How To Assist The Elderly Through The Coronavirus Pandemic

People are encouraged globally to stay home in order to contain spreading of the coronavirus. This is especially true for older adults who are at a more significant risk, especially if they have pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, etc. In this post, we offer insight on how to assist older adults in the community during the coronavirus pandemic. 

1. Stay Connected

Not every older person knows or wants to stay connected via digital media. For some, it is a challenge. They might not have the appropriate equipment, or they may have visual, hearing, or cognitive difficulties or impairments. According to Blue Angels Hearing, older adults with untreated hearing loss avoid or withdraw from social situations (those who do not wear hearing aids). Technology does not always prove to be useful for them and can only add to their challenges. Therefore,it is necessary to phone them regularly and send them letters or drawings that their grandchildren made for them. You can also wave and speak to them through the window. 

2. Help Out By Buying Groceries And Running Errands

Family members can offer to run some errands and buy groceries. You can also ask the neighbors in the vicinity for some assistance with them. Many religious or community groups offer food deliveries to those who are unable to leave their homes. Some stores also delivery grocery orders which you can place telephonically, or they have specific senior hours, for elderly adults to do shopping and limit social interaction. 

3. Empower Older Family Members To Stay Home

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Explain to them the best methods of preventing spread of the virus, for instance, practicing social distancing from one another. You can also look into home care services from health partners. This way, you can have self-assurance that your loved one is taken care of. Empower them by explaining the coronavirus to them and why it is best to stay indoors. Discourage them from venturing out unless it is absolutely necessary. 

4. Establishing A Routine

It is useful for individuals of all ages to stick to a routine and think of methods to engage physically and mentally. Start exercising at home by walking around the house and doing gentle stretches. If your family member has frequently scheduled doctor’s appointments, speak to the doctor’s office in advance. Some doctors will convert to video or telephone visits to help protect patients that are at increased risk of exposure.

5. Households Which Are Multi-Generational

Some people have household members from different generations which makes distancing tricky. All family members must minimize social contact, this includes children. Here are some helpful tips on how to do this:

  • All household members must wash their hands diligently with warm water and soap for twenty seconds as well as disinfecting high-touch areas a few times daily.
  • Since evidence exists that asymptomatic people can spread the virus, it can help if everyone in the house wears a mask to reduce the risk. 
  • Such families can also practice physical distancing in the home, keeping six feet away from elderly members. This is especially useful for homes with young children who are not as vigilant about implementing infection prevention measures.

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