One of the most emotionally complex and difficult things a person can experience is taking care of an elderly parent during trying times.
Truth is, very few people anticipate this task, and others simply deny that it’s coming. However, sooner or later, a fall in the bathroom or diagnosis from the doctor can turn children into caregivers overnight.
Don’t overthink it. You’re simply giving back the love that was given to you while you were growing.
The situation now seems different. With the Covid-19 pandemic, most elderly ones are shut in indefinitely because they are more prone to the devastating impact of the virus – hence the need for extra care.
Take a deep breathe if you’re in this situation. Ibiene has got some simple tips for you;
If you don’t live with one, you sure do have some in the neighbourhood. You can help support them to make them feel safe and connected.
Have a back-up plan:
In this era, you need to make another plan especially of who will care for your loved ones if they get sick as you won’t be able to provide hands-on care for your parents. Ensure to work this out with family and friends now.
Join a social support group:
Family caregiving is hard work, even in the best of times. Don’t try to manage this by yourself. Find others in the same situation and talk about it. Share ideas and, perhaps, a virtual shoulder to cry on. You can find a lot of them online.
Connect with them especially if they’re away:
Now, you may be caring for a parent who is in a nursing home and assisted living facility and you feel anxious and guilty because you have been unable to visit for weeks and you may not able to visit for months more due to the lockdown. Try to connect with them via the phone or video call while they’re away. At least, they know someone cares.
Take a walk:
Caregiving can become all-consuming, especially in the age of COVID-19. You will need a break, and you need to do everything you can to maintain your own health. A walk around the neighbourhood can be the perfect solution. Just ensure you don’t touch high contact surfaces or move close to people. Sanitise you- self as soon as you get back.
Change the look of the house:
It gets really boring when you look at one scene for a long time. It is worse especially when you’re immobile. This is the situation for some elderly ones. Try to change the look of the house for them. Put them where they can overlook the window and see the world outside. Sometimes just take them to the garden just so there’s a change. It can help refresh their mood.
Re-assure them they are safe:
There’s nothing as unsettling as an anxious heart. Covid-19 won’t make it any easier for these elderly ones but it’s your duty to reassure them that it will be okay as long as they remain in the confines of the house and take their medication. As a caregiver don’t be anxious as moods can be transferred.
If you don’t have an elderly one in the house;
Give them social support:
- Check in on them regularly through phone calls.
- Send them messages via Whatsapp or emails.
- Leave notes on their front door just to let them know someone has them in mind.
- Cook their favourite, package and drop it beside their door then ring the bell to inform them that you are delivering a home cooked meal for them.
Note: Remember to always give it in a disposable container that is clean and germ free.
- Buy them daily essentials like milk, bread, eggs, vegetables, fruit and others.
- Fix a date to help them run to the grocery shop for supplies.
- Ensure their medical supplies are stocked up.
- Send them a little reminder or call to ask if they took their medication?
Set up emergency contacts and speed dials:
- Identify someone nearby who they could rely on in case you are not available or far away.
- Help them to put all important phone numbers on speed dial like the COVID-19 emergency helpline numbers.
Most important is to inform them that if they develop symptoms such as fever, a cough or shortness of breath, they should immediately call their doctor, helpline or nearest hospital.
With everyone adhering to the rules, we can all beat the spread of the novel coronavirus while awaiting the vaccine. We look forward to our elderly ones enjoying the beauty of the outdoors again.
Do you have additional tips that can help our loved on stay healthy? Please share with us in the comment section.