Right now, senior care services and nursing homes are restricting who can come in and out, and for good reason. The coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, has changed how we live life, at least for the time being. But as you probably know, senior citizens and those with health complications are those that are being hit hardest by the virus. This is the population most likely to be hurt by the virus and limiting the amount of exposure that people have to the disease is a must if we want to protect those that we love.
This brings up a very big question for families with older loved ones: how can we best take care of the senior citizens in our lives right now?
For starters, it’s a bad idea to go and visit a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility right now. If your state hasn’t already banned this, you should take it upon yourself to stay away. Even if you feel healthy, you may be carrying the virus with you and inadvertently get somebody sick. This is not something that anybody wants to have happen. While younger folk are more than likely to recover from this illness, the older population doesn’t have the same going for them. Those with weaker immune systems and lung issues are the most likely to have severe complications because of COVID-19, and unfortunately, most senior citizens who require institutionalized care fall into this category.
We all have an obligation to protect the most vulnerable in our society. This means that we all need to do our part. We’re not left powerless and cutoff, though. If you have an older loved one in a nursing home or somewhere else, you can still speak with them on a regular basis. Facetime and Zoom have become incredibly helpful during the last week at helping people stay together. An employee wherever your loved one resides can help your mom or dad to get set up with this technology and you can continue to keep in touch.
Social media has also been helpful for both keeping in touch and for spreading ideas of how to continue to work together while we are socially distant. Again, it’s not perfect, but it’s something.
This is a trying time for all of us. People are struggling right now, and seniors are not immune to this. We need to be as supportive as possible right now, and unfortunately, that means finding new ways to stay in touch with people. Technology is a start, but it’s not a replacement for physical presence.
The coronavirus concerns will not last forever, but while we are still dealing with this, we need to continue to reach out to the people that we love and stay connected. For some, this is all that is helping them to hold on day to day. If you’re not sure how to connect with the people that you love, please call the facility where they reside and see what methods they recommend. It won’t be perfect, but let’s do whatever we can right now to keep the elderly individuals that we love close to us.