An Inside Look at Everything You Need to Know About the Omicron Variant

The Omicron variant of coronavirus comprised only 3% of all cases in the United States this past week.  This variant is now the dominant strain of the virus.  South Africa and several other nations have also revealed Omicron has quickly become the dominant variant of the virus in less than a month’s time.  This rapid spread is concerning to say the least.

It is clear that Omicron spreads faster than Delta and other variants.  However, the good news is that the early data indicates Omicron symptoms are not as severe as those of Delta and the original strain of the virus.  Here’s a closer look at everything you need to know about Omicron.

Omicron is Worth Taking Seriously

Governments and businesses around the world are afraid of Omicron for good reason.  This variant of COVID-19 is highly contagious and potentially deadly, especially when transmitted to those who have not been vaccinated.  Though preliminary data from Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer indicates their booster shots aren’t as effective against the Omicron variant as hoped, Moderna representatives revealed their booster is quite effective against the variant.  

It is clear that the best protection against Omicron is full vaccination including a booster shot.  Though President Biden and other world leaders are certainly stressed by the lightning-quick spread of Omicron, they do not believe it is cause for panic, especially if the percentage of vaccine-boosted individuals continues to climb. 

Omicron Data is Slowly Trickling In

Aside from the slightly diminished severity yet heightened transmission rate when compared to Delta and other coronavirus strains, not much else is known about Omicron.  The data about this new variant is expanded with each passing day yet it will take some time to gauge whether Omicron should spur lockdowns and forced vaccinations for entry into businesses, public spaces, and other buildings.  The United States federal government has responded to the initial data by encouraging Americans to get tested for the variant prior to socializing with family during the holiday season.

Big Pharma’s Response

Through Moderna executives are adamant their booster shot is effective against Omicron, the limited data released by Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer isn’t as reassuring.  The heads of all three pharmaceutical giants have indicated they are prepared to reformulate their vaccines to better mitigate the impact of the Omicron variant of the virus.  Furthermore, the United Nations’ World Health Organization has stated the Omicron variant’s risk to the worldwide populace is “very high” based on analysis of early data.

Moderna’s initial booster data derived from lab testing indicates the half-dose boost jab heightens neutralizing antibodies by nearly 40x.  A Moderna booster of a full dose is that much stronger, spiking antibody levels by an impressive 83x.  However, it must be noted the full-dose booster of Moderna has more severe side effects than those provided by Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.  If Omicron continues to spread throughout the United States and the rest of the world, it is possible that Moderna’s full-dose shot will be used as a booster instead of the half-dose booster.

Coordinate Home Care Through AmeriBest Home Care Today

AmeriBest’s Philadelphia home care specialists are here for the senior in your life.  Reach out to us today to find out more about our services.  You can reach AmeriBest by phone at 1-800-HOMECARE.  If you prefer to reach us online, fill out our contact form, or send a message to our team at info@ameribest.org.

COVID Mandates for Healthcare and Home Care Workers 

Philadelphia senior citizens and residents of other age cohorts will be happy to learn the city has achieved a comparably high vaccination rate for healthcare industry workers. Government officials at the federal level highlight Philadelphia’s vaccine mandate for its elevated vaccination rate. The high rate of vaccination among the city’s medical industry personnel is especially important now that the highly contagious Omicron variant of the virus is rearing its ugly head.

About Philadelphia’s Vaccination Mandate

The city of Philadelphia issued a coronavirus vaccine mandate as the summer drew to a close. The mandate has lead to nearly every single hospital employee in the greater Philadelphia area being fully vaccinated against coronavirus. Furthermore, the city’s health department reports more than 95% of the city’s nursing home employees are fully vaccinated against the virus. This statistic is especially striking when juxtaposed with the comparably low 75% vaccination rate of nursing home employees throughout the rest of the country. 

However, it must be noted the definition of “fully vaccinated” has the potential to change as time progresses. It is quite possible only those who receive a booster shot will be considered fully vaccinated by the time winter comes to an end. At the moment, more than 75% of all Philadelphia residents are fully vaccinated, meaning they have at least two vaccine shots. Though this percentage is lower than that of those who work in local hospitals and nursing homes, it is still an encouraging sign. 

Why Philadelphia’s Vaccine Mandate is so Important

Pennsylvania has one of the nation’s highest rates of hospitalization stemming from coronavirus infections. The state’s intensive-care units are struggling to provide care for individuals who require intubation and other forms of assistance. Sadly, nearly 400 individuals were hospitalized in early December in Philadelphia alone. Phila.com’s city data shows the city’s hospitalization trend is moving in the wrong direction as a mere 200 were hospitalized within the city’s limits prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Philadelphia’s high vaccination rate is the elevated employee retention rate. The vast majority of local Philadelphia hospitals and nursing homes retained nearly the entirety of their staff despite the vaccine mandate. The Pennsylvania Health Care Association reports that of the city’s 47 nursing homes, an average of seven individuals departed their posts as a result of the vaccine mandate. 

