5 Tips to Help Seniors Prepare for & Prevent Illness
Community-spread illnesses are nothing new, but COVID-19 has brought prevention to the forefront for many people.
With older and infirm individuals more at-risk of contracting the disease and suffering from serious complications, it’s important to take extra precautions to help them prepare for staying at home and preventing illness.
Here are some things you can do to help senior and vulnerable loved ones prepare for and prevent illness now and during future cold and flu seasons:
One of the best ways to ensure your loved one doesn’t need to go out unnecessarily is to have their home stocked with enough supplies.
Make sure your loved one has enough food, medication, cleaning and personal hygiene supplies for at least a week at a time, or longer if you’re only able to make deliveries infrequently. If you’re unable to personally deliver these items, help coordinate delivery with a local friend or family member, or a delivery service.
In addition to stocking up on things necessary for health and wellness, be sure your loved one has enough books, movies, and other entertainment items at home. If possible, set them up with a mobile device or computer capable of sending emails, hosting video chats, and streaming movies.
The more resources available at home, the less likely your loved one is to feel tempted to leave the house to “just grab that one thing.”
Check-in on Health
During times of high infection risks, going to the doctor’s office for a non-essential visit may cause some concern for you and your loved one.
If at all possible, work with your loved one’s healthcare providers to coordinate care so that they still receive the medications and guidance they need, but without unnecessary exposure. For example, your loved one could check in with their doctor over the phone or on a telehealth appointment so any symptoms can be relayed and medications can be adjusted, but they never have to leave the house.
And if your loved one must see a doctor, try to schedule an appointment at a less busy time and take necessary precautions such as frequent hand-washing or wearing a mask, if necessary, to minimize the risk of infection.
Know the Symptoms
Make sure both you and your loved one know the symptoms of COVID-19, including dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath.
Check in with your loved one daily to see if they have any of these – or other – symptoms, and monitor the severity as best you can. If you notice that your loved one doesn’t seem to be getting better over time, or their symptoms worsen, get them to the doctor as soon as possible.
Stay in Touch
Being at home can be isolating, especially for older adults who may not utilize social media and other technology as frequently.
Do your best to check in with your loved one at least daily, or assign someone who can check in by phone if you’re unavailable. This will not only give you the opportunity to monitor how your loved one is doing physically and emotionally, but it gives them something to look forward to each day.
Ask for Help
Managing the needs of your loved one at the same time as you handle your own daily tasks and commitments isn’t easy, and the stress can be heightened when you’re dealing with unusual circumstances.
If you’re having difficulty juggling care for your loved one and the rest of your responsibilities, don’t be afraid to call in some extra help. Enlisting a friend, family member, or in-home care agency can take some of the pressure off you and decrease your stress level.
Experienced In-Home Care in Maryland
At Advanced Nursing + Home Support, we understand that caring for an aging or infirm loved one can be difficult under even the best circumstances. But when you add in a global pandemic and shutdowns of services, things get even more rough. Our team of experienced caregivers can offer various levels of in-home support – from occasional cleaning and check-ins to daily skilled nursing care – giving you peace of mind and helping your loved one stay safe and healthy.
All our care providers are rigorously trained and adhere to the highest standards of infection control and prevention. We’re ready to give your loved one the care they deserve – Call today!