COVID-19 Impacting on How You Care For Your Elderly Loved Ones
COVID-19 or the Novel Coronavirus is changing how people interact with one another at the moment. For the safety of our aged loved ones, it’s really important that extra precautions are taken with people who are most vulnerable.
Home Care Providers
Making adjustments when providing care for seniors is paramount in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Providers and family members will need to adapt to the changes. These essential home care services have to continue, therefore taking extra safety measures at this time is essential.
At this stage, the federal government has provided some additional support to home care providers in order to safely meet the care needs of home care recipients. As part of the stimulus package $92.2 million has been allocated to assist home care package providers and providers of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme. Although there are no clear changes to guidelines yet, the use of personal protective equipment will increase, & keeping people at a distance will be important too, including reducing physical contact us much as possible. Both the elderly care recipients and the caregivers will be nervous of cross-contamination, so putting measures into place such as regular, good hand hygiene will become very important (even though this should already be occurring.)
Many older people receiving a home care package might also rely on family and friends for care and support. If this is the case, the message is to reduce the number of people that you’re having contact with.
Helping Your Elderly Family Members
The government recommendations for everyone at the moment is to stay home as much as possible and only leave the house if you absolutely have to. If you do leave the house, you’re supposed to distance yourself from others. This includes family and friends. But you can still help your loved ones.
Loneliness is already an issue for many elderly people and with the rules enforced in response to the Coronavirus, social isolation is going to increase. Consider catching up on video chat by using a tablet or computer. Video chat is great because you can also get a visual image and therefore ensure that your loved one is physically sound. But if video chat isn’t possible, have a chat over the phone each day to stay in touch at the very least. Also, consider doing a roster so that different family members and friends call through or video chat at different times.
You could also look at dropping off some entertaining activities for your loved one to do while they’re isolating. For example, you could drop off jigsaw puzzles, scrapbooking kits, new CDs to listen to, or some novels to read.
If you’re providing care for your loved one, make sure that you practice good hand hygiene and if you can, purchase some personal protective equipment. Especially look into buying disposable gloves and single-use disposable face masks to lower the risk for cross-contamination.
For more information and advice regarding measures older people and can take in regards to the coronavirus, go to the Department of Health website.