If you’re like most people, then you’re probably worried about the health and safety of your older family members right now. Although anyone can get COVID-19, we have seen that the people who are the most likely to experience severe complications and die from the virus are the elderly. The virus has had a major impact on families globally and will continue to do so until it is under control.
While staying distanced from elderly family members is one of the best ways to reduce their risk of catching COVID-19, you might be wondering how you can care for them safely. Some seniors struggle with technology and mobility, making it hard for them to stay safe, connected, and stocked up on essential supplies while avoiding public spaces.
Here are some tips for taking care of your family while minimizing risk.
Concierge Healthcare Could Provide Quality, Personalized Care
If the idea of your elderly relative going to a large hospital for care scares you right now, you’re definitely not alone. Many people are turning to alternatives for their parents and grandparents in an effort to keep them out of healthcare facilities battling COVID-19. If you’re worried about the risks of your elderly family members seeing their doctor during the pandemic, then you might want to consider a switch to concierge healthcare.
Concierge healthcare can be the perfect solution for some families. Seniors typically need more health monitoring and routine care than younger people, meaning that they need more personalized preventative care. Concierge care is subscription-based, and many appointments can take place virtually, cutting down on risks and improving the overall quality and convenience of care.
Try to Keep Things As Normal As Possible
Elderly people need to be protected from COVID-19, but you should try to keep things as normal as possible. Quality of life matters, and it’s important to remember that your elderly family members have both physical and mental needs. They deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, even if their cognition is impaired.
Think about how their daily life may have been impacted by COVID-19. Are there ways you can help that will help to make their lives better or easier? Can you have groceries delivered? Teach them to use technology more effectively? Keeping things as normal as possible may mean finding safe substitutes for pre-pandemic routines and activities.
Remember to Take Time for Self-Care
If you are caregiving for one or more seniors, it’s important to remember how that can affect your well-being. Caregiving can be extremely stressful and lead to burnout, whether you’re caring for people in a professional capacity or simply taking care of an aging family member.
Make sure to carve out time for yourself and practice self-care. Giving yourself the opportunity to recharge, to care for your own health, and to have some fun is key for maintaining your personal well-being so you can be a more effective caregiver. Your needs matter too!
Technology & Apps Can Be Your Best Friend
If you’re looking out for an elderly relative during the COVID-19 pandemic, remember that isolation can cause lots of issues for seniors. Many older Americans don’t know how to use technology to connect with family members and their larger community, which can lead to loneliness, depression, and mental health disorders during the quarantine.
You can help by patiently teaching your older family members how to use technology like video chat to connect with their friends, church, and community. You can also use technology to check in regularly with your elderly relatives so they don’t feel so alone. Technology and apps can be your best friend in helping to ensure that your senior family members can safely socialize and feel connected.
Study Proper Medication Safety
For some seniors, even something as simple as safely keeping up with their medication schedule can be challenging. If your elderly relative has cognition issues or has trouble taking their pills as directed, it’s important to do your research on medication safety. Get familiar with your relative’s medications, schedule, dosage, and potential side effects. It’s also important to be in contact with their healthcare provider to ensure that you’re prepared for any scenario.
The world is scary right now and it can be difficult to care for someone in an at-risk group. Right now, it might seem like things will never get better, but it’s important to stay positive and to realize that life will eventually start to feel more normal once again. Hang in there and remember to cherish any quality time you can get with your elderly family members!