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Covid May Be Here to Stay: How to Look After Our Elderly

January 6, 2021

The reasons as to why we need to protect our elderly and people who are already suffering from a chronic disease is merely due to the fact that they are likely to develop serious symptoms if infected with Covid-19. Unfortunately, many of the deaths caused by COVID-19 have been shown to be in elderly people over 65 years of age. The people in these cases were shown to have underlying chronic conditions, or other disease that compromised the working functions of their immune system.

With confirmation from many countries in the world that the second wave of Covid-19 has hit, it is fair to say that we may be afar ways off from seeing the end of this disease in the near future.  With lockdown restrictions starting up again in most countries, we may sometimes feel like there is no light at the end of this dark and dreary tunnel.

 

That being said, it should be easy to imagine just how our senior citizens must be feeling while being locked down in a care home with no friends or family members being able to visit them.

 

In this article we will discuss why the elderly need to be isolated from the Corona virus and how you can do your part in helping them to adjust to the new normal.

The Elderly and Comorbidities During Covid

The reasons as to why we need to protect our elderly and people who are already suffering from a chronic disease is merely due to the fact that they are likely to develop serious symptoms if infected with Covid-19.

Unfortunately, many of the deaths caused by COVID-19 have been shown to be in elderly people over 65 years of age. The people in these cases were shown to have underlying chronic conditions, or other disease that compromised the working functions of their immune system.

Elderly people and people who battle with chronic conditions are twice as likely to suffer from serious complications if they become infected with COVID-19.

There are two reasons for this:

·     When people age, their immune system tends to become less efficient in its ability to fight off disease and infection.

·     The elderly are more likely to suffer from underlying chronic health conditions which can make it harder for their bodies to cope with or to recover from illness as it is already under extreme pressure.

 

Elderly people who suffer from the following chronic health conditions are more likely to be at a higher risk of complications if they contractCOVID19:

-      Cardiovascular disease

-      Diabetes

-      Asthma

-      Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

-      Cancer

-      Kidney disease

-      High blood pressure

-      Obesity

How Care Homes Benefit the Elderly Amidst the Pandemic 

During the pandemic, many care homes have put numerous procedures and protocols into place so as to avoid the transmission of COVID19 amongst their residents. There are many benefits to your elderly loved one being in a care home during these trying times and although they may feel isolated and at time alone you can rest assured that every preventative measure is being taken to care for their well-being.

Besides the safety and protection of senior citizens during the pandemic, care homes offer a range of other benefits.

Safety

Care homes are often considered when the elderly become vulnerable and cannot look after themselves properly.  Sometimes living on their own can become hazardous to their health.

Mind Stimulation

It is important to ensure that an elderly person’s mind is continuously stimulated as they can become more vulnerable to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as they age. Care homes do as much as they can to facilitate activities that stimulate the minds of their residents.

Healthy Meals

In many cases, the frail and elderly who are living on their own are not able to consume proper wholesome meals as they are unable to prepare these meals by themselves.  When living in care homes, residents are offered quality, nutritious meals in order for them to thrive.

Supervised Medication

When your loved one resides in a care home you can rest assured that they are not going to miss or accidentally take too much of their medications. Medication is administered by the staff in the care home and is always carefully monitored.

Specialized Care

There are a number of care homes who specialize in services in cases where your loved one requires more intensive levels of care. These care homes have trained nurses and doctors on call at all times.

Helping Our Elderly Adjust to The New Normal

Here are a few suggestions on how you can help your older loved one adjust better to the health protocols that need to be adhered to during COVID-19:

Be Honest with Them 

It is extremely important to be completely honest with your loved one about the risks of COVID19, especially when they are living in a care home or have pre-existing health conditions.

Explain to them that they are at a higher risk of developing serious complications should they contract the illness. Don’t, however cause unnecessary alarm and anxiety and do you best to be as calm about the situation as possible.

Keep on Explaining

In some cases, older adults who are living with dementia, memory impairment, or Alzheimer’s disease may need to be reminded about the reasons as to why they have to take increased safety precautions.

In such cases, these people may wonder why everyone is wearing masks, why they can’t visit with family, or why their caregivers in the care home are making them wash their hands so often. It is important for the caregiver or yourself to calmly explain to them as many times as needed why they are following such a strict sanitization regime.

How to Keep Our Loved One Safe During the Pandemic

  

Due to the fact that people over age 65 are the most at risk for serious complications from the virus, their families and caregivers have to become more cautious about protecting them from COVID19 while at the same time supporting them mentally and emotionally.

Here are steps to help protect your loved one both physically and emotionally during this time:

1) Talk About It

Talk openly to your loved one and explain the severity of the outbreak and the risks to them if they become complacent and do not take the prescribed safety precautions. Establish rules such as wearing masks, washing hands and practicing social distancing.

Keep assuring them that this too shall pass and that what they are doing is keeping themselves as well as others in their care home safe from infection.  This should give them encouragement and help them to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

2) Check in on Them

It is crucial to keep in contact with your loved one when they are living in a care home during the pandemic. The chances are high that you are not going to be able to visit them face to face for a long while into the future. Try to check in on them daily via phone conversations or video call platforms.

3) Keep them Socially Active Through Technology: Care2Talk

Care2Talk is a video technology platform that provides an easy to use and secure product for care facilities, ministries, institutes, and universities to connect with their various constituents seamlessly.

This iOS/Android App uses a specially designed interface on a mobile or tablet device to create an easy-to-use video chat tool for those with cognitive decline and other impairments who may find alternative methods difficult to navigate.

 

This includes people who are suffering from conditions associated with:

-      Aging & Dementia

-      Cognitive and Developmental Disabilities

-      Bain Injuries

-      Vision Impairment

-      Physical Disabilities

Care2Talk allows for the ability of integration in care homes by using their application directly within the internal systems of the care home.  Senior citizens are able to have contact with not only family and friends, but also with the care home administration, care-aide, kitchen and in-house doctor.

 This can make all the difference when it comes to maintaining the emotional health of both patients and caregivers in the care home environment during Covid-19.

 

Care2Talk is a one touch solution when connecting to loved ones.

 

 

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