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COVID-19: Helping Seniors While Social Distancing

With the coronavirus still going around and ravaging across the entire United States, being in proximity with your loved ones, especially those who are in their seniors years or have existing illnesses, can be risky. The best thing that you can do for family members, who are vulnerable to the highly infectious disease, is to maintain a safe distance.

However, distancing does not mean you no longer can help them. There are various things that you can do to ensure that your elderly or ill loved ones can live as comfortably and as safely as they possibly can, even if you are not physically around to aid them.

Here are some steps family members can take in order to provide care to seniors from a distance.

Keep Local Services in Speed Dial

Adults want to be independent for as long as possible. However, as they grow older, even the simplest tasks become challenging and, sometimes, dangerous. There will be a time when getting groceries, cooking food, cleaning their house, and other chores will be impossible for them to do on their own.

Family members do not have to be present to help an elderly loved one with day-to-day chores. Right now, you can call lawn maintenance professionals to mow the grass and trim the hedges, sweep the fallen leaves, cut tree branches, and care for their front and back yard. During the winter, a residential and commercial snow removal service can provide assistance when it comes to keeping the roofs and their driveways/walkways free from ice.

If food is an issue, groceries can be ordered and then delivered right in front of your loved one’s door. They do not have to leave the comfort and safety of their home. These services are available year-round, not just during the pandemic. In addition, there meal delivery services that are designed specifically to address the dietary needs of seniors. Although it costs quite a bit, it removes the need for your loved one to cook their own food.

Having a nearby pharmacist on speed-dial will also allow you to get expert recommendations on medication, assemble medication as well as a first-aid kit, and deliver them to your loved one’s home.

Collect the contact information of all the services in the area that your loved one may need.

elder couple

Take Advantage of Technological Advances

Seniors are prone to illnesses and accidents. Although you are away, you can continue monitoring their well-being through technology.

A regular Apple Watch can serve as virtual eyes and ears. It has the capacity to detect motion and determine whether the wearer has taken a hard fall. If the wearer did not receive any injury, they can tap on the screen to tell the device that they are fine. However, if the device did not receive a response, it will call emergency services automatically. It also emits an alarm that gets louder and louder to alert anyone in the vicinity.

Voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa are helping seniors, too, especially during the lockdown. These smart speakers play music, surf the web, read out reminders, and do other simple tasks. In case of an emergency, if a senior cannot reach their phone, they can instruct their voice assistant to contact 911.

Create a Local Team of Helpers

During a time of need, you can expect people to step up and offer anything that can help. You can recruit neighbors and friends to keep an eye on your senior loved one. Occasionally, you can ask them to come by your senior family member’s house to check that they are doing okay.

Call Your Senior Loved Ones Regularly

The biggest problem that seniors face this time is isolation and loneliness. Without family members visiting, they lose the opportunity to become social which can be detrimental to their mental health.

Do not forget to call your elderly loved one regularly. Make use of the many online video conference platforms so that you can see their face, and they can see yours. This way, you can monitor their physical health, check that they are not injured nor getting thin, and not neglecting their grooming habits.

Call your loved ones as often as possible. You should also encourage your children to spend time with grandma or grandpa virtually. Through FaceTime or Zoom, your aging loved one can read a story to your young kids before bedtime, for example.

The pandemic is tough for everyone, but especially for seniors who are stuck inside in order to avoid being infected with the virus. Luckily, it is easier now to be connected and ensure that your loved ones are safe, healthy, and happy even if you cannot physically be with them.

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