Caregivers Response to COVID-19
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the new coronavirus in which older people are especially vulnerable to. Most research is showing that people 60 and older, especially ones with preexisting medical conditions such as lung disease, diabetes, cancer, or heart disease are more likely to battle with severe symptoms that can be deadly. Nearly a fifth of the US population is over 60 years old and almost every person under the age of 60 interacts either directly or indirectly with a potential high risk person.
Although every person should carry the burden to be careful when it comes to the spreading of COVID-19, those who take care of the elderly have an even more difficult yet important task at hand. The following are ways that everyone, and more importantly elderly care workers, can take care during this difficult time.
Personal Well Being
As a caretaker you should take all the suggested precautions when it comes to avoiding COVID-19 for yourself. Here are the basics guidelines to follow:
- Frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after providing care, prepping food, touching surfaces in public areas using the bathroom.
- Avoid crowds, and if you cough or sneeze, do so into the bend of your elbow or into a disposable tissue.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Be particularly mindful of certain surfaces, like metal or plastic handles or objects, as they can host the germs for longer periods of time than other surfaces.
- Enclosed areas like elevators or rooms can have lingering germs/particles in the air that may contain the virus. Be aware of your surroundings and where you are.
Be Alert And Maybe Avoid Some Social Interaction
One important term that most people are aware of now is called social distancing. An easy way to decrease the risk of your older family members catching COVID-19 is to limit face-to-face visits. In person interaction will only increase the chance of spreading the virus. One difficult thing about the virus is some carriers are asymptomatic or show minimal symptoms but are still able to pass the virus to others.
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean completely cutting oneself off from all people but be cautious and alert. Try avoiding handshakes and maybe just greet with a wave instead. Either way continually stay on top of your hand hygiene and avoid some of the situations that may seem more risky. With many social gatherings temporarily postponed caregivers might help their loved one access online services and outreach for spiritual solace and support. Keep in mind that this is a temporary situation and it is better to be careful now as there will be more social opportunities in the future.
Technology Is Your Friend
Make sure the elderly are aware of their options and possibilities to have social interaction through technology.
- Guide them in using a device (phone, tablet or laptop) to communicate via audio and/or video with their friends and loved ones.
- Use apps on these devices to provide captions for adults with hearing challenges.
- Continue to encourage those with lower risk to communicate with those who may feel alone or isolated.
Minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection
Postpone unnecessary doctor visits. If a higher risk person is feeling well, consider helping them postpone non-essential doctor visits.
Keep in mind that many older people, especially those living with chronic illness, have important relationships with their caregivers. To help them stay in touch, ask their doctors’ offices if they offer telemedicine, which enables doctors and patients to communicate over video, email or other means rather than face-to-face.
Avoid travel. Older adults should put off non-essential travel, particularly cruises or trips with itineraries that would expose them to crowds.
Decide on a plan
Having a plan if one does end up getting sick, whether COVID-19 symptoms or not, is important to do ahead of time. It is better to have a plan and not need it than to need a plan and not have it. Without causing anxiety try to talk through scenarios and what the necessary steps are if one becomes ill. What will the elderly adult do if their caregiver gets sick? Who are the important people to notify if an emergency takes place? Simple tasks like that can save time and stress in the chance an emergency takes place.
Stock up. Having an abundance of essential items, like food and medication, is important as it is hard to predict all the possible outcomes. Also, the less trips you as the caregiver needs to make to some of these public places reduces the risk of contracting the virus and passing that along to those you love.
Symptoms or exposure? Call ahead
If you or your loved one learn that you might have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or if anyone in your household develops symptoms such as cough, fever or shortness of breath, call your family doctor, nurse helpline or urgent care facility.
For a medical emergency such as severe shortness of breath or high fever, call 911.
We are a wholesale distributor of quality medical devices located in the USA. We offer a wide variety of products ranging from Mobility, Patient Care, Blood Pressure and Respiratory Care. We are a manufacturer/distributor of quality medical products, located in the USA with an exclusive partner relationship with Elite International Sourcing & Manufacturing (EISM) Co.
RMS is in its fifth year of operation and proudly boasts an increase in market share by 50% plus each year. We market domestically to the entire USA including Hawaii with potential new growth internationally to the Canadian and Asian markets. We have our own, Royal Medical Solutions, Inc. (RMS) branded product range manufactured and assembled by RMS domestically and/or manufactured by our partner Elite International Sourcing & Manufacturing. We use an independent sales force to enhance our visibility in all markets including: DME, Pharmacy, Grocery Stores (both independent and chain), hospitals, independent living centers, surgical centers and none brand specific retail outlets. Our product selection and development is greatly supplement through our Global Sourcing which includes Canada, Taiwan, China and European commonwealth.
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