What can you do when you or your loved one are stuck at home during an outbreak?
How will you manage personal care or picking up groceries? How will you manage the feelings of isolation and anxiety?
Many of us feel anxious and fearful about COVID-19. If you have an elderly or at-risk loved one, we can inform you about how professional caregivers support elders and what YOU can do to slow the spread of infection.
3 Ways Caregivers Keep Elders Safe and Comforted at Home
One of the recommendations to limit the spread of COVID-19 is physical distancing. Practice physical distancing by avoiding public places and traveling. Stay at home except when absolutely necessary to access essential goods and services, such as food, gas, and medications.
We know for a fact that staying at home reduces your chance of catching or spreading coronavirus. Your loved one may find physical distancing especially difficult and isolating. That’s why having a professional caregiver helps you achieve these 3 vital goals:
- Make It Easier to Stay at Home
The safest place for even relatively healthy elders is often in their own homes. In-home caregivers ensure their clients’ needs are met.
For example, a home caregiver can help clients stock up on supplies or assist with a shopping trip. Caregivers can make sure the house is stocked with necessary over-the-counter medicines and supplies to treat fever and other virus or cold symptoms. Home caregivers also can prepare healthy meals.
- Provide Company
Elders who live alone are already at risk for isolation and loneliness. Your loved one may feel anxious and disconnected from others during this uncertain time. If you can’t visit, a home caregiver can help your loved one get in touch—and stay in touch—with family and friends.
A caregiver can assist with a hobby, help with at-home exercises, or set up ways to communicate with loved ones, such as writing letters, phoning, or using video calls.
- Protect and Reassure Your Loved One
Home Care Assistance caregivers are trained in recognizing the warning signs of illness. They’re also taught how to prevent the spread of illness.
A caregiver can assist your loved one with:
- Identifying and reporting symptoms
- Remembering to regularly wash hands
- Reminding him or her to cover a cough or sneeze
- Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces effectively
- Monitoring medications
Being alone during a time of uncertainty can lead to fear and anxiety. Your loved one needs to know that support is available. As a family caregiver, you’re doing your best to meet the needs of those who depend on you while following safety recommendations.
Consider home care a good fit for keeping your elderly loved one safe while he or she stays at home.
What Is COVID-19 and What Are the Symptoms?
COVID-19 is an illness caused by an unusual type of coronavirus germ, first identified in December 2019, in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
If you or a loved one is infected with the coronavirus, you might notice symptoms such as:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
The people most likely to develop serious symptoms are older adults (whose immune systems aren’t as robust as younger people’s immune systems) and people with compromised immune systems or respiratory systems.
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
COVID-19 spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets can travel about 6 feet through the air and are spread through:
- Loud talking
- Blowing your nose
- Touching your mouth, nose, or eyes after touching a contaminated surface
How to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
The most reliable way to prevent getting sick is to not be exposed to the virus.
You CAN reduce your risk of exposure or spreading the virus by reducing your contact with other people.
- Remain at home and avoid contact with other people
- Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people
- Avoid traveling, shopping, and social visits if possible
- Use a drive-thru, takeout, or delivery instead of eating at restaurants
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that people touch or use often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Maintain extra physical space (at least 6 feet) between yourself and other people if you must go out
If you feel ill:
- Stay at home
- Call your medical provider
- Postpone visits to residents of nursing facilities, retirement communities, and assisted-living buildings
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough and immediately throw out the tissue
- Wear a face mask when around other people