22 Jul Caregiver Safety During the Coronavirus Pandemic
During the coronavirus crisis, Senior Living Consultants is open and the staff remains available to help you or a loved one find Independent, Assisted Living, Board and Care, and Memory/Dementia Care Communities at NO COST to our clients. We are the local experts in locating the best senior living options and we are still here to help families–even during this uncertain time. Please don’t hesitate to email or call us anytime, seven days a week. Stay safe.♥️
Charmaine and the staff at Senior Living Consultants
- Office Phone: (805) 454-5901
- Charmaine Cell: (805) 704-1532
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Being a caregiver for an elderly loved one can be a complex and difficult situation in normal times. As a caregiver you may already be feeling exhausted, both mentally and physically. Now the COVID-19 pandemic adds even greater levels of anxiety to an already stressful situation. Statistics show approximately 80% of the deaths from coronavirus in the U.S. are in people 65 and older. The worry about keeping a senior and yourself safe may seem overwhelming.
Stop the Spread
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since there currently is no vaccine for COVID-19, the best line of defense to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to the virus. Since coronavirus is thought to spread from person-to-person contact, even as a caregiver you should stay 6 feet away from everyone, when possible. In addition:
- Minimize or postpone unnecessary medical appointments for older adults to reduce their risk (and yours) of coming in contact with the virus.
- Wash hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol before and after providing care.
- When giving baths, medication, feeding, or dressing always wear a mask and/or protective face shield, and gloves.
- Avoid touching your eyes, face, or mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes countertops, tables, light switches, door knobs, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- Have groceries and restaurant meals delivered to an older adult through an online delivery service, like Door Dash or Instacart.
Monitor Health Daily
Everyone should stay alert for symptoms of COVID-19 which include fever or chills, cough, and shortness of breath. Have a thermometer available, and consider purchasing a pulse oximeter, an electronic device that clips onto a person’s finger to measure heart rate and oxygen saturation red blood cells. Additional symptoms to watch for include:
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Seek medical attention immediately if you notice the following in the person you are caring for:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
Call 911 or call ahead to your nearest hospital. Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
Stay Distant but Social
Remember to practice social distancing with the person you are caring for but not social isolation. In fact, maintaining healthy and positive connections with family, friends, and the community is vital to our mental and physical health as we age. Studies show loneliness and isolation can be as bad for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being an alcoholic. Some recent reports are showing social isolation in older adults during the pandemic have led to a weakened immune system, depression, cardiovascular disease, and an earlier death.
If possible, take an elderly parent out for a drive everyday to look at scenery. Go to a park and sit 6′ apart to get some fresh air. Sit in your outdoor space at home and wave hello to the neighbors. Any contact or communication is helpful. Even limited socialization and interaction can decrease isolation and increase the immune system of an elderly loved one.