COVID-19 is a pandemic unlike anything we’ve ever experienced here in the United States. And while everyone is at risk for catching this illness, our seniors are the most susceptible. In order to keep your senior loved ones safe, it’s so important to follow the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines. If your mother, father, or grandparent has limited access to a computer or TV, teach them best practices for staying safe as well.
Keeping Seniors Healthy and Safe
Older adults, and especially those with an underlying illness, are at the highest risk for developing complications from COVID-19, should they catch it.
- Encourage them to stay home as much as possible. The best way to avoid this disease is to stay away from others. While we know this can be difficult, the best thing everyone can do is stay home as often as possible. When your loved one needs essentials, like medication or groceries, try to pick up whatever you can for them, or ask an aid to grab them.
- Tell them to wear a face mask whenever in public. Wearing a face mask drastically limits a person’s likelihood of spreading or getting the virus, meaning it’s important that everyone wear one, even when they feel healthy. If your older loved one doesn’t have access to a mask, offer to drop one off for them.
- Wash your hands often. Everyone, but especially older men and women, should be washing their hands several times a day — after using the bathroom, before eating, and after coming in from outside.
- Clean and disinfect your home regularly. Even if your loved one has been limiting their outside exposure or not letting others inside, it’s important that their house be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
When talking about a pandemic of this magnitude, physical health has to be everyone’s highest priority. However, that doesn’t mean we can forget about mental health.
- Keep in touch with others. Seniors are already prone to loneliness because they often don’t have cars, cell phones, or the physical ability to get around. But now, more than ever, loneliness is affecting older people at an alarming rate. Even though you can’t be with your loved one right now, encourage them to keep in touch with people by calling them often or teaching them how to use phones with video call.
- Get out for socially-distant walks. As we mentioned above, it’s so important to stay home as much as possible. However, staying confined to your home for months on end can have serious, negative effects on a person’s mental health. Every few days, try to get your loved one out for a short walk down the block for fresh air and exercise. We suggest going during times of the day when there’s the fewest number of people out, like around 9 am, when many people are starting their work day.
- Limit your exposure to news outlets. Staying informed and up-to-date is so important during times like these, as new updates are coming out regularly. However, spending all day, every day watching the news or reading about the virus can cause you to feel stressed and overwhelmed.
- Maintain a regular routine. COVID-19 has affected nearly everyone’s day-to-day life, however older adults have been some of the most affected. With activities cancelled and guests unable to visit, it’s important they try to keep as much of their routine as possible.
At Homewatch CareGivers, we were founded on the idea that individuals should receive kind, compassionate, and qualified care tailored to their unique needs and in their preferred surroundings. Because of that, we train our professionals not just on high-quality care but on interpersonal relationships as well.Contact us today to learn more.