As information about coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, no doubt you’re wondering what else you should do to protect yourself or a senior loved one. You may also find yourself having certain concerns if you or a senior family member are residing in an independent or assisted living community or other long-term care residence.
Amada Senior Care continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, as always following the most current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. This extends to Amada caregivers, who are trained on how to reduce the risk of infectious diseases. Their training is continually updated and emphasized.
While the outbreak of the coronavirus poses health risks for everyone, seniors – particularly those in their 70s and up – are particularly vulnerable. Overall, elderly persons possess far less reserves of immunity in their bodies to handle the COVID-19 virus. In addition, those who have an underlying medical condition – heart or lung disease or diabetes – are even more fragile. Thanks to their specialized training, Amada caregivers know how to care for seniors who are managing health conditions in addition to helping them minimize exposure to COVID-19.
The CDC has made it clear that avoiding exposure is the best way to protect yourself. This isn’t unduly difficult when you’re sheltering at home. But a senior with a chronic medical condition will be challenged to stay safe and healthy. With the ever-changing environment of COVID-19 weighing on our minds, Amada Senior Care created the following list of suggestions and considerations to help you and your family make the best decisions to preserve your health and wellness.
If You’re Exploring In-Home Care for Yourself or a Loved One
- Home care typically is one–on–one, offering an advantage over community-based care by keeping clients separate from others who may carry an illness.
- With home care, Amada caregivers come straight from their own homes to yours, minimizing their exposure to others who may have an infectious disease.
- The many precautions that Amada Senior Care takes – providing our caregivers with gloves, masks and other safety equipment when necessary – reduces their levels of exposure to viruses and other diseases.
- Amada caregivers take all the necessary steps (frequent handwashing, proper sanitation and hygiene) that make transmission of illness less likely.
- Given their knowledge and training on specific conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, COPD and others, Amada caregivers understand how to help you or a loved one manage your health with highly personalized care.
If You’re a Senior Who is at Higher Risk
- Avoid crowds and stay home as much as possible to reduce exposure risk.
- If you must go out, keep space between yourself and others, avoid anyone who is sick and wash your hands often.
- Arrange to have medications mailed to you and for groceries to be delivered.
- Talk to your physician about checkups that could be handled over the phone or perhaps postponed if you are feeling well and do not have any nagging concerns.
- Social connections are important to physical and mental health, so stay in touch with family and friends by making more frequent telephone calls.
- Beware of scams! Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of people’s fears of the coronavirus. The Federal Trade Commission has identified several and are offering tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.
If You’re a Family Caregiver
- Have an up-to-date list of all your loved one’s medications and understand how and when they should be taken.
- Stock up on medical supplies (incontinence, wound care, oxygen, dialysis, etc.) and have a plan to get more as needed.
- Have two weeks’ worth of non-perishable food on hand to minimize trips to the store.
- Limit physical contact from friends and family but stay connected with phone calls and online messaging.
- Check into online ordering and delivery of food and medicine.
- Consider getting in-home support for you and your loved one from a trained Amada caregiver. Caring for a loved one at home can be stressful at times, and an Amada caregiver can be there to help provide the compassionate care your loved one deserves and give you the respite you need. Call 877-442-6232 to ask for an Amada office near you or click HERE to access our online locator.
If your senior loved one is living in a care facility
- Don’t panic and keep risk in perspective. It’s not known whether older adults are more likely to contract the disease; it’s only known that the effects of coronavirus are more severe who seniors who do get it.
- Know the community’s protocol if there is an outbreak. How does the facility communicate urgent information to family and visitors?
- It’s okay to ask questions, like: How is infection control conducted? Is the facility able to isolate residents who are ill? Is the flu vaccine mandatory for all employees? Do they give paid time off to staff who fall ill? How is shared equipment managed to prevent the spread of germs?
As new information about coronavirus emerges, you’ll no doubt have questions and wonder about the best course going forward. Amada Senior Care has always prided itself in being ahead of the curve with everything we do, and the protocols we’ve put in place to respond to the current global pandemic are no exception. Please know we’re here for you to provide answers and specific assistance. Feel free to call us a at 877-442-6232 or email us at info@AmadaSeniorCare.com.
“Caring for Seniors and Minimizing Risk” was written by Michelle Flores, Amada Blog contributor.