The outbreak of COVID-19 is making everyone feel at least a little bit anxious. But this virus, now a pandemic, is both widespread and highly contagious. Seniors are at the highest risk of catching the virus and developing severe complications from it.
However, there’s a lot you can do to protect seniors who are staying at home during this difficult time. You can play a big part in keeping your loved ones safe while still giving them a sense of independence.
Be Proactive about Anticipated Needs
Everyone knows that most seniors want to be as independent as possible—just like the rest of us do. The challenge comes in when they face physical limitations or mental status concerns that require them to get a little help. Skilled home care professionals can conduct safety assessments to identify and address risks within the home—things like taking note of any burned-out lightbulbs, broken appliances, or fire hazards. Assisted Caregivers can help identify potential safety hazards before an accident occurs.
Develop a Care Plan
It would be nice if we could put our loved ones in a bubble to protect them from the virus. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, the worst can still happen. That’s why it’s important to develop an easily accessible care plan should they need to call the doctor or Assisted Care Team.
Help them to gather up all their important documents, including insurance or Medicare cards, the names and contact information for their doctors, a list of any medications they currently take, and names and contact information for immediate family. Be sure to keep this information stored together in a clearly labeled file folder somewhere near the telephone or on a noticeable part of the kitchen counter.
Explain the Virus Risks – and How to Prevent It
There’s no need to go into scary details about the virus, but it is important that seniors know that it’s a threat and it can be serious. Things to stress include the following issues:
- The importance of minimizing outings
- Washing hands thoroughly after going out
- Wearing a mask while in public
- Knowing the signs of the illness, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing
- Limiting visitors and guests
Isolation is a very real factor, especially for seniors. Many seniors already suffer from loneliness and can feel desperate to see others, particularly during a long time when they’re expected to stay indoors.
Encourage them to make regular phone calls to family, friends, and neighbors. If they have technology that allows it, show them how to have a video chat with loved ones. Assisted Caregivers can also provide precious social interaction and help your loved one feel connected.
With a little bit of caution and luck, we can help seniors get through this challenging pandemic and to remain safe and healthy. To learn more about how Assisted’s team of caring and compassionate professionals can help your family, visit www.AssistedCares.com.