It is clear that Philadelphians are willing to put their self-interest and political differences aside for the greater good. However, it is slightly disturbing to learn that merely 40% of the hospitals in the United States have vaccine requirements. This low nationwide percentage is a large part of the reason why transmission rates are climbing with no signs of slowing down as the Omicron variant continues to wreak havoc throughout Philadelphia and beyond.

AmeriBest Home Care Philadelphia is a Call Away

AmeriBest’s home care team is here to help you and your loved ones live with dignity. If you or a family member need or want home care assistance and you live in the greater Philadelphia area, reach out to us for more information about our service. You can contact our home care team by phone at 1-800-HOMECARE. You can also contact us by email at info@ameribest.org or online through our convenient contact form.

What You Need To Know About the Delta Variant

What You Need To Know About the Delta Variant

Turn on the nightly news and you are sure to hear mention of the Delta variant of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. AmeriBest Home Care is proud to provide PPE, medical supplies, and ongoing support to our caregivers during this difficult time. We go to great lengths to ensure each of our Philadelphia homecare providers is healthy and perfectly safe to be around. Between disinfecting, social distancing, and testing, AmeriBest has implemented extensive measures to protect our team and our clients. 

Recognize the Threat That Is the Delta Variant

The masses ditched their face masks earlier this summer, declaring the pandemic to be over. Unfortunately, those masks will likely be put back on due to the rise of the Delta variant. There is the potential for COVID-19 to morph into even more variants in the days, weeks, and months ahead. 

Delta is a major problem as it is highly contagious. Delta is more contagious than the common cold. Furthermore, Delta is even more contagious than Ebola, SARS, MERS, and influenza. The latest information indicates Delta is also just as contagious as chickenpox. The variant has become the predominant variant in the United States, meaning it is in the Philadelphia community and also surrounding communities. 

Who Is Feeling Delta’s Wrath the Most?

The unvaccinated are in Delta’s crosshairs. Those who have not yet received the vaccine jab are much more likely to suffer serious illness, be hospitalized, and pass away after contracting the Delta variant than those who are fully vaccinated. Though the vaccinated can transmit the Delta variant, the CDC does not believe the vaccinated can transmit other variants.

Delta Might Cause a Hyperlocal Outbreak

Delta has the potential to accelerate the ongoing pandemic as it is highly transmissible. Those living in dense urban areas where practicing social distancing is challenging and those in areas with minimal vaccination might experience a hyperlocalized outbreak. Such outbreaks are likely to be that much more common in areas with low vaccination rates that are surrounded by areas with comparably high vaccination rates. In other words, such hyperlocal outbreaks might generate some COVID hotspots throughout the United States.

Delta Variant

Delta Continues To Reveal New Information

The puzzle of the Delta variant is still being put together by the brightest minds in the medical industry. Scientists are unsure if Delta causes more significant sickness than the original version of the virus. A study conducted in Scotland states the Delta variant is two times more likely to cause hospitalization in unvaccinated people than the Alpha variant. However, other data shows the variant is unlikely to cause the hospitalization of the unvaccinated. 

The medical community is also continuing to learn more about the symptoms of the Delta variant. It appears as though losing the sense of smell and frequently coughing are not as common of symptoms as occur with the original virus. Data stemming from the United Kingdom, where Delta wreaked havoc, shows that headaches, fever, runny noses, and sore throats are the most common symptoms.

AmeriBest Home Care Philadelphia Is at Your Service

If you or a loved one can benefit from home care in Philadelphia, reach out to us today. Our Philadelphia home care agency provides home and community-based services, home health aides, skilled nursing, physical therapy, and more. You can reach us by dialing 215-925-3313.

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August is National Immunization Awareness Month With the CDC

August is National Immunization Awareness Month With the CDC

The summer is flying by. We are quickly approaching August, meaning the warm temperatures will be around for another month until the fall season gets into gear. August is important in that it is National Immunization Awareness Month. Senior citizens, their caregivers, and other members of the Philadelphia community should be immunized against diseases including the highly contagious coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. However, coronavirus is only one virus you need to be immunized against. The elderly and their caregivers should also be immunized against other diseases with preventative shots.

Sadly, plenty of people have forgotten about these preventative measures or simply ignored them as the pandemic stretched on for well over a year. If you know you are overdue for an immunization shot or if you suspect you might be overdue for such a shot, it is in your interest to meet with your doctor to coordinate immunization, get a physical, and possibly coordinate personalized care.

