The COVID-19 pandemic is claiming lives across the world. In USA alone, the disease has caused the death of more than 56,000 people! As per research findings and reports, seniors over 60 are more susceptible to infection. Chances of catching an infection are more if they have some preexisting ailments such as lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, or cancer. So, are you a caregiver of a senior who is over 60? Here are some caregiving tips that you can follow in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Take all necessary precautions
- Ensure your safety so that the senior depending on you and your family does not get infected. For the same, you need to follow the basic precautionary steps.
- Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. You can also use an alcohol-based sanitizer whenever you touch the senior, prepare food, use the bathroom or any frequently touched surface at home or any public place.
- Use a disposable tissue whenever you sneeze at home or a public place.
- Refrain from unnecessarily touching your face including eyes and nose.
Wear a homemade facemask whenever you are going outside or taking care of the senior. You can prepare a face mask at home as per the instructions provided by the CDC. It is best to spare the N95 masks for first responders and healthcare workers for their fight against COVID-19.
Embrace physical distancing but say no to social isolation
Seniors over 60 usually crave to spend more time with their children and loved ones. So, while you must embrace physical distancing and encourage the senior also to practice the same, do not practice social isolation. According to psychologists, there is ample research-based evidence that suggests that social isolation and loneliness can significantly increase the risk of premature mortality. So, while you take care of the senior, it is vital to ensure that he or she can spend some quality time with friends or loved ones.
Depend on technology for socialization
Yes, you must limit or discourage people to visit the facility or home but can take advantage of technology to prevent any kind of social isolation. Use the Zoom app or Apple’s facetime video calling feature to facilitate them in having a conversation with their loved ones. This is essential for improved immunity and overall cognitive health, especially at a time when it is not possible to go out at public places. Moreover, with many places of worship closed due to coronavirus, seniors are feeling more isolated in the absence of faith communities which offer them the much-needed support and spiritual solace.
Last but not the least; sincerely follow all the guidelines of WHO for public to safeguard themselves from the novel coronavirus. Yes, it can be sometimes extremely taxing, but you can always seek help from other family members or online support groups. You can also take the help of assistive technology devices in your caregiving journey. However, always remember to watch for COVID-19 symptoms and seek immediate medical care.