12. Tips for Safe Senior Visits and Check-Ins Amid COVID-19

Guest article by Hazel Bridges . . . Find her at hazel@agingwellness.org

Photo by Pixabay

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve all been told to refrain from visiting our senior loved ones in order to protect them from the coronavirus — but what about the seniors in our lives who rely on us for everything from meals and home repairs to companionship and social interaction?  The Fundamentals of Homecare considers some of the questions we’ve all been having about caring for the seniors in our families, at our church, and elsewhere in our communities — and the things we can do to safely check in with them amid COVID-19.

Q1: How can seniors fight isolation throughout the pandemic?

A1: From online worship services to video calls and internet-based games, these resources can help to fight senior isolation during the coronavirus crisis:

  • Isolated seniors can visit with loved ones virtually, but reliable and affordable internet service is crucial to keep people connected.
  • In addition to video chatting, here are some tips for keeping up with long-distance loved ones, regardless of age or circumstances.
  • Seniors can make the most of newer technologies that allow them to stay in contact with friends and family members.

Q2. What can I do to keep seniors safe, happy, and healthy?

A2. To keep seniors happy and healthy throughout the pandemic, everything from counseling to meal delivery services are available.

  • Food delivery is a crucial service for older people, but especially so during a pandemic.
  • Professional cleaning and lawn care services can be a big help to seniors who struggle with maintenance. Help them connect with experts via a site like Thumbtack.
  • For seniors dealing with isolation-related depression and anxiety, counseling services are available, and they can use Medicare benefits to help pay for these services.

Q3. What if my senior loved one believes they have COVID-19?

A3. If your senior loved one believes he or she may have the coronavirus, telemedicine services, in-person healthcare visits, and community-based testing sites can be used for COVID-19 screenings.

  • Telemedicine has become an essential way to safely monitor seniors’ health from a distance.
  • Community-based testing is an option during the pandemic.
  • Of course, protecting themselves from getting COVID-19 in the first place is the best scenario for older people.

Q4. How can I protect seniors during face-to-face visits?

A4. During in-person visits, these resources will help to protect your senior loved one from the coronavirus.

  • Face masks are essential tools for protection, especially among high-risk groups like senior citizens.
  • Believe it or not, regular hand washing is an excellent way of avoiding COVID infection.
  • Harvard Health points out that while hugging is a risky activity, the benefits of personal interaction may be worth taking a chance.

Whether your senior loved ones live near or far, these tips can help to protect them from COVID-19 — while ensuring they have everything they need to stay safe, happy, and healthy at home throughout the remainder of the pandemic.

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