Coronavirus has taken the world by storm with many countries struggling to find the right short-term response. The spread of the disease has now lead to almost 1,8 million being infected and more than 100.000 people that died in as little as 3 months. With all of the precautions, the medical system of most countries failed under the enormous influx of patients in serious condition. To help slow down the spread the only practical solution was to limit movement and avoid social interaction. At the same time, the practice has shown that elderly people are high-risk patients. Due to their existing illnesses, they became prime candidates for complications and even death in case of corona infection. To stay protected many have opted to distance themselves and stay at home. But with the risk looming the question became: how to help your aging parent during coronavirus pandemic?
Risk group and factors
With the virus quickly spreading it became very obvious that the elderly are the population that is most at risk. Early data showed that people over the age of 65 are at the highest risk. It is not clear why but it is concluded that chronic illnesses and therapy may have hindered the body’s ability to fight off such an aggressive virus. Also, people with cancer, lung and heart diseases, vascular, liver disease, and diabetes are labeled as potential high-risk patients.
In the US, the CDC pronounced that people over the age of 60 with chronic illnesses are a high-risk population that is strongly advised to stay at home and avoid social interaction. With a high risk of infection spreading to your elderly parents it became complicated to help them and provide assistance to them in these conditions. So how to help your aging parent during coronavirus epidemic and provide assistance when you should avoid contact? There are certain things you can do:
- Limit contact
- Do chores for them
- Communicate through technology
- Contact medical professionals
Try to help the elderly stay distanced by limiting visitations yourself. Stay away to cut down the risk of transmitting the virus to them. Help them stay protected by limiting contact. If your elderly parents are in a senior care facility then these measures are already introduced by the facility. If you decide that they should relocate to a senior care facility take every precaution and help the elderly move stress-free.
To further reduce their contact with potential risk from the outside world try to do some of the chores for them Buy and gather some much-needed supplies like medication, food, and sanitation supplies, try to provide that service as safely as possible. Take every precaution to clean and sanitize yourself prior to visiting. Use masks and gloves and avoid physical contact.
Communicate through technology
Try to stay in contact through the use of technology. Use Skype, Zoom, or other platforms to be in touch and communicate over a safe distance. This direct contact is crucial for mental health in self-isolation conditions. Isolation and loneliness can also have devastating effects on health so stay in touch.
Call medical professionals
Make sure to follow both their health and mental state. If they start exhibiting any symptoms of any illness try to assess their state. Make them call the hospital ahead instead of just showing up there. The doctors will assess their state and even visit them to provide adequate assistance.
So, the Coronavirus has made life complicated for the majority of people. The elderly are affected the most as they are the risk group. Care for them has become almost impossible in conditions of self-isolation and with advice to limit direct contact. However, there are ways to do it. Stay isolated as much as possible to protect them but also provide assistance in a safe way. There is no definite recipe or advice on how to help your aging parent during coronavirus pandemic so be creative and stay safe for them.