As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip the nation and the world, it’s becoming more and more critical to talk about how we can all help keep our elderly loved ones safe in their homes. Of course, home-bound seniors are safest right where they are (in the home!), which means the responsibility falls on the shoulders of caregivers and visitors to practice optimal caution when providing care. And because home-bound seniors cannot leave their homes, whether because of chronic illness, disease or mobility issues, they are put at the greatest health risk by visitors.
At-home care that follows strict protocols are essential, particularly in times of viral outbreaks. From washing hands correctly to limiting visits, there are steps you can take to lower your loved one’s risk for contracting coronavirus or any other illness.
8 Helpful Things Seniors and Caregivers Can Do
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. View this quick tutorial on how to do it properly.
- Meal prep ahead of time and freeze them.
- Cancel all doctor appointments that are not essential, if they haven’t been cancelled already. Standard check-ups and follow-up appointments for stable conditions or elective procedures can wait.
- Set out bottles of hand sanitizer in high traffic areas just in case your senior can’t make it to the sink to wash. Keep hand sanitizer near the front door so all visitors, including caregivers, can use some before entering.
- Stock up on all the basics, such as detergent, toilet paper, toothpaste, tissues, etc. If online shopping is delayed or unavailable, home care providers can pick up groceries and bring them home.
- Encourage them to get regular exercise and a healthy diet.
- Get up to date on all prescription medications.
- Limit visits of all kinds to ones that are absolutely necessary.
Families: Planning Ahead
As a family member, friend or neighbor of an older adult, you can take certain steps to ensure the senior in your life stays safe.
- If your senior lobed one does not have what they need to spend extended periods of time in the home, help them prepare, gather and store supplies.
- When your senior home care provider cannot make it one day, whether due to illness or personal day, who is the backup? Is there a family member that can help out?
- When a family member is sick, don’t visit. Call them or video chat to check in instead.
Diligence, patience and planning are all needed in order for everyone to safe during this pandemic.