There is no place like home, your parents may tell you this over and over as you grow up, but what we do not grasp is how for them this could have a different meaning. According to research, about 90% of elders claimed they would rather stay and grow old peacefully in the comfort of their homes. The idea is harder for people worrying about their parents from loneliness, and isolation, on top of worrying about their general well-being in situations of needing assistance. It is hard to leave your elderly loved ones unaccompanied at this age, knowing they could put themselves at risk of falling or injuring themselves and not being able to get assistance or drive themselves to the hospital.
However, sometimes foster homes are left out of the equation as some seniors might not accept the idea. This is why it’s extremely important to sit down and have a chat with your parents about the plans that suit them and their needs best without trying to enforce your opinion. It is even more logical for your parents to stick to their homes after the coronavirus outbreak. Some seniors feel better about foster homes because they get to make new friends; however, others feel more comfortable staying in the comfort of their homes. Since this is the better option for your parents during this period, here are some tips that you need to take into consideration to make this task easier.
Keep Yourself Well
Research shows that people above sixty are more likely to have a Coronavirus infection than people from different age groups. This is especially more probable for those who have medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or lung diseases. The most important thing you can do to help is to keep yourself well to avoid getting infected as well. For you to be able to help your parents without putting yourself or them at risk, you need to take good care of yourself. And that can be done easily with a few steps.
- Washing hands is the most basic, yet very important thing you need to do to protect yourself from infection. You should wash your hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds before and after having any contact with strangers, touching surfaces in public, using the bathroom, or preparing food.
- Avoiding crowds is also essential, especially if you are staying at home with your parents. It is even better if you can avoid going outside. However, this might be extremely hard as we all have our busy lives. In these situations, make sure to take all precautions by wearing a mask and sanitizing your hands whenever needed.
- Keep your hands away from your face, physical contact, and any surfaces in public. You can even go the extra mile by wearing gloves while in public and get rid of them before entering your house instead of using alcohol. According to the experts at Right at Home In-home Care and Assistance, “Sustaining a healthy lifestyle can be as simple as leaving the house and seeking some exercise outside.” Their mission is to help seniors and people with disabilities age more successfully.
Social Distancing, Not Social Isolation
Limiting in-person visits is essential in the time of a pandemic to protect your parents and keep them safe. This might be one of the hardest things to do. The paradox of keeping your elderly parents safe while missing them and wanting to be around in order to ensure their safety yourself is enough to take a toll on anyone’s mental state. However, you don’t have to isolate yourself from them. Immersing yourself in feelings of guilt and constant worry will only add to your trouble and theirs. Instead, assure yourself that you are doing what’s best for them. In these situations, home care for the elderly that is suitable for their needs is the more logical choice. This will protect you and your family while making sure that you are leaving them in safe hands.
So How Do We Protect Our Elders During Such Pandemic?
The answer is to acknowledge the fact that perhaps difficult changes need to be made in order to avoid the pandemic as much as possible. These changes start with knowing frequent visits are not necessary, in fact, they should be completely avoided. Seniors usually have weaker immune systems, which make them more prone to the virus; not to mention their underlying health issues. They are recommended to stay at home for as long as possible. Even though some young adults might be more subjected to getting infected due to their responsibilities, their immune systems have a greater ability to fight it. When you visit your parents, you increase the chances of carrying the virus into their homes even if you put much effort into sanitizing and cleaning yourself. The suggested solution is to only visit them when necessary. It is also suggested you stay in contact with them to stay updated on their condition and make sure they are safe and receiving the needed support.
Ensure That Your Parents Stay Connected
Your parents should not separate themselves entirely from the world. Their mental state matters, especially when stress is the enemy of a good immune system. In the middle of a pandemic, making sure that your parents aren’t suffering from any feelings of loneliness or stress is essential, not only for maintaining mental health but to ensure that all their immune functions are in their tip-top shape. In the social media bubble we live in, physical distancing doesn’t equate by any means to social distancing. Make sure to start teaching your elderly parents how to facetime you or communicate with other friends through the use of an iPad, laptop, or smartphone. They can also check in on their close neighbors or say hello to the mailman or the delivery man to ensure that they do not get lonely. You can also encourage your parents to start writing notes or sending cards for all their close friends and other family members to make sure that they are connected and in touch.
