Family caregivers face additional challenges taking care of elder loved ones due to the virus crisis and COVID-19 infection. With many adult day care centers closed or operating at limited capacities and immediate availability of assisted living and nursing homes more limited, much of the caregiving is falling on adult children.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be beneficial, and everyone eligible to take the vaccine should do so. Herd immunity can be achieved as more people take the vaccine. However, until there are enough people vaccinated, protecting caregivers and care recipients is still critical.
Adults age 65 and older, and those with comorbid issues, are at higher risk of both hospitalization and death. It is essential to take proactive measures to keep both the care recipient and the caregiver healthy and safe.
The use of face coverings, hygiene, and social distancing are still the key actions you can take to make everyone much safer. Yet too many people forget or avoid using these safety precautions.
Masks Work to Keep Others Safe
The fact is the masks work. This illustration shows the effectiveness of face coverings:
No matter who you are, face coverings are beneficial, especially for the people around you. A care recipient will benefit significantly if the people around them are using a mask. It also helps if they themselves use a face covering.
Below is President Joe Biden walking at the White House with his mask:
First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, wearing her mask while visiting a school:
Many celebrities have taken to social media to show off their face coverings:
Caregivers Should Monitor Their Health
If you are a caregiver or another family member, be sure to monitor your own health. According to the CDC, you should delay or cancel a visit if a caregiver or visitors have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
Take your temperature and make sure you don’t have a fever before coming in contact with others.
Anyone who has had close contact with a person with COVID-19 should stay home and monitor for symptoms.
Caregivers will need to be in close contact with the person they are caring for, but guests should practice social distancing. Be sure to adjust any tables and chairs to allow for social distancing.
Try to avoid close contact with the care recipient and any visitors. For example, don’t hug the person, shake hands, or even elbow bump. Instead, just wave and verbally greet them.
The CDC suggests keeping a list of people who come in contact with the care recipient. The list will help with contract tracing if someone becomes sick. Be sure everyone washes their hands before coming in and after leaving.
There are always challenges that come with aging. If you are not prepared, there will be a physical, emotional, and financial burden that you and your family will experience even in the best of times. During the virus crisis, extra precautions need to be in place.
Planning for the financial costs and burdens of aging before you retire will give you control and independence in the decades ahead. You might think you are too young to start planning, yet experts say most people purchase affordable Long-Term Care Insurance policies in their 50s.
It is always best to avoid a crisis and planning before a crisis starts will give everyone peace-of-mind.
About the Author
Linda is a former journalist who now enjoys writing about topics she is interested in so she “can keep her mind active and engaged”.
Contributor since December 11th, 2017
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