Immune changes and other health conditions are often to blame when it comes to severe coronavirus infections among older adults. Many seniors are living with underlying conditions like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, which makes it difficult to fight off the respiratory virus. Below are steps family caregivers can take to reduce coronavirus risk in their elderly loved ones.
1. Encourage Frequent Handwashing
Keeping the germ from spreading is one of the keys to preventing the virus. Remind your loved one to wash his or her hands each time he or she touches a surface in the home, such as a doorknob, counter, or handrail. Your loved one must wash his or her hands before touching his or her face, especially the nose, eyes, and mouth. If your parent is living with you, as opposed to staying in a nursing home, you can monitor how frequently your loved one washes his or her hands. Many retirement facilities around the world are understaffed, and the employees often don’t have the time to observe every action of their residents.
2. Keep Them Inside
Leaving the house can put your loved one at risk of coronavirus, but there are ways to keep him or her inside safely while ensuring he or she gets necessary supplies. You can have prescriptions mailed to the house and use grocery delivery services. When it comes to activities, you can also order games and puzzles for your loved one. Your parent can sit on the back porch for fresh air, as long as he or she practices social distancing with other household members. This type of freedom is unlikely in assisted living due to the current pandemic.
To keep your loved one from having to go out, a home caregiver can run errands for him or her, including shopping for groceries and picking up prescriptions. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Align Home Care, a leading provider of at-home care. Align Home Care provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
3. Limit Visitors
A majority of retirement homes have stopped visits from family and friends of seniors. However, the buildings are still open to medical staff, delivery employees, kitchen crew members, advisors, and other essential workers. These individuals could have the virus but show no symptoms, putting older adults at risk. By receiving home care, your loved one can limit the number of visitors that come into the house and reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly home care. Portland families can rely on Align Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
4. Keep Them Busy
Most adults in nursing homes are being confined to their rooms for safety precautions. However, with home care, your loved one can do laundry, cook dinner, watch television, play brain games, and work in the garden to take his or her mind off the news about coronavirus. Staying busy can reduce stress and lower the risk of a stroke, heart attack, and other issues that require medical assistance. Keep in mind that visiting an emergency room during the pandemic could increase the risk of exposure, but staying busy with positive activities can help your loved one manage stress and stave off these health conditions.
5. Develop a Contingency Plan
It’s difficult to separate residents in a nursing home, especially if the facility is at full capacity. At your home, you can designate areas for those who are sick and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Don’t wait until someone is ill to develop a contingency plan. Creating a strategy early on allows for practice drills that can lead to necessary changes.
Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Portland, ME, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Align Home Care. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. Call us today at (207) 835-3490 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.
With information surrounding coronavirus/COVID-19 changing by the hour, it’s challenging to stay updated on the most recent best practices for keeping seniors safe at home. At Align Home Care, we understand how critical it is for seniors and their caregivers to protect against coronavirus as much as possible. All our team members have received detailed communication on infection control protocols, including effective cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and hands. Our caregivers can pick up medications, groceries, and anything else a senior needs, minimizing their interaction with large groups of people. For more information on how Align Home Care helps protect clients, click here: https://alignhomecareservices.com/covid-19-home-care/.