6 Tips for Helping an Elderly Parent Avoid COVID-19

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Researchers, health officials, and scientists are working to get a handle on coronavirus and bring it under control. In the meantime, it’s more important than ever to keep vulnerable family members as safe as possible, especially older ones. Seniors are considered a high-risk group because of immune system weaknesses associated with age and underlying health issues, which are more common in adults 65 and older. Below, you’ll find six ways you can help your senior loved one avoid coronavirus.

1. Stress the Importance of Good Hygiene Habits

Germs can hide on commonly touched surfaces and be spread through contact. It’s believed this is how coronavirus spreads so quickly. Encourage your loved one to adopt healthy habits that include:

• Regular handwashing—the CDC recommends doing this for at least 20 seconds
• Wiping off commonly used household surfaces
• Using the “elbow method” when sneezing/coughing

2. Offer Immune System Health Tips

As mentioned above, older immune systems often have difficulty with new invaders like coronavirus. But there are things you can remind your loved one to do to boost his or her immune system as much as possible, such as:

• Eating green leafy veggies, bright-colored fruits, unsalted nuts, low-fat dairy products, and other foods loaded with beneficial nutrients
• Managing stress
• Getting plenty of high-quality sleep
• Exercising regularly
• Not smoking and drinking alcohol excessively

If your loved one needs help following healthy habits that boost his or her immune system, a home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of at-home care. Oshkosh families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

3. Limit In-Person Interactions

Because there’s still so many unknowns about coronavirus, older adults are advised to limit in-person interactions whenever possible to stay safe. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) suggests doing this by:

• Avoiding crowded locations
• Postponing unnecessary travel
• Staying away from family members and friends who are sick
• Stocking up on essential supplies

4. Encourage Online Interaction

Avoiding coronavirus doesn’t mean your loved one has to be cut off from people he or she knows and loves. With social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, video chat tools, text messaging, and senior-friendly websites like LoveToKnow Seniors and Boomer Grandparents, there are many ways seniors can stay connected remotely.

Bonus tip: If your loved one has difficulty using certain devices, change the settings to increase text or button sizes.

5. Have Things Delivered

Another way to help your loved one avoid coronavirus is to have things delivered whenever possible. Fortunately, there are many items that can be safely sent directly to your loved one’s home, even essentials like prescription medications. In some areas, groceries and freshly prepared meals can also be delivered or picked up after an order is placed online.

To keep your loved one from having to go out, a home caregiver can run errands for him or her, including shopping for groceries and picking up prescriptions. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

6. Explore Options with In-Home Care

If your loved one needs assistance or is living with a serious health issue, you might be considering sending him or her to a nursing home or assisted living facility. However, since your loved one could come into contact with several people each day in these types of environments, the risk of contracting a virus may be higher. Designating care duties to one specific family member is a way to limit unnecessary in-person contact. Should this be difficult to do right now, in-home care is another option to consider. This type of professional assistance is offered in your loved one’s home by a responsible, well-trained caregiver familiar with ways to safely provide elder care.

Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Oshkosh, WI, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (920) 216-6276 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

With information surrounding coronavirus/COVID-19 changing by the hour, it’s challenging to stay updated on the most recent best practices for keeping seniors safe at home. At Home Care Assistance, we understand how critical it is for seniors and their caregivers to protect against coronavirus as much as possible. All our team members have received detailed communication on infection control protocols, including effective cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and hands. Our caregivers can pick up medications, groceries, and anything else a senior needs, minimizing their interaction with large groups of people. For more information on how Home Care Assistance helps protect clients, click here: https://www.homecareassistanceoshkosh.com/covid-19-home-care/.

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