Living in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is a unique, challenging, and at times terrifying time. This is even more true when it comes to caring for seniors and the elderly. Since the beginning of our knowledge of the pandemic, it’s been a commonly known fact that seniors are more likely to contract COVID-19 — and more likely to be sicker when they do contract it. The older someone is, the higher the risk. So, it’s important to take extra precautions when caring for your elderly loved ones during this time.
Care For Yourself
Even if you yourself are younger and in your prime of life, you could be a carrier of COVID-19 without realizing it. If you do not take precautions with your own health, you put not only yourself but your loved one at risk. Make sure to wear a mask when you go shopping, refrain from touching your face, and wash your hands frequently, especially when you are taking care of your loved one — such as providing food for them. The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap for 20 seconds.
Keep Them (Distantly) Social
We’ve all changed the way we socialize in recent months. Many of us have moved from meeting up in person to meeting up on weekly Zoom calls. Social distancing is important, but do not let that become social isolation. Your senior loved one may still say hello to the mailperson when they come by or might enjoy calls with family members whom they don’t see as often. If they are part of a community or group that they met with regularly — such as a club or a faith community — look for options to help them continue to socialize digitally. Loneliness can be difficult for seniors, especially in these uncertain times, so try to keep them social as much as possible.
Help Them Find a Project
We all find it easier to pass the time when we are occupied; it’s the same for seniors. Because many seniors are retired, they often find occupation in their social gatherings. Because those are currently limited, it can be a stressful and frankly boring time for your loved one. Now is a great time to find a project that they might have always wanted to get around to, be it organizing a scrapbook, writing down their recipes, or starting a memoir. This will help pass the time spent at home and make them feel more fulfilled in the midst of social distancing.
Living through a pandemic can be not only stressful, but at times devastating, especially when your loved one’s activities are so limited. You want to make sure that they not only stay physically healthy but that their quality of life doesn’t deteriorate. Need help caring for your elderly loved one? CJ & Associates Care Consulting offers caregiver counseling to help you and your loved one. Contact us today to learn more or to set up an appointment.