Vaccines Are Important for Everyone

There is a common belief that vaccination is only important for infants. The truth is immunization through preventive shots is important for individuals of all ages. This means kids, tweens, teens, adults, seniors, and also those who provide care for seniors should be immunized with preventive shots in accordance with the schedule detailed by their personal doctor.

Vaccines Are Important for Everyone

Timely vaccines are important as they play a vitally important role in guarding against serious diseases. Though the vast majority of the diseases that vaccines are available for are unlikely to occur, outbreaks still take place. The bottom line is the experts at the forefront of the medical industry are adamant that vaccines are safe, highly effective, and recommended throughout the course of one’s life. Even if you are a senior citizen living in Philadelphia and received vaccines when you were in your youth or when you were in your early adult years, you can still benefit from vaccines. Meet with your physician to determine which vaccines are ideal for you. Furthermore, anyone who is traveling should also consider whether additional vaccines are necessary. 

Don’t Forget About the Flu Vaccine!

If you are like most people, the coronavirus vaccine is at the forefront of your mind. However, every senior living in or near the greater Philadelphia area should receive the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is typically available toward the end of the summer. Schedule your flu vaccine now and you will rest easy knowing you have done your part to prevent coming down with the flu this fall or winter. 

Reach Out to AmeriBest Today

Home care in Philadelphia should not bust your budget. If you have a loved one, friend, or other important people in your life who could benefit from home care, encourage them to reach out to AmeriBest today to find out more about our unique services. You can reach our Philadelphia home care providers by phone at 215-925-3313. We can also be reached by email at info@ameribest.org.

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COVID-19 Vaccines: What You Need to Know

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When it comes to the subject of COVID-19 vaccines, there are plenty of mistruths, and even some bald-faced lies. If you don’t invest your time learning about the vaccines used to combat the coronavirus, you will end up underinformed or misinformed. It is time to separate fact from fiction.

COVID-19 Vaccines Are Worthy of Your Trust

There is a common misconception that vaccines developed to stop the spread of coronavirus are unsafe as they were rushed. Though the global scientific community certainly ramped up their efforts to develop vaccines as quickly as possible, this does not mean the end results are in any way unsafe. The bottom line is the world’s top scientists did not take shortcuts when developing coronavirus vaccines.

Though this is the first time messenger RNA or MRNA for short, is being used for a vaccine the general public will receive, this strategy has been carefully developed across the prior three decades with patient safety squarely in mind. So don’t believe those who insist the rush to create vaccines makes them inherently unsafe.

Those Who Have Already Contracted the Virus Should Still Take the Vaccine

It is quite possible natural immunity to the virus lasts a couple of weeks, a full month, several months, or even longer. However, our top scientists are unsure as to exactly how long natural immunity lasts. Sadly, it appears as though it is becoming increasingly common for people to contract the virus several times over. Medical experts in Philadelphia and beyond insist even those who have contracted the virus should still receive the vaccine to ensure they are fully protected.

AmeriBest Home Care - COVID-19 Vaccines: What You Need to Know

Masks and Social Distancing Must Continue After Receiving the Vaccine

One of the most pervasive myths about the vaccines being dispersed across the world is their implementation eliminates the need to continue social distancing and mask-wearing. The medical community is adamant that everyone who receives the vaccine should continue wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, washing their hands with regularity, and proceeding with caution.

Receiving the initial vaccine shot does not immediately make someone immune to coronavirus. It takes upwards of an entire week to 10 days for the human body to start developing antibodies. These antibodies gradually increase across the weeks to come, meaning masks and social distancing will be the norm in Philadelphia and elsewhere until herd immunity is achieved through the widespread dispersal of the vaccine.

Comprehensive Expert Reviews Indicate the Vaccines Are Safe

Though the Russian vaccine administered to its populace did not undergo a thorough review to ensure safety and efficacy, the vaccines provided to those in the United States have undergone comprehensive analysis. The experts who have studied these vaccines insist they are completely safe. As an example, nearly 44,000 people enrolled in Pfizer’s clinical vaccine trial. The results of the trial were studied in-depth by medical experts who concluded the Pfizer vaccine is safe.

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AmeriBest Home Care Philadelphia Is Here to Help During This Trying Time

Do you have a family member or friend in the greater Philadelphia area who could benefit from home care assistance? AmeriBest Home Care is available to help your loved one or friend enjoy a dignified and comfortable life. Reach out to AmeriBest Home Care today at (215) 925-3313 to learn more about our services and coordinate home care.

6 Ways Caregivers Can Safely Celebrate this Holiday Season, 2020

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Working closely with elderly and at-risk patients- caregivers this year have to be extremely cautious with their holiday plans.

However, that doesn’t mean that caregivers can’t still celebrate.

