COVID-19 has ravaged every community, as government, healthcare, and CDC officials work to curb cases. However, numerous individuals are at higher risk for contraction, from chronically ill people to senior citizens. Elder communities, in particular, have struggled to combat coronavirus as death rates skyrocket and prolonged complications strike. Seniors citizens have higher hospitalization rates and are more likely to end up with a ventilator than their younger, healthier counterparts.
Because of the global pandemic’s health risks, many seniors find it difficult to navigate an isolated world and adapt to quarantine living. Stay-at-home orders have minimized face-to-face contact, tearing elderly folk’s social lives to shreds—especially those who struggle with technology. Additionally, going out poses a health threat, causing many seniors to stay home for prolonged periods, affecting physical and mental health alike.
If you’re looking to help your loved one adapt, read on for a few ways you can support your elderly loved one through these unprecedented times.
Call in a caregiver
If you’re unable to care for your elderly loved one and are looking for assistance, call in expert caregivers who can help the senior in your life navigate COVID-19 safely. Caregivers provide older folks with necessary services, like routine maintenance, communication assistance, and meal prep. Many seniors are afraid to leave their homes—even for simple grocery runs—leaving them trapped and helpless. Caregivers, like those at 24 Hour Home Care, offer round-the-clock assistance for fearful seniors.
Although it may be challenging to pass the torch to a stranger, calling in the experts to help your elderly loved one during a global pandemic can relieve stress for both you and the old folks in your life.
According to Census figures, approximately 30% of people aged 65 and up live alone. While this was fine during non-COVID-19 times, visiting various households is highly frowned upon, as the risk for transmission increases significantly. Reduced visitation opportunities have slashed social interaction opportunities for high-risk seniors, leaving many feeling lonely and isolated from society.
However, by setting up necessary technology and scheduling consistent visitation times, you can stay in contact and brighten their spirits without endangering their life. Prioritize them in your busy schedule and keep in close contact to ensure they’re safe and sound.
Do their shopping for them
An obstacle for many elderly folks has been grocery shopping during the pandemic. Although stores have increased safety measures and most local governments require public mask usage, seniors are still at high-risk, and any physical contact is dangerous. Stay-at-home orders have left many seniors feeling stranded, torn between going out and risking their health, or staying home with limited resources.
To help your senior loved one dodge crowded stores and germ-ridden carts, do their shopping for them. If you’re careful day-to-day, you can enter their home and put away goods for them. Or, if you’re uncomfortable with any contact, you can leave groceries on their porch or utilize delivery services (many of which are free or reduced-price due to COVID-19).
Maintain their home
Many senior citizens struggle to care for their home’s exterior features, like water systems, overgrown grass, and leaky roofs. However, one way you can help your loved one through unprecedented times is by repairing and maintaining their home’s exterior. As spring approaches, local water sources will turn back on, lawn care will pick up, and rainy weather may pose additional threats.
Additionally, you can take weekly trips to their home to take down and retrieve garbage cans, collect mail, and sweep off littered walkways. That way, they can sleep easy knowing their home is safe and sound, along with their physical wellbeing.
In addition to zoom game nights and remote family gatherings, you can equip your senior loved ones with sources of entertainment without forcing them to leave the safety of their home. Bring them puzzles, show them the wide world of online gaming, or unpack old family photos they can sift through. If your loved one is looking for more low-key forms of fun, provide them with a DVD player or iPod filled with your favorite tunes, allowing them to delve into new music and TV shows sure to keep them busy for days.
Many senior citizens have struggled to adjust to stay-at-home orders, with some slipping into isolation, negatively impacting their mental health. However, you can help your elderly loved ones navigate the global pandemic by being a source of comfort, scheduling consistent communication, and helping them with day-to-day tasks. Just make sure you mask up and engage in safe social distancing procedures before heading out to grandma’s house.