Saturday, April 18, 2020

In-Home Caregivers and Covid-19: Why Your Caregiver Should Continue to Come


Kelsey Simpson recommends keeping caregivers during Covid-19.

With the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the world, many of the elderly and people with fragile health are concerned about having in-home caregivers.  Should they continue to allow people to come into their home to cook their meals, or assist them with showers, dressing and other personal services?  Without a caregiver, however, will their quality of life suffer?  Because so many people have questions about this topic, I was delighted when Kelsey Simpson with Comfort Keepers offered to write a guest post to help our readers understand why they may be better off keeping their in-home caregivers.  Her guest post is below. 

The Importance of Continuing In-Home Senior Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Kelsey Simpson

The COVID-19 pandemic is a trying and uncertain time for people of all ages all over the world. This global pandemic is forcing people to stay in their homes until further notice, preventing them from seeing friends, family, coworkers, and even doctors and other healthcare providers. Due to this global pandemic, people are sacrificing important appointments, such as seeing their doctor and getting their monthly or yearly checkups. This can put their health in jeopardy. However, the demographic which is in the most jeopardy are the seniors who stop their in-home care service.

Elderly people are at a higher risk of dying if they contract the COVID-19 virus; with that being said, most elderly people are doing all they can to avoid contact with other people who do not live in their household, including senior care workers. Though seniors should take necessary precautions to avoid other humans, they should not avoid seeing their health care providers, including their in-home senior caregivers.

Should I Continue In-Home Care For My Loved One During the COVID-19 Crisis?
  
The answer is yes. Though seniors should do what they can to avoid contact with all other people, in-home senior care workers are an exception because they are necessary for the seniors' care. In-home senior care is crucial for many aging adults. In fact, so many aging adults depend on it that, if they were to stop using their services, their quality of life and health would likely deteriorate quickly. Below are some of the reasons why seniors should continue their in-home senior care services, despite the global pandemic. 

Family Members Might Not Care For the Elderly in the Same Way

If you are a family member who is in charge of dealing with an aging loved one’s senior care, it is important you understand why you should continue the caregiver service during these difficult times. One of the most important reasons you should continue in-home care is that you may not be able to care for your loved one the same way the care service does. If you are unable to provide the quality care that your loved one needs, his or her quality of life or health could be greatly impacted in a negative way.

If you are the person whose relative is using an in-home care service, it is likely you already recognized in the past that you were unable to care for your aging loved one on your own. Maybe your loved one requires 24/7 special care, or you have a demanding career and a family of your own which you need to care for. Whatever the case may be, seniors rely on an in-home service for a reason, and stopping this care may have a direct impact on their health and well-being. 

Change Could Distress Your Loved One

In addition to not knowing how to care for your loved one, if you drastically change their life, you may distress him or her. It is common for seniors to resist change, or to not understand the reason for the change, especially if they have early stages of dementia. If you pause their in-home senior care service, you run the risk of distressing them by stopping their needed quality care.  You also run the risk of confusing them.

Distressing elderly people can result in mental and physical pain and discomfort. Similarly, if your aging loved one is upset, it may become even more difficult for you to care for them. As a result, the assistance of an in-home senior care service can be essential to their happiness and well-being, as well as your own. 

An In-Home Nurse is a Good Precaution Against Covid-19

In-home nursing care is one of the best ways for seniors to actually prevent contracting the COVID-19 virus. In-home nurses will provide quality care for seniors, which will keep them as healthy as possible during this global pandemic. A well-trained caregiver will take all necessary precautions to keep them healthy, something the elderly may not be able to do on their own. This may include taking steps to boost the patient's immune system, assisting in their cleanliness, and making sure the aging adult is getting the proper rest, which is necessary in order to stay healthy. In-home nurses will also take sanitation and cleanliness very seriously, making sure to keep the health of their patients in mind in everything they do.

In-Home Care That Goes Above and Beyond

In-home senior care is crucial for those who are elderly or frail, no matter what in going on outside the home, including during a global pandemic. Caregivers will do everything they can to keep your elderly loved one safe, healthy and comfortable during these difficult times. 

In order to ensure the health of your loved one, make sure that your caregiver is wearing the proper preventative pieces, such as gloves and a mask. If your caregiver does not have access to these things, as they are becoming quite scarce, do your best to provide him or her with whatever personal protective equipment they need.  It will be worthwhile for both you and your loved one’s safety and peace-of-mind.

About the Author:
Kelsey Simpson enjoys writing about issues which help others. She lives in South Jersey, is the proud companion to two German Shepherds, and spends her free time volunteering in dog shelters.

If you or a caregiver is taking care of a family member who is sick at home with symptoms of Covid-19, or even the regular flu (which is bad enough), you may wonder how to care for them.  A helpful book for family members or caregivers is:  "Pandemic Flu Home Care: A Detailed Guide for Caring for the Ill at Home."

To learn more about common medical problems as we age, Medicare, Social Security, financial planning, where to retire and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

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Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Kelsey Simpson

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