Editorial

8 Practical Tips to Help Caregivers Handle the Coronavirus

Despite each of our caregiving experiences being distinct, we all share the same understanding of having to constantly overcome obstacles to provide care for our elderly loved ones. There will always be those that stun us along the process, such as the most recent COVID-19 outbreak, even if we may sometimes anticipate and plan for these kinds of challenges in advance.

Frequently, we must swiftly modify our caregiving strategies in response to these problems. Here are eight suggestions for keeping up your ageing loved one’s best possible care in this troubling time.

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare Oneself

In the eventuality that your senior loved ones screened positive for the COVID-19 virus, then you will also have to draw up a plan for how else you can manage to provide for them. Consider finding a space in your home where you can separate the person from the healthy people they are sharing it with. One also should clean every surface in this room, and the ventilation is more than enough.

Likewise, suppose your elderly loved one has not yet been found to be infected with the virus. In that case, you should still get in touch with their primary physician and ask them to increase the amount of medication they can get in order to cut down on the number of times you have to visit the pharmacy. Also, be informed of your loved one’s advance care directives. Assess their healthcare directives and ensure all of their papers are in order before a medical emergency arises.

2. Put Good Hygiene Into Practice

When it comes to handwashing and sanitation practices, as a caregiver, you must adhere to the recommendations made by your local public health department. Suppose a family member has dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or any form of cognitive problems. In that case, you might think about posting reminders about these practices all around the house. Also, by consistently demonstrating the proper procedure, you may encourage these habits.

3. Get in Touch With the Home Health Department

Suppose an older relative of yours has an elderly caregiver. In that case, you might think about getting in touch with them to find out about their protocols to ensure the caregivers don’t risk your relative contracting the COVID-19 virus. Upon visiting your loved one’s home, you can remind the caregiver to take their temperature and advise them to wear masks to stop the infection from spreading.

If your family decides to change the caregiver’s schedule, think about who will help them carry out their various duties. Keep in mind that if the caregiving duties are distributed among a broader demographic, there is a higher chance you will expose your relative to the virus.

4. Reach Out to the Long-Term Care Facility of Your Elderly

Consider getting in touch with the long-term care or assisted living facilities where your senior loved one has been staying to find out what procedures they have in place to control the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. They may have guidelines in place that forbid unnecessary visits and a system for how you might speak with your elderly over the phone or thru virtual calls. While you’re here, ensure the institution has the emergency contact information for you and any other relatives who might have to be informed of changes in your senior’s condition.

If you’re thinking about bringing your elderly back home, take a minute to think about the standard of care they require on a regular basis and if you feel capable of meeting those needs. These duties might be supplemented by acquiring in-home care.

5. Set up a Goal for Your Senior Loved One

Since your elderly loved ones have in-home or residential care, take advantage of this chance to give them a renewed meaning and purpose. To keep them occupied during this time, encourage them to assist with household tasks like tidying their wardrobes or teaching them their favourite dishes.

6. Consult Your Employer

Speak with your employer if you are looking after an elderly person during the pandemic to find out how you may balance your caregiving responsibilities and still be a valuable worker. In exceptional cases, if your caregiving duties conflict with your work obligations, you can be eligible for further protection.

7. Upon Testing Positive

Strictly abide by the recommendations offered by the CDC if you tested positive for COVID-19 and are looking after a loved one. One must isolate themselves from them and restrict any exposure because your elderly loved one most certainly belongs to the high-risk group. Also, have a backup plan to have another relative assume your caregiving duties in the likelihood that they have not tested positive.

8. Self-Care Is Important

Regardless of the difficulties the COVID-19 virus throws us, we must always look after ourselves. Although the previous seven suggestions will improve your capacity to care for your ageing loved one, you must also think about seeking tools that assist you in looking after yourself in order to prevent caregiver burnout’s negative impacts.

Close family caregivers must require excessive efforts to maintain their own health and the well-being of those they care for during the continuing infection-prevention strategies linked to the virus. Some other alternative to get reinforcement and confirmation for the standard of treatment you are giving your elderly is to sign up for a caregiver support network.

Although you are physically isolated from your relatives and friends, keep in mind that you are not alone in this caregiving experience during such a delicate time. Remember that you may also improve your confidence and willingness to keep giving the utmost care by investing in yourself.

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