The introduction of social distancing measures have changed many people’s lives significantly. From not being able to see loved ones to spending large amounts of time at home, most people are having to make significant adjustments to how they live. For older adults, this may be even more pronounced. The CDC has confirmed that older adults (those 65 and over) are at higher risk and need to take extra precautions to ‘shield’ from transmission risk.
Already prone to isolation, many older people may find social distancing even more of a struggle. Thankfully there are some ways that we can help your loved one stay safe while also helping them through the more challenging effects of self-distancing.
1. Ensure Access to Nutritious Meals
Reduced ability to visit shops and supermarkets can put seniors at risk of dietary issues. Ensuring your loved one has access to regular supplies of fresh groceries and in some cases someone to cook nutritious, balanced meals for them, can help them maintain a stronger immune system and greater resilience to infection.
2. Keep Them Connected
For many seniors, regular contact with friends and family plays an important role in their wellbeing. Luckily, these days there are a plethora of devices to help. Skype, WhatsApp, Facetime and some social media can help people maintain communication. Teaching and encouraging them to use these apps can help them stay connected to the outside world. If all else fails, a simple old phone call works great too.
3. Reevaluate Any Care Plans
A care plan is a plan setting out how best an older person in need of support is cared for. From who they see, to medication to bathing and cooking are taken care of. Covid-19 will probably mean this plan of care will require adjusting. Be sure to discuss this with your loved one, their physician and their case manager or nurse who can help look over the changes that may be necessary. These might include:
- Regular temperature checks
- Advance planning in case of hospital admission escalation
- Easy access to key information for healthcare professionals in an emergency situation
- Extra support for seniors who may wander due to cognitive impairment.
4. Stay Aware of Stress Levels
The Covid-19 pandemic can be stressful for all people, including seniors, many of whom may already be suffering with health issues. Taking time away from news, baths, doing puzzles or crosswords and getting good sleep can all help to reduce the stress levels of older people.
5. Stay Vigilant for Changes
It’s been suggested that seniors show the virus differently than other age groups. They may appear a little ‘off’ or seem unusually quiet or be sleeping more. They may stop eating or appear confused or dizzy and generally seem ‘not like themselves’.It can be helpful to do an extra check on all of these things with them. Just to be certain they’re not presenting early symptoms of Coronavirus.
Qualified in-home nurses can help assist in monitoring your loved one for symptoms and let you know if anything changes.
Luxe homecare staff closely follow CDC recommendations reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
For more information on how we can help your loved one, contact the team at Luxe Homecare today at (424)376-3003.