6 Ways Family Caregivers Can Address COVID-19 Threat for Aging Parents

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Coronavirus is spreading quickly around the world, infecting people of all ages, including seniors. The elderly are at higher risk for severe disease and death when it comes to contracting the virus. Currently, there aren’t any therapies or vaccines to treat or prevent coronavirus. However, there are steps family caregivers can take to lower the risk of the disease for both themselves and their aging loved ones, including those mentioned below.

1. Stay Informed

The World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, government agencies, and many medical facilities and scientists provide information you can use to keep your loved one safe during the pandemic. By staying informed about the latest updates, you can make changes to your daily routine and your loved one’s care plan to reduce the risk of coronavirus.

2. Wash Hands Thoroughly

Many seniors have arthritis or various age-related conditions that affect their mobility. As a result, they have difficulty washing their hands as frequently as they should. Washing the hands is necessary to get rid of any germs or bacteria seniors pick up when touching objects, such as remote controls, doorknobs, and sinks. An advantage of home care is that a caregiver can help your loved one wash his or her hands more often, compared to assisted living facilities that may be understaffed and don’t have the luxury of giving residents private caregivers.

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 home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

3. Encourage Physical Activity

Seniors are at higher risk for severe infection due to their weakened immune systems. However, exercising can strengthen immune health and help the body fight off the virus. Nursing homes are finding ways to keep residents active, but seniors are confined to their rooms for the majority of the day, and going outside is off limits for most residents. With in-home care, your parent can continue to do outdoor exercises in the backyard, as long as he or she practices social distancing with other members of the household.

If your loved one needs help following healthy habits that can boost his or her immune system, a home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly care. You 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. Stay Away from People Who Are Sick

Your loved one needs to stay away from sick people, which is easier to do when living at home instead of in an assisted living facility. For example, there may be four people in your home, and everyone can have their own designated areas. However, at a nursing home, medical staff and visitors come in and out of the building daily, making it difficult to monitor who is ill and who isn’t, especially since many people don’t show symptoms of the virus.

5. Wear Protective Gear

If you run to the grocery store or local pharmacy for food, prescriptions, and other household items, always wear protective gear, even when using the drive-thru or pickup options. Covering your face with a mask and your eyes with safety glasses could prevent droplets from entering your mouth, nose, and eyes, which is how scientists and medical professionals believe the virus is spreading. By wearing protective gear, you can reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus and spreading it to your parent.

6. Reschedule Medical Appointments

By postponing appointments, your loved one can avoid high-risk medical areas and lower the odds of contracting coronavirus. Aging adults living in nursing homes are in contact with doctors, nurses, and staff who may travel between assisted living facilities and hospitals frequently, but receiving in-home care allows your loved one to avoid these interactions. 

Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Richardson, TX, 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. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (469) 573-4213 to learn more about our reliable in-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://www.homecareassistancerichardson.com/covid-19-home-care/.

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