How to Prepare the Elderly During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

Amid this ongoing pandemic offering support to older people, and their families is an important part of how the countries respond to the pandemic. Providing access to food, money, basic supplies, and medicine during the time of isolation is the biggest help that one can offer to keep their social care and physical health.

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      It is important to ensure that elderly people get the correct information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to keep up their physical and mental wellbeing. If you can provide them with clear messaging and get them to familiarize with the ways they can say keep themselves safe and avoid getting ill. So, if you are staying with elderly people or know someone in your vicinity then this is what you can do to prepare and protect them from community spread:

      Inform Them about the Special Measures Taken in Your Community:

      Inform the elderly about the special measures that were taken in your community along with the services and the sources of reliable information in case of a health emergency such as home deliveries, health ministry website, medical facilities, psychosocial support, and alternative access to their pension.

      Create a List of the Daily Needs and Basic Supplies

      A lot of people have been doing this but for elderly people, it can be difficult to do it themselves. You can help them create a list for at least two weeks of essential items and get them delivered at their home. It is sensible to get household products, non-perishable items, medicines for thyroid, sugar and blood pressure, and other prescribed medicines, batteries, sanitizer, masks, oximeter if possible.

      On the other hand, you can ask their caregiver, or a family member, neighbour to help them with the ordering and delivery of groceries. Another important thing is to ensure that they have balance in their phone and charge it regularly so that they can contact should there be any emergency.

      You may like to Read: Health Insurance for Senior Citizens

      Make a List of Emergency Numbers 

      Provide them with a list of all the emergency numbers like a nearby medical facility, COVID-19 local helpline, grocery stores, health emergency number, number of friends and family members, caregiver, and any association of older people. If they live alone, you can also share this list with their neighbours, caregiver or family members who regularly visit them or stay in touch with them over a video call or phone.

      Also keep their health insurer number on speed dial and check if they have any COVID-19 health insurance cover. If they do not have medical insurance and are up to the age of 65 years, they can get insured under Corona Kavach policy or Corona Rakshak policy and avail Coronavirus treatment cover including the cost of consumable medical items like PPE kits, ventilator, etc.

      You may like to Read: Buy Online Corona Kavach Policy for Covid-19

      Stock-up Medicine

      In day to day routine also most of the senior citizens are dependent on medicines for their basic functioning. You can check the list of medicines prescribed to them and stock them up. If needed, you can also consult with their doctor regarding these medicines that need to be stocked-up and for how long.

      Make sure that you do not panic when it comes to buying them medicine. The key is to stay proactive so that they have a steady supply of all the essential medicines. Do check the expiry date of the medicines before purchasing them.

      Rely on Telemedicine

      Super senior citizens and senior citizens usually have their monthly medical check-ups and weekly doctor visits. You can sit with them to understand their medical requirements.

      Resort to the digital technology to enable them to have teleconsultation with their doctors without the need of stepping out of the home. Moreover, you can discuss their health issues and medical conditions with their doctor and understand what needs to be done given the situation. In case there is an urgent requirement to visit a hospital, or a doctor, then ensure that they adhere to all the safety guidelines, wash their hands, wear face masks, and take a bath when returning from outside.

      Identify their Caregiver with Another Person that you Trust

      If the elderly people have a caregiver, then it is important to identify him or her with another family member or neighbour that you trust who can take care of their needs in case the caregiver doesn’t show up. You can note down all the items that you need for their personal care and assistance and how they can provide it to them in case of urgency, and if the caregiver doesn’t show up.

      In case you are taking care of someone with a disability, or an older person, let the person you trust know the responsibilities in case you fall sick. There are volunteer organizations and local authorities that offer support to the elderly amid the ongoing pandemic in their respective communities, check with them if they can offer help.

      Ensure Adequate Nutrition, Rest, and Physical Activity

      Elderly people need adequate nutrition, proper sleep, and some exercise. If their sleep cycle gets disturbed because of the stress, illness, household word during the lockdown, and feeling of loneliness and social distancing, it can have a huge impact on their health like fluctuation in blood pressure, diabetes level, etc. therefore, it is important that they are able to carry on with their routine activities, eat all the fruits and vegetables that are seasonal and are recommended as per their diet. It is important to get an adequate amount of nutrition to boost immunity and for that make sure that you take all the possible efforts.

      It might get difficult for old people to walk or exercise within the house. They cannot do strength training and dancing like the younger generation to keep up their workout routine, there are certain limitations for the older generation as they do not have multiple options.  So they can practice meditation, yoga and walking and stay active.

      Create a Separate Space for Isolation

      If there are multiple people living in your home, you can prepare a separate space or room in your home so that anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 can stay isolated in a separate room. In case there is no space for self-isolation, you can speak to your local health authorities or community leaders to check if they can get isolated or stay in quarantine there.  

      Stay Positive

      During the lockdown one of the most important things is to stay positive. It helps keep the negativity away and cheer up the mood. There is so much negativity in the news and social media platforms, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and if you help them light up their mood it will keep the house environment positive.

      One thing that you can do is limit their news-watching time on phone or television. And take all the possible efforts to keep negativity at bay as it can hard their peace of mind and result in frustration and anxiety. Discuss their happy times and good old memories and or ask them to share their life experiences with you.

      In a nutshell

      While the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of stopping yet,  therefore, it becomes all the more important to take care of the elderly and prevent them from succumbing to the deadly coronavirus. By following the above-mentioned tips for Coronavirus you can ensure that your loved ones are safe and protected.

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