We are living in unprecedented times. At last check, the Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed nearly 600 cases of the coronavirus in Canada. A week ago, there were 93. If you are the caregiver of an elderly person, your concern for his/her health has likely skyrocketed – and for good reason. Seniors are most susceptible to health complications due to COVID-19. What can you do to help them?
Here are five tips for caregivers of elderly people during the COVID-19 crisis:
1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
This tip isn’t just common sense. It’s the number one recommendation for people everywhere to follow. You don’t need to be caring for an elderly person in order for strict hand washing to be a rule. Wash with warm water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds. This is vital especially before and after you eat and after you use the wash room. Be sure to use a hand sanitizer if you can’t wash your hands right away.
2. Keep your environment clean.
“Place used masks, gloves and other contaminated items in a lined container, secure the contents and dispose of them with other household waste,” instructs Canada.ca, “Place possibly contaminated laundry into a container with a plastic liner and do not shake. Wash with regular laundry soap and hot water (60-90°C), and dry well. Clothing and linens belonging to the ill person can be washed with other laundry.”
3. Wear protective gear.
If you have no choice but to come into close contact with your elderly care recipient, it’s a must you wear protective gear. Put on a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Wear disposable gloves and even eye protection. If you don’t have a pair of goggles, it certainly won’t hurt to get your hands on one. Don’t re-use your masks or gloves, Canada.ca warns us. You want to rid yourself of any materials that could have become contaminated by an infected person.
4. Have one healthy person provide care.
It’s time to select a go-to caregiver. Ideally, you would be getting all the help you could get in caring for your elderly loved one. However, now is not the time to gather several people in one place at a time. Sure, two to three people may not constitute as “several”. But, it’s wise to minimize the chances of anyone coming into contact with an infected individual. This means designating one healthy person as the main caregiver.
5. Contact your physician about upcoming appointments.
Naturally, seniors visit their doctors regularly. If your elderly loved one has an upcoming scheduled appointment, don’t waste time in contacting the doctor’s office to see if it is still mandatory. If it isn’t, have it postponed to a later date. The last thing you need to do is unnecessarily bring your care recipient into an environment where infected individuals may be present.
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we’d like to offer you as much help as we can give you in caring for your elderly loved one. For more information about our mobility solutions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!