We are all living in strange times. The recent Covid-19 outbreak has forced world leaders to put their countries on lockdown. Everyone is urged to practice physical distancing and stay in self isolation in order to flatten the curve of the pandemic. 

Research shows that adults from the age of 60 and above are more susceptible to the virus. This is especially true for those who have underlying health conditions, such as lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. These facts are naturally very worrisome factors when you think about the seniors in your life. 

Whether you are quarantining with your elderly relatives or not, it’s unavoidable to worry about their health in this situation. 

The most important factor that you need to take into account is to keep yourself healthy first. You know the drill.  All you have to do is practice proper hygiene

Wash your hands on a regular basis with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before you prepare food and after you use the bathroom. Additionally, clean your hands with at least 60% alcohol or sanitizer after you touch surfaces in public places. 

When you’re in public, steer clear from crowds. In case you feel like sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth with tissue or the bend of your elbow. Furthermore, refrain from touching your face to avoid any possible infection. 

When you’re at home, make sure to frequently disinfect every surface that your loved ones often use. With regard to seniors, you need to ensure that their mobility and medical equipment are regularly cleaned. This includes canes, walkers, and handrails.

Two women smiling at each other

Plan For Medical Assistance

In the event that a senior member of your family catches COVID-19, you need to be ready with a contingency plan. Depending on where you live, the corresponding health department has set out guidelines on how to proceed in such circumstances. 

First off, call a medical expert and seek specific instructions on what to do next. Those with severe cases will likely be confined in a hospital. On the other hand, there are patients who stay in home care. Either way, if your parents or any other senior member of your family gets sick, there are always ways in which you can help them. 

Provide a Healthy Environment

Cleanliness is key. Disinfect their room on a regular basis, provide ample ventilation, bathe them when necessary, and most importantly, keep their surroundings as comfortable as possible. Additionally,  when you are near them, always wear a mask in order to prevent the virus from spreading. 

Supply Food and Medication

Good nutrition helps improve people’s health. Make sure they stay well hydrated and eat healthy meals that are composed of bite sized chewable cuts. If they cannot go to the grocery store on their own, bring them any food that they may need or pick up their prescriptions from the pharmacy. They’ll appreciate the gesture.

Provide Reassurance

Good hygiene and proper treatments and medication are imperative. However, another factor that affects a person’s recovery is reassurance. By letting them know that you’re there for them (whether physically or not), they’ll feel less scared of the situation. 

If they are confined in a medical facility that prevents you from caring for them in person, do your best to explain that physical distancing is a necessary measure to flatten the curve. Small gestures, like video calls and letting them know you love them, can truly make them feel better. In turn, recovery will speed up.

At Your Next Steps, we believe that staying at home can help eradicate the virus. Help us with our mission to provide shelter for those in need. Click here to learn more about our Shelter Foundation.