Senior care delivery during Covid-19 crisis
Now more than ever our elderly population needs support, reassurance and care.
Senior care delivery during Covid-19 crisis; While many of us are taking sensible precautions by self-isolating and social distancing, for older people, cocooning is a more extreme measure put in place for those over 70 years of age and those with underlying medical conditions which put them very high risk of severe illness from Covid-19.
Home Instead Senior Care provides services to seniors in their own homes to enable them to maintain their independence and advises of measures to take when it comes to looking after our senior population, who are cocooning, during these challenging times.
Steven Tubbritt, General Manager of Home Instead Waterford said, “Understandably this is a very worrying time for older people and their families. Anyone who is isolated and has to distance themselves from their loved ones will feel alone and anxious. There are things that all of us, as carers, families and communities, can do to assure older people during this crisis, while not jeopardising their health.”
“Shopping still needs to be done, meals need to be prepared and prescriptions need to be filled.”
Firstly, if your older relative is cocooning it is important to keep in touch with them. Communication is vital for older people, not only for their physical health, but also for their mental health. If they are adept with smart technology, video messages and facetime is hugely reassuring. If not, just pick up the phone and chat about their day or listen to their concerns. Encourage children to write letters and messages to their elderly relatives.
Previously many stores and supermarkets had facilitated priority shopping times for elderly customers. Now, however it is up to families, carers, neighbours and volunteer groups to do the shopping for seniors. Be mindful of nutritional values and avoid stockpiling, which can lead to waste. Ensure they have the essentials, along with tinned fruit and veg and non-perishables such as pasta and rice. To avoid contact, leave the groceries on the porch. If you are self-isolating and are not in a position to go shopping for an elderly relative, you can get in touch with the numerous local volunteering groups or carers to help.
For repeat prescriptions that need filling, some pharmacies offer delivery services to get medications to patients. If not, once these are ordered by phone, they can be picked up from the pharmacy.
For many active seniors, being cooped up in the house all day can be difficult. Encourage them to get some fresh air, even if it’s just a walk around the garden. Light exercise can help prevent serious physical and emotional problems, such as depression, chronic conditions, and memory decline.
Families and carers should also consider contingency plans if their situation changes, such as arranging for a trusted neighbour or friend to help an elderly relative if they are unable to.
If you suspect that you or a loved one have COVID-19 call your local GP on the phone to ask for advice. Do not visit their surgery unannounced. You can also call the HSE Helpline on Call save 1850 24 1850 to seek advice & follow their instructions.
If you have any concerns about an senior relative during these challenging and unprecedented times you can call Home Instead Senior Care on 051 3339666 or visit www.homeinstead.ie