Caring for the Elderly

Caring for the Elderly

First and most important, as a caretaker you should take all the precautions you can to avoid becoming infected yourself.

  • Limit in-person visits.

One important way to lower the risk of your older family members catching COVID-19 is to limit in-person visits. But this may be tough for older adults who cherish time spent with friends and family members.

  • Keep elders involved

It is recommended to give homebound older adults a project they can work on. Think about going through and organizing old photos and memorabilia together and enjoy the stories and happy memories they inspire. It can be a good time for an elder to demonstrate cooking a favorite family recipe or share favorite songs or movies with other people in the household. To help older adults feel involved, purposeful and less lonely during the pandemic:

  • Show them how to video chat with others using smartphones, laptops or tablets.
  • Use apps on these devices to provide captions for adults with hearing challenges.
  • Encourage friends and family outside of your household to telephone, write notes or send cards to lift your loved one’s spirits.
  • Postpone Unnecessary Doctor Visits

If an older adult in your care is feeling well, consider helping them postpone elective procedures, annual checkups and other non-essential doctor visits.

Keep in mind that many older people, especially those living with chronic illness, have important relationships with their caregivers. To help them stay in touch, ask their doctors’ offices if they offer telemedicine, which enables doctors and patients to communicate over video, email or other means rather than face-to-face.

  • Avoid Travel

Older adults should put off non-essential travel, particularly cruises or trips with itineraries that would expose them to crowds.

  • Pick an emergency contact.

If you’re the main caregiver, designate someone nearby whom you could rely on to care for your elderly family member if you become ill.

  • Stock up.
  • Gather one to three months of medications, and at least two weeks’ worth of food, over-the-counter remedies, pet supplies, and other essentials. Find out which delivery services are available in your area.