Commit to not seeing one another in person.
This is a hard piece of advice, but one that must be followed to the best of all of our abilities. Unless you are providing essential care to your aging loved one, please commit to not seeing them in person during the quarantine. Even the best precautions can fall short and it would be devastating to feel as though you passed on the virus to someone for which you care deeply.
Reinforce social distancing and staying home.
When you do check in with your loved one (by phone or computer), take the opportunity to reinforce the importance of being serious about social distancing and staying home. You may find that they don’t understand the need to do so, or maybe are still going out and about to run their own errands. Be sure to communicate the facts and that your request to follow recommendations comes from a place of love.
Run errands for them.
While you are reinforcing the need for older adults to stay home and social distance, offer to run errands for them, if you are low-risk and able to do so. Try to combine this with your own errands. You can pick up their groceries and other necessities like medications. Doing so eliminates their need to leave the house and reduces risk of exposure.
Remind them often of the CDC’s recommendations.
As the United States learns more about COID-19, the CDC’s recommendations are evolving. Be sure to check in with your aging loved ones to ensure they have received the most up to date information and are following it. Also guide them to where they can go to review these recommendations first-hand, such as online or offer to mail them an article.
Help answer their questions and concerns.
Many people feel anxious during these times because they have questions and concerns that are not being properly addressed. When speaking with a member of our senior population, ask them if there is anything you can help clarify. You might be surprised by what your mom or dad don’t know or don’t understand. Use this as an opportunity to educate them with correct information.
Ensure they have professional help, if needed.
Finally and most importantly, when checking in with your loved one, be sure their essential needs are being met. Ask whether they have what they need to keep up with their personal hygiene, cooking, and cleaning and have the ability to do so without risk of injury. If you find your aging loved one cannot get by on their own, yet still wishes to remain living in their home, hiring a professional caregiver may be a solution. During the COVID-19 pandemic, home care agencies can provide professional caregivers who help seniors with their basic needs while taking every precaution to not spread the virus. This allows families to safely social distance while not worrying about the care of their aging relatives.
From our family at Ella Home Care, we hope you stay well and stay home during this time. Though this is among the hardest circumstances our world has ever faced, we thank you for doing your part to help keep everyone – including our loved senior population – safe and healthy.