COVID-19 in the US
LIFE HAS CHANGED FOR SENIORS & THEIR FAMILIES
Since our February newsletter, COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, has changed life as we knew it across America—and the world. As we have learned, this cruel disease affects older people in ways that make them especially vulnerable to severe illness. Research is showing that adults age 60 and older, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or cancer, are more likely to have critical, and even deadlier, infection than other age groups.
The following are tips from Johns Hopkins and other experts on how caregivers can help keep care for older adults. They include:
- Wearing sanitary gloves and/or washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after providing care, preparing food, using the bathroom, or touching surfaces in the home.
- Keeping hands away from your face.
- Cleaning frequently touched objects in the home often, including mobility and medical equipment used by your loved one or client, such as walkers, canes, and handrails.
- Practicing social distance whenever possible.
- Postponing all unnecessary doctor’s visits. If an older adult is not feeling ill, consider helping them postpone all elective procedures, annual checkups and other non-essential medical visits.
- Consider using telemedicine appointments which enable doctors, nurses, and patients the opportunity to communicate without meeting face-to-face.
- If a senior hasn’t selected someone in the family to be their Emergency Contact, now is the time. Consider discussing a plan, in case parents have a problem that requires immediate attention.
- Put a plan in place so that a Trusted Advocate (e.g. the Emergency Contact, or a different person) can keep an eye on the finances of older family members—through the use of technology. Virus-related scams are now rampant, and trips to the bank during the coming months are not a safe option.