Minimize the Risk Of COVID-19 Infection
Unnecessary doctor visits increase the risks of getting in contact with someone with coronavirus. This might put your parents in more danger than missing these visits altogether. If your parents are in good health, then regular checkups, elective procedures, and other unnecessary doctor visits might do more harm than good. This is why it’s better to leave any medical attention that can easily be taken care of at home to the hand of professionals. It’s also important to make sure that your parents avoid any unnecessary travel or outside contact. Staying inside is the only responsible thing we can do right now in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
Make Sure Your Parents are Staying Active
The best possible scenario for staying in place is staying active and mobile. Regular exercises, even a 5-minute walk, will help greatly in helping your parents maintain bone strength, joints, and muscles. This will aid greatly in avoiding any risk of falls or serious injuries. Even in situations of illness, better health and maintaining recommended activity levels also speeds the recovery period after surgeries. Here are some reasons that clarify how important physical activity is.
- Staying mobile helps in reducing memory loss problems and decreases the risk of dementia and mental decline.
- Reducing the risk of depression and improving current mental state.
- Increasing body strength and enhancing immune functions.
Professional home caregivers usually come up with the best ideas on how to set up a high-quality exercise plan. However, there are other options such as YouTube simple dance videos, online exercise classes, and even connecting with grandchildren for a fun game.
You should be prepared for emergencies as much as you can. If this year taught us anything, it would be that there will always be a lot of unexpected turns and that we should be prepared for emergency cases. It is always better if you are prepared for any situation, especially with our parents. You need to plan for emergencies. Imagine how many unexpected events might happen; from earthquakes, inability to access medical care, flooding, or tornados. The question “what if?” is terrifying, but it is necessary for us to protect them. We also need to talk to them about bad scenarios they may face and plan how to deal with them. It is also essential to ask them about their important documents and how to reach them in case of emergencies.
Understanding Safety Measurements for Growing at Home
Adults above the age of 65 are prone to risks of hurting themselves during simple life activities. Risks include falling or tripping, poisoning themselves while eating, or even injuring themselves during any activity. One will need to address such dangers with their parents and make them aware of possible fatal situations when staying at home. Most accidents and injuries that usually happen to seniors are a result of tripping or falling, what makes it worse is the lack of assistance for such accidents. Part of making sure your parents have fast access to means of communication is frequently checking on their electrical devices and making sure they have functional phones and home facilities. You need to make sure that their fire detector is working fine and has a battery that is in good condition. That way it’s more certain they will be able to reach out for help when needed in serious situations or during accidents.
Another threat that elders face during their stay at home is poisoning. Poisoning could happen as a result of misplacing cleaning products and soaps, lack of attention towards prescribed medical drugs or misuse of medication in general, and getting poisoned from Carbon Monoxide. Having a Carbon Monoxide detector installed will take care of the latter. Protecting your parents from poisoning accidents will demand a great deal of paying attention to small details. You will need to exert more effort labeling their medications and providing instructions. You will also need to ensure all cleaning products are placed in an appropriate place which is known and acknowledged by them.
Manage Home Security
No matter how safe a neighborhood may seem, you can never be too safe. This is why it’s so important to make home security a priority. Do you know who is the targeted audience for frauds, abuse, and theft? Seniors staying at home alone. Fortunately, today we have many technological advances in home security. Many available innovations offer a chance to make sure that our parents are protected, without having to be in the same place they are in. Here are some of the best options when you are trying to manage home security.
- A video doorbell can help greatly in watching who is going to and coming to form your elderly parent’s house.
- You might have the option to attach your phone with the doorbell intercom to answer visitors.
- Installing cameras inside and outside the house will give you a chance of viewing how caregivers, nurses, and cleaners deal with your parents and prevent nefarious behavior.
- A full-one security system that you can arm remotely is the perfect idea to ensure your family’s safety and security.
As you get older, naturally, so do your parents. This is why it’s so important to ensure that they are well taken care of without making them feel neglected or insulted from your end. These days are tough for everyone. Things are already stressful enough, not only because we are afraid for ourselves, but also due to worrying about the more fragile souls that we deeply care about. Dealing with the pressure of having to constantly worry about your elderly parents and their health can take a toll on your body, both physically and mentally.
This is why it’s important to seek all the help you need from nurses, caregivers, doctors, and relatives to not carry this weight alone. You can also take advantage of innovations in-home security technology to ensure that your family is safe and sound even when you are not around them. Make sure to stay connected with your parents to make them feel less lonely and isolated.