At the same time as some states are easing stay-at-home orders after four months, other states are locking back down due to spikes in COVID-19. This raises many questions about whether it’s OK to visit older relatives after keeping them at arm’s length since March. Public health officials warn people to remain vigilant and be as careful as possible when going out to visit others. You may be asking yourself: is it safe to visit grandma and grandpa?
While home care service providers have been making big strides all along to ensure the safest level of care for your loved one, you are likely concerned about bringing your own germs into the home of your elderly or immune compromised parent. Senior home care is doing the best it can to take care of your parents, but what can you do to get back to normal?
Balancing the Risks
It will likely take a good balance of risks. Keep in mind, seniors who contract COVID-19 have a greater chance of developing dangerous health complications. But even if you feel healthy, it’s also important to remember that you could carry the virus and transmit it to others. On the other side of the coin, isolation also has serious ramifications.
About 24 percent of adults 65 and older living independently were already suffering from loneliness and isolation BEFORE the pandemic even hit, says a report on AARP. Those numbers have skyrocketed – for all ages. The U.S. already suffered from a crisis of loneliness, and the pandemic exacerbated the problem exponentially.
Impacts of Social Isolation
We’ve always known social isolation to have a huge impact on emotional well-being. But it’s actually also connected to higher risks of dementia, stroke, heart disease and even premature death. Those who are able to maintain strong social bonds generally go on to lead longer, happier, healthier lives.
During the pandemic shut down, technology stepped in to help people keep in touch when in-person visits wouldn’t allow it. But it’s just not the same as interacting in person and giving a loved one a hug. FaceTime and Zoom meetings won’t help your elderly parent who relies on family members to stock the kitchen with food, water the lawn or take out the garbage.
As we venture out for visits, experts agree we should try to limit contact with our senior and immune compromised loved ones. If you’re feeling well and have been taking the necessary precautions, it’s OK to get back to a real-life connection.
Tips for Re-Establishing a Connection
- Be quick: The longer period of time you’re together, the greater your chance of passing the virus. Prolonged exposure is anything more than about 15 to 20 minutes. Want to stay longer? Keep your distance and wear a mask.
- Wear protective gear: Wear a face mask for the duration of your visit. If you will be handling their groceries or other items, be sure to wear gloves.
- Stay outside if possible: Since transmission is less likely to happen outdoors, it’s important to maintain at least six feet of distance. If you must go inside to fix something, reach an item on a high shelf, or change a light bulb, you should take off your shoes, wear a mask and wash your hands.
- Prepare children, or leave them behind: Your kids should understand that they can’t go inside, sit on Grandpa’s lap and give him a hug. Too young to understand why? Leave them at home and plan a visit for another time.
Contact Divine Home Care Services
We can put your mind at ease with our proven home care service, which puts your loved ones’ health and safety at the forefront. To learn more, please contact us in Hillsboro TX at 855-934-8463.