The Coronavirus pandemic has changed everything about our lives. It has affected the elderly and those that love and care for them most of all. Now, more than ever, protecting their health and well being is a priority, and it is of utmost importance that we continue to look for ways to keep them safe.
If the current pandemic has taught us anything, it is that in the midst of all the chaos, family matters most of all. While it may seem that some have lost respect for human life, we can find peace in the realization of just how much our loved ones truly do mean to us.
The elder members of our society have taught us that “prevention is always better than the cure”, and that is true now more than ever. It has been pretty well established that the elderly are at a higher risk of serious complications, and even death, from Covid-19. Because they fall into the more vulnerable category, we find ourselves facing a much greater challenge to take care of them, keeping them safe and healthy. It’s hard to reach out or have person to person contact with our loved ones in the middle of lockdown.
There are, however, ways to help ensure their health and safety during this critical international crisis.
Reduce virus exposure, but help with essential needs
At this point, we are all very aware that we shouldn’t be making non-essential visits to our senior friends and loved ones who live independently. If you are a primary caregiver, however, determining what is essential can be tricky. An emergency clearly justifies a visit, but there are also proactive reasons to visit that can help prevent further problems including:
- Dropping off needed prescription and over the counter medications
- Delivering pre-prepped meals, groceries, or other household essentials like toilet paper
- Helping to clean the house or do laundry when needed
- Assisting with setting up technology tools, like a cell phone or a tracking device for seniors
Social engagement can still happen with social distancing
Our older loved ones may be missing their daily walks, senior exercise classes, group center activities, or religious services. As they have entered into their golden years, these activities have become part of their day to day lives, and missing out on them can leave them feeling isolated and lonely. Teach them how to do things like video chat online with friends and loved ones, participate in virtual exercise classes, or even attend church services virtually. It’s our responsibility to show them what the new norms of society look like.
Build physical immunity with mental health
The pandemic has caused a growing increase in the decline of mental health for people, and it’s even more so with those that live alone. It is a lot less common, and therefore a lot less likely, that our senior citizens will reach out to a doctor to discuss any issues they may be having with their mental health. Encourage or help them to make virtual appointments as needed to monitor their mental wellbeing. Talk to and connect with them often to make sure they are ok.
Lend a helping hand
Under the current circumstance, it is not safe for anyone to be out and about for no reason, and we should all be staying home as much as possible unless it is absolutely essential to go out. It is common for our elders to be quite stubborn in their later years when it comes to how they conduct their day to day activities, and they often will not change those habits easily. Offer to do their shopping for them if they need groceries, medicines or other essential items. If they aren’t already up to speed with the vast world of online shopping, show them how to responsibly shop and pay for things online. Lots of retailers and grocery chains are also offering delivery services for a small fee or for free. This can be a big step in making sure they stay home indoors.
Practice and preach safety measures
It is absolutely vital that you practice health and safety measures during the pandemic, and ensure that your elderly loved one does as well…without excuse! Make sure that they understand the precautions and steps that must be taken like regular hand washing for 20 seconds, sanitizing fixtures around the home like light switches, doorknobs, toilet flush handles, etc, and how to properly use hand sanitizer. Stress to them the importance of social distancing and staying home during any present or future lockdowns.
Stay in touch
One of the biggest fears of the elderly is being left alone during lockdown and social distancing. While it is important that we keep our visits limited to essentials, it’s also very important that we take the time to call or video chat with our elderly loved ones, friends and neighbors. Ask them how they are doing, or share with them stories of things happening in your life or around the world that don’t involve the Coronavirus threat. Those that require extra care also need a little extra help and kindness right now, so carve out a little time for them everyday if possible.
Use tech tools to keep them healthy from a distance
Technology has provided the world with a great number of tools for communication, as well as tools to help you monitor and keep a check on the health and wellbeing of your elderly loved one.
Our Senior Safety App is a free, unobtrusive app designed to keep seniors safe through the use of a tracking device for seniors. With the Senior Safety App you can remotely monitor cell phone location as well as receive alerts about falls, wandering, online scams & abuse around the clock. Senior Safety App is built on a platform used by hundreds of thousands of users, across 97 countries, to keep your loved ones safe.
This senior gps tracker app is easy to install and set up directly from Google Play or by scanning a barcode into the target phone from our website. Once setup is complete, you can enter up to 5 emergency phone numbers. The app will call these 5 numbers round robin style when the “Reach Emergency Contacts” button is clicked. You can set alerts for falls, location tracking, geofence entry and exits, app usage reports and more.