Caring for the Elderly During Lockdown
At the onset of this global pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) and medical experts have announced that the elderly and those with existing health issues are more susceptible to the novel coronavirus.
How does one take better care of an older person under their wings during this season?
Taking Care of the Elderly in This Season of Quarantine and Isolation
Take care of yourself.
Perhaps the best way to care for your loved ones is to make sure that you are healthy and safe, especially if you’re the one with the main responsibility of caring for them.
Observe proper hygiene. Wash your hands and sanitize with hand sanitizer — preferably with 70% alcohol content — as often as you can. Never touch your face with unclean or unsanitized hands.
Avoid crowded places and practice social distancing wherever you go. Don’t forget to protect yourself as well with masks, gloves, and face shields whenever interaction with people is unavoidable.
Taking the necessary precautions will help you avoid infection and prevent you from spreading the disease to your loved ones.
Practice social distancing but do not keep them isolated from human interaction.
Observing social distancing does not necessarily mean getting cut off from all forms of interaction. If your loved one is living with you at home, make sure to always check on them in their room or their favorite chair in the house from time to time.
If they are under assisted living in a nursing or retirement home in places like Ogden, coordinate with the staff for visitation policies. While it is recommended that in-person visits be limited for the elderly, you don’t have to completely restrict visitors.
In lieu of a face-to-face meeting, you can encourage members of the family and some of their friends to give them calls over the phone or video calls using their handheld devices.
Older people cherish all the time spent with friends and family. It helps them deal with loneliness especially if they’re living in a senior citizens’ facility.
Check on healthcare protocols in retirement and nursing homes.
Speaking of retirement facilities, one of the main concerns most folks have is if the facility is observing the proper health protocols. Understandably, they don’t want to put their loved ones’ health at risk.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has ordered for assisted living and other similar senior citizens’ facilities to strictly comply with the proper observance of COVID-19 protocols. These include restricting or limiting visits, regularly checking workers and residents for any type of fever or symptom, and limiting the residents’ activities within the compound for their safety.
You may also reach out to the staff to see how else you can help them. They might be in need of some PPEs or medication. Perhaps you can get a donation drive started for the facility. You and the community can work together to gather equipment, medication, and food supplies for them.
Give them something to do.
To avoid loneliness and to help keep their minds and bodies sharp, give them activities they can do or encourage them to take up a hobby or two aside from lounging and staying glued to the TV.
It is found that elders who have things to do are more content and happier in life than those who don’t. Maybe you can help them go through some old photos and organize them into new photo albums. Listen to their stories and enjoy all the happy memories they share. Perhaps they can share some secret recipes and cook for you or you can exercise with them in the garden.
Make the necessary arrangements for their medical appointments.
Unless you are a healthcare worker or an essential employee, the government discourages anyone from going out unless absolutely necessary. While the senior citizen’s health is one that we should be mindful of, anything that’s not life-threatening is considered non-essential at this time.
If the older person you’re taking care of is healthy and well, consider postponing regular check-ups and unnecessary doctor visits. You can probably set something up with their doctors and healthcare givers over the phone or online. This way, they can still get their fix and prevent themselves from getting infected by the virus.
Taking care of an elder is a great responsibility. This season is not making it any easier but their health is paramount. You should do whatever it takes to ensure they stay healthy and safe throughout this whole ordeal.
Infographic provided by TargetLeads, a Medicare lead mailing company