250-5109 to speak with a Communicable Disease (CD) nurse at BCHHS. Leave a message and a CD nurse will return your call as quickly as possible.

Buncombe County Public Health urges all residents to follow these recommendations:

  • Stay home if you are sick or have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 infection.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. People at higher risk include:

  • People 65 and older
  • People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
  • People who have weakened immune systems

Please rely on accurate sources of information from the CDC and State / Local Public Health  Officials to help guide your individual preparedness and response efforts. Buncombe County Government’s  COVID-19 webpage will provide the most up-to-date and accurate information for COVID-19 in Buncombe County.

We know that an evolving situation such as this can lead to concern. While our guidance and advice is subject to change as we learn more, we will continue to monitor with the health and safety of our patients, caregivers, and staff as our highest priority.

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