All age groups can contract coronavirus. However, it’s more dangerous for the elderly due to their weakened immune systems and higher risk of conditions like heart disease, diabetes, renal failure, and cancer. Below are some precautions family caregivers can take to reduce their senior loved ones’ risk of coronavirus.
1. Limit Daily Interactions
Many nursing homes are seeing an increased spread of coronavirus among senior residents, in part due to the presence of part-time staffers. These individuals often work in different medical facilities and have a higher risk of coming into contact with the virus. Part-time employees may be asymptomatic and unknowingly spread the virus to other staff and seniors. By keeping your loved one at home, you can limit unnecessary contacts so he or she only interacts with you, your spouse, your children, and a professional caregiver, if you choose to hire one.
2. Disinfect Household Surfaces
Commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, kitchen counters, bathroom fixtures, smartphones, and keyboards should be cleaned frequently throughout the day. Clean these items regularly to lower your loved one’s risk of touching an infected surface or contaminated product and spreading the virus to his or her face.
3. Practice Separation
Some seniors in nursing homes have private bathrooms, but many share rooms with other residents and have to use the same toilets, showers, and bathtubs. This is one of the most highly contagious places because it’s where people wash their hands, take baths, brush their teeth, and complete other tasks that involve removing germs and bacteria. If these areas aren’t thoroughly cleaned after each use, the virus could spread quickly from person to person. In-home care allows families to designate bathrooms in the house. If possible, your loved one should have a private bathroom that’s separate from the rest of the family. This may not be possible at a nursing home, where residents share the same living spaces.
An in-home caregiver can help your loved one with a variety of tasks, including minor housekeeping duties. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly home care. Conway families can rely on Home Care Assistance 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. Change Medication Options & Doctor Visits
Seniors should stop picking up medications from their local pharmacies and choose home delivery methods instead. If your loved one’s medicines cannot be sent via mail, make the trip to the local pharmacy yourself, and use the drive-thru service if it’s available. In addition, postpone all your parent’s doctor visits for a couple of months, and consider using telehealth services. Call your loved one’s doctor and insurance provider to see if telemedicine is an option. Using these services prevents unnecessary contacts and can lower your parent’s odds of contracting coronavirus.
A home caregiver can run errands, including picking up prescriptions. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
5. Interact Safely
Visitations have been stopped in most nursing homes to protect the elderly due to their vulnerability to severe disease. At home, your loved one has more flexibility when it comes to social interactions. During mealtimes and when taking up activities, promote social distancing. For instance, your loved one can interact with your children as long as they remain six feet apart, wash their hands regularly, and only cough or sneeze into tissues or their elbows. If anyone is sick, that person should self-quarantine and avoid interacting with your loved one.
Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Hot Springs, AR, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. 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 at (501) 764-1312 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality home care services.
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 Home Care Assistance, 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 Home Care Assistance helps protect clients, click here: https://homecareassistancearkansas.com/covid-19-home-care/.