The era of Covid has swept in and brought in an overwhelming amount of physical health risks, and with that has come worry and anxiety when it comes to caring for our family members. In particular, our elderly relatives are at the center of our minds. Adults who are 65 or older, and who have underlying medical issues such as diabetes or heart disease, fall into the highest risk groups when catching the pandemic and being hospitalized.
It’s normal to be concerned about relatives who could risk such a debilitating situation. However, excessive distress helps no one and will often lead to uncertainty. There are options available to your family depending on your location. If you are in Seattle, you might consider a home health agency. South Philadelphia residents might lean toward extended nursing home visits.
If you want to aid your elderly family members in their self-health efforts, then informing yourself about a few ways to better care for them – remotely and onsite – could be a path towards more effective assistance for your senior family.
Simple and Secure Safety
Masks are integral in reducing the spread of Covid, and it’s medically crucial to wear them when we travel or venture outdoors for essential tasks. This task, however, becomes even more critical when visiting to care for our senior family members. You’ll want to make sure that you’ve been wearing a mask at all times when outside of your home, as well as avoiding close contact with anyone outside of your immediate family.
When needing to visit your elderly family member to drop off medicine or catch up after a long while, check on his or her mask. If it will improve the situation, offer to buy or help make a new one with them. Maintain a reasonable distance from your relative, which will reduce the risk of potentially catching the disease.
As you know, many Covid infections are caused by individuals carrying the illness who aren’t showing any symptoms. Make sure to practice proper hygiene, such as washing your hands thoroughly, as well as sneezing or coughing into tissues (or, if there are none on hand, into your elbow). And, as always, ensure that your senior citizen relative is following the same health guidelines. It’s all about keeping them secure during a period of uncertain health risk.
A Vital Video Chat
We all love our senior family members, but let’s face it: we can’t be there for them physically every single day, or whenever they call us about a particular issue. We care deeply about the physical struggles that they’re going through, as well as their mental distress about aspects of social isolation. However, we have our schedules and our own time with which to work. Thus, we need to figure out additional safety features we can utilize to communicate with our elderly family members. These need to be ways that are convenient for ourselves as well.
With that, video conferencing tools are the most effective means of communication. There are many apps available for download and sharing with your senior relative, depending on which device you have and which interface you find more comfortable. These include:
- Google Meet
- Facebook Messenger
Each of these apps comes with a range of distinctive features, but they each have a main attribute: letting your older adult relative have regular communication with you remotely and through clear visual connection. This will help you talk with your relative, share information about your lives, and be alert of his or her ongoing medical conditions.
Ensure that you install the video conference app for them and properly integrate them with the app’s basic mechanics. If worst comes to worst, they can contact you through video conferencing in case of emergency, and you’ll be able to take appropriate measures such as visiting them or – if need be – calling a hospital. Clear and proper communication saves time, and in some cases, saves lives.
Having Help In-Home
It’s probably not yet time for a nursing home for your senior family member. They’re able to get around the house, and you have confidence in his or her day-to-day living situation during Covid. However, an elderly in-home care service can be a worthwhile compromise that meets independent living standards with considerate, expert assistance. In addition, it’s a more affordable choice than retirement homes.
In-home senior care lets elderly family members remain at their home, having professional staff come to them on a weekly schedule for their nutritional or medical needs. If you’re looking into in-home care service as a possibility for your loved one, make sure you do your proper research.
These services should be adequately personalized depending on the type of medical care delivered and have a level of social connection during visits. The in-home services you choose should also have clear communication with your senior relative and you on the path on which your family member’s treatment is going.
Returning to Mail
You may only use regular mail, with letters and envelopes, for essential items like bills. Or maybe you haven’t even used “snail mail” in months. Well, get ready to take out that pen and paper. Adults age 65 and older use mail to receive and exchange information more than any other demographic.
Because of this, you can utilize mail in a variety of ways to support your elderly relative and brighten his or her day. You can write a long-form letter that encompasses the time you’ve spent with each other the last few months or a remarkable memory of you both that recently popped into your head.
You can also utilize packages to send over surprise gifts, such as board games for you both to play on your next onsite visit, or a memento of your childhood that you can warmly converse about on your next call (or video chat). The possibilities can be numerous–it all depends on what puts the biggest smile on your loved one’s face.
Our elderly relatives need our help and encouragement during Covid to strengthen their day-to-day lives. These are loved ones of ours who watched us grow, and now they need our support for their health and wellness. With these useful tips, we’re confident that you’ll be able to better care for the senior family members that you love and cherish.