With reports of nursing homes in Arizona’s most populous counties seeing a spike in Coronavirus cases, the Arizona In-Home Care Association (AZNHA) is providing critical information on the healthcare workers who will be essential in fighting the pandemic: Caregivers.
“COVID-19 is arguably the most devastating health crisis that Arizona has had to face. As doctors, nurses and first responders work to treat patients, caregivers are the sometimes forgotten ‘White Knights’ who can directly care for the elderly and help prevent transmission of the virus,” said Zach Shaw, the Board President of AZNHA and CEO of Affordable In-Home Care in Scottsdale.
“Senior citizens, with diminished immune systems due to age and pre-existing conditions, are much more vulnerable to COVID-19 than the general population. Caregivers keep at-risk individuals safe by reducing their exposure to the novel Coronavirus which is happening now at understaffed senior facilities and at hospitals stretched to capacity,” he added.
As a nonprofit consumer protection and trade organization for over 13 years, AZNHA’s mission is to uphold the highest standards in best practices for home care in Arizona. The organization has approximately 100 members statewide.
According to Shaw, “AZNHA is currently a hub connecting businesses and caregivers with resources to help them stay safe during the outbreak. We are actively hosting webinars on topics pertinent to COVIC-19, assisting members with the challenging task of sourcing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), posting legislative updates and disseminating training materials on disease prevention. “
Caregivers in Arizona, either paid workers or unpaid family members, provide one-on-one support to assist individuals with the activities of daily living which includes medication management, dressing, bathing and food preparation.
Many caregivers can provide the same services found in post-acute facilities in a more isolated environment which may be crucial during social distancing efforts being recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Currently, the country is in the midst of a caregiver workforce crisis due to the growing aging population in the U.S. and with the current COVID-19 crisis the demand for in-home care will only increase, said Shaw. He hopes to bring new attention to caregiving as a possible career choice for individuals affected by recent layoffs.
“Caregivers can keep family members safe in the home and out of harm’s way. They will be the first line of defense against this virus. Without caregivers providing services to this highly vulnerable population our hospital system would be even more burdened than it already is,” he said.
Shaw has been actively involved with AZNHA for six years. He is also the CEO of Affordable Home Care, a locally owned and independent home care company founded in 1998.
Community resources, including where to locate a caregiver, are available on the AZNHA website or by phone at 602-283-3503.
The Arizona In-Home Care Association (AZNHA) is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization that was formed to be the primary voice for the home care industry in Arizona. Whether it be best practices, consumer protection, education, or general information about the industry, AZNHA is the foremost leader for in-home care.