5 Ways to Provide Virus-Related Care with Precautions to Seniors
Being a family caregiver to a senior loved one is not an easy job – and with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s natural to feel anxious. Here are some easy, effective precautions and tips to help you keep your loved one safe from the virus while taking care of them, from our specialists on at home care for the older adults.
- Create a caregiving team – Select a few people in your family and friend network who are willing and able to help you out. COVID-19 has changed our daily lives and this can put a lot of additional pressure on caregivers. Get volunteers for different tasks: collecting groceries, providing companionship, cooking meals, phoning and checking in with your loved one, and so on. It is also a good idea to look at high-quality local in-home care agencies, as they can provide safe full-time or hourly services, including nursing.
- Go online – Online services are more essential than ever before, and many can be a great help to seniors and caregivers who want to limit potential contact with COVID-19. Look for local providers who can deliver meals, groceries and medication, and who follow strict physical distancing and hygiene protocols. Ask your loved one’s doctor about telehealth services you can use to manage everyday medical issues, and have an emergency plan in place in case your loved one falls or becomes ill.
- Get extra supplies – Staying home is an important part of reducing infection risks, so make it as easy as possible to avoid going out. Stockpile a two to four week supply of food, water, medical supplies/medication, and house cleaning supplies.
- Have a plan – Using your network, put a plan in place for following good hygiene and physical distancing when visiting your loved one or providing caregiving. This includes monitoring your own health and that of your household.
Washing hands thoroughly upon arrival and before/after caregiving, sanitizing anything you bring into the home, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces like countertops, walkers, phones and door handles also promote infection control. You should also have a backup plan in place should you, as the main caregiver, fall ill or are unable to continue caregiving.
- Stay in touch – While practicing physical distancing and restricted by lockdowns, older adults are especially vulnerable to isolation, including falls in the home, depression and anxiety. Encourage friends and family members to stay in touch via free video conferencing apps like Zoom, Facetime or Skype, and to check in regularly by phone to make sure they are doing alright. These apps can be accessed on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop, and don’t have high tech requirements, so they’ll run well on almost any spare device you can find.
You can also help your loved one stay entertained by accessing free virtual tours of the world’s greatest museums and galleries (including the Smithsonian!), a free trial of audiobooks, or even free online courses for more independent seniors. If your loved one isn’t too tech-savvy, you can use remote access software to access their computer and help set this all up for them.
High-Quality In-Home Care for Older Adults Through COVID-19 and Beyond (H2)
United Methodist Communities’ HomeWorks program incorporates all the best practices for providing senior care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Our experienced and well-trained caregivers follow long-established infection prevention protocols and practices when assisting older adults in our care. HomeWorks’ services ensure their access to the essential care and companionship they need, while doing everything we can to mitigate the risk of infection.
As one of the leading home health aide agencies in New Jersey, we’re part of the community, and as front-line healthcare workers, we’ll keep on supporting and assisting seniors with all care needs during this time.
To find out more about getting senior home health care services for your loved one, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/Home-Care-Services-For-Seniors