The growing coronavirus crisis has significant financial and emotional repercussion on families of older adults who are considered at higher risk for becoming seriously ill if exposed to COVID-19.
A recent Forbes article by Sherri Snelling looked into the challenges of Home Care during the Coronavirus crisis.
“This crisis has put a new lens on caregiving — both the family members and the (professional) direct care workers — and is showing us how invaluable their work is to our collective well-being,” says Janet Kim, communications director at Caring Across Generations, an advocacy group supporting paid care workers and family caregivers.
“Right now, communication is the number-one key to ensuring health and safety remain our top priority for our home care workforce and for our clients and their family caregivers,” says Vicki Hoak, executive director of the Home Care Association of America.
She also says professional home care workers fill in for family members who cannot be with their loved ones very often or for long periods of time because of work or long distance.
Following Safety Guidelines
In-home caregivers can help seniors follow the CDC’s recommendations to reduce the chances of catching the virus, at the same time they can keep watch for any symptoms for COVID-19 and alert the family caregiver if any symptom develop.
“The home aide can take frequent temperature readings and notice if there are any changes in conditions, rather than having an older adult at home alone who make not notice any virus symptoms,” Hoak says. “This can make all the difference in the world to get a loved one immediate care or possible testing.”
Caregivers also should care for themselves; they need to be well-equipped to provide care to the seniors, it is important follow protocols and procedures for monitoring their own health to ensure seniors safety.
Those who receive in-home health care services should check with their agencies to make sure their providers follow all protective measurements.
The Challenge of Social Distancing
The guidelines from the health care experts during the pandemic is to practice social distancing. This can raise the challenges of isolation and anxiety for older adults. This isolation problem can impact families of older adults and caregivers, and even more so with seniors who has dementia.
Solutions for families and caregivers
Utilizing technology to support caregivers and seniors during social distancing can help seniors overcome isolation and stay connected through video calling or online classes or activities.