While most of the country is already practicing social isolation to slow and eventually stop the spread of COVID-19, some are still feeling ill-prepared for what that really means. Family caregivers may be at a loss for what to do to prepare their older family members for sheltering in place and avoiding the virus. This is especially important for seniors since they are at the highest risk for serious complications and even death due to COVID-19. Below are some ways you can help an aging relative to navigate this difficult time.
Be Aware of Symptoms
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people develop symptoms of the virus within 2 to 14 days of being exposed. Symptoms can be anywhere from mild to severe. They include:
- Feeling short of breath.
Not everyone who develops the virus needs to be hospitalized, so if the symptoms are mild, it’s best to call the senior’s doctor first. Some doctors are offering virtual visits to prevent the virus from spreading. However, if symptoms are severe, seek emergency medical help. The CDC says the emergency signs of COVID-19 are:
- Trouble breathing.
- Pain or pressure in the chest that doesn’t go away.
- Confusion or lack of response when you try to awaken the senior.
- A blue tint to the lips or face.
Prepare for the Virus
Though the best-case scenario is that your older family member does not get the virus, it’s best to prepare as though they will. Some things you can do to prepare are:
Create a list of all of the medications the older adult takes, including dosages and when to take them.
Keep at least a 30-day supply of medications on hand.
Have tissues and over-the-counter (OTC) medications on hand for treating symptoms. (Check with the older adult’s doctor or pharmacist to make sure OTC medications are safe for them.)
Purchase enough groceries and household items to allow the senior to safely stay at home for a few weeks at a time.
Use Home Care
Sheltering in place can be lonely and family caregivers who are unable to visit older family members may worry about them. Home care can help alleviate the stress placed on family caregivers and on older adults by visiting regularly. Home care providers can check in on the senior and make certain they are feeling well, taking their medications, and have plenty to eat. In fact, a home care provider can prepare meals while they are there. In addition, they can offer companionship and connection through conversation, activities, and helping the senior to contact family members and friends.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Sun City, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Blessings for Seniors Companion Care at (623) 594-0819