Here are 6 safe ways caregivers of the elderly can have fun and enjoy the holiday season this 2020:

1. Shop Online

Instead of fighting through crowds or waiting on extremely long socially-distanced lines, do your holiday shopping on the internet this year. Stores and brands have put almost all their sales online this season, so you won’t be missing out on savings. Not to mention, it’s easier to shop around for the best price when it’s all just on your computer. Write a cute message, send the gift straight to the recipient, and stay safe the all way through.

2. Participate in Mail-in Gift Exchanges

It’s extremely popular nowadays to do gift exchanges amongst friend groups and larger families. Unfortunately, in-person gift exchanges are not highly recommended this year. But, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun. Conduct your gift exchange this holiday season through the mail! Send your gift with a secret message, and see if your recipient can guess if it’s from you! Getting gifts in the mail is always something different and exciting.

3. Do a Drive-By

Close physical visits may not be so safe for your senior. However, appropriately distanced visits can be okay. A cute way to do this is with a drive-by! Stay in your car and drive by your senior’s house slowly. You can bring fun signs, balloons, costumes- be as creative as you want! A drive-by visit is a great way to show you care and make your senior feel a part of the holiday celebrations.

4. Make Your Parties Virtual

You may not be able to host a big holiday bash, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate with a party! Invite your friends and family to a virtual holiday party. Play games, chat, laugh and have a blast in a setting that’s safe for all. Simply be sure to set up the virtual call for your seniors ahead of time, because they may not be able to join the call by themselves.

5. Use Water on Your Envelopes

This tip is more to protect others than yourself. If you’re sending holiday cards, letters, money gifts- don’t lick the envelope closed. Instead, use a soft sponge and a bit of water to wet the envelope seal. Using water instead of saliva will help protect all those who come in contact with your letter. Just be sure not to put too much water on the envelope or it may have trouble staying sealed.

6. Order in a Holiday Dinner

If you’re eating by yourself this year, or you’re eating with others virtually- spice things up with a fancy restaurant dinner. Order your favorite holiday foods and drinks. You can even have the same foods delivered to your senior’s home and enjoy a quaint virtual dinner together.

Contact AmeriBest Home Care to learn more about what we offer. Many people feel good about our services because they make their loved ones happier!

Coronavirus Holiday Safety for Seniors

Coronavirus Holiday Safety for Seniors

With a vaccine nearly here, health officials are still strongly encouraging mask wearing and social distancing. In fact, many states have recently added new safety precautions – including limiting indoor gatherings to 10 people at a time.

This makes holiday planning a little tricky for seniors this year.

But, not to fear! Seniors can still celebrate and partake in all the holiday cheer. They just have to do it smartly and safely.

In this article, we’ve included tips on how to keep your senior safe throughout the holidays, as well as suggestions on how to help your seniors make the most of their celebrations this year.

How to Keep Seniors Safe This Holiday?

As a word to the wise, here are some basic safety precautions to take this holiday season. You may be tired of hearing these tips, but it’s always good to have a reminder every so often. Especially, when it comes to the health and wellbeing of seniors we love. And, make sure your senior is following all CDC health guidelines.

  1. Avoid large parties.
  2. Social distance.
  3. Wear a mask.
  4. Wash hands frequently.
  5. Keep some hand-sanitizer nearby.
  6. Find out the health status of your guests.
  7. Sit 6-feet apart when eating.

How to Make the Most of the Holidays This Year?

Just because there are extra rules and regulations this year, doesn’t mean the holidays are ruined. In fact, you may find that some of these safety precautions actually have some positive impacts on the holidays. 

1. Focus on What Matters

Over the years, the holidays have become so commercialized, that we’ve easily lost sight of what truly matters. The real meaning behind the holidays.

Now, we have a chance and a reason to get away from the huge parties and instead stay home with family. The stricter safety regulations this year have given us a chance to spend quality time with our seniors and the people we truly love.

2. Send Gifts Ahead of Time

Sales have already begun. This means, that you can easily start your holiday gift shopping now.

If you can’t spend the holidays in-person together, sending gifts ahead of time to your senior is a sweet way of showing that you care. You can also make it an activity over the phone, and help your senior send his or her gifts to friends and family.

3. Learn How to Entertain Virtually

If you’ve got a big family, video calls will be your best friend this holiday season. Put your senior on a video call to keep him or her safe, but included. You can unwrap gifts together, watch holiday movies together, sing together, play games together, or even just sit and chat.

Video calls are a wonderful way to spend time with everyone this holiday season, while still being cautious.

4. Send Some Holiday Cards

Phone calls and video calls are nice, but there’s something extra special about a hand-written card. It may sound old-school, but sending a hand-written holiday card or thank you card, will really show your senior how much you care about them and how much you miss them. You may even want to help your senior write out some cards as well! 

Ready to provide caring and capable Home Health to a loved one in the comfort of their very own home? AmeriBest Home Care can help you! Call us today by number: 215-925-3313!