How to Address Your Parent's Health Issues and Protect Them from Coronavirus
When parents start to age, they might begin to experience symptoms of their failing health. Sometimes they refrain from disclosing it to their children and prefer to keep it to themselves. They do not intend to lie to you but might not want you to know about their declining health. They want to feel a sense of independence and do not wish to lose it. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the challenges are even higher.
You can try and make your parents comfortable in disclosing their feelings and health issues with you. They need to be informed, that if you know about their health conditions, you can provide the required help. As the numbers of coronavirus cases soar the risk for elderly people gets even higher. But fret not you can follow these useful tips to make sure that your parents remain safe during the ongoing pandemic. You can also buy health insurance for coronavirus to ensure the right treatment in case of an emergency.
To address the health concerns of your parents, firstly you must consider these few warning signs:
- Wrong Eating Practices - With growing age, the first symptom which elder people face is the loss of appetite. Whereas, taking light and healthy diet is a prerequisite at their age. If you can afford it, you can get a cook, who can cook healthy food for them or cook yourself for them. During the ongoing pandemic, it is imperative to eat immunity-boosting foods, make sure that your parents are eating nutritious and wholesome meals, because ‘we are what we eat’ and for your elderly parents, this is important!
- Maintaining Hygiene - Elderly people are not very active, thus they refrain from taking regular baths out of body weakness, and this can be unhygienic. During the COVID-19 outbreak, it is all the more important to wash hands regularly and take a bath. They might not even change their clothes regularly and happen to neglect their nails, hair, and teeth. So, ensure that you take care of these things if they can’t do it on their own to protect them from Coronavirus.
- Home Cleanliness - They might fail to keep their home surroundings clean and fresh. If you want your parents to stay hygienically, make sure that the house is cleaned daily.
The habit of Forgetting - This is one of the most common symptoms which come with age is forgetfulness. It can be anything from a doctor's appointment, name of people, bills, or medicines, and even their daily routine tasks.
- Less Movement - Check if they are losing out on their mobility or are they facing difficulty while driving? Do they face any difficulty while getting out of their bed? Can they walk properly? Are they able to perform other routine activities that involve movement?
Secondly, look for these prominent symptoms which your parents might be going through -
- Risk of Falling - There would be a stage it would become difficult for your parents to walk on their own. Your parents would need some kind of support while walking. Sudden fall makes one of the leading causes of elder people’s injury, bruises, bone breaking or death, as per the hospital reports. They might not tell you out of the fear of going down on the support of a walker or wheelchair.
- Prolonged Pain - Do not fret, but there are chances your parents might not tell you about the recent pain they might be experiencing. Check with them for the same and provide them the necessary treatment and medical help, preferably online consultations
- Feeling Dizzy – Not only coronavirus, but low blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid and medications can be one of the primary reasons for your parents to feel dizzy throughout the day.
- Inability to Drive - Your parents might be facing trouble while driving their car. It can be a vision problem, inability to drive or move or simply a problem of awareness. They withhold these symptoms because they do not want to lose their independence to drive. This can be fatal, so make sure you address issues like this timely.
- Financial troubles - When you were not earning, it was only your parents who took care of your expenses. Now it’s your turn to pay back with emotional and financial support. You can start by buying a senior citizen mediclaim policy to secure their health-related finances.
And if they already have one, check if it covers coronavirus and the extent of coverage benefits. Else you can consider buying standalone best health insurance plans for coronavirus that covers all the major costs including test, medicines, PPE kits, gloves, oximeters, ventilators, ICU charges, and likewise.
What can you do to keep your Parent's Health and well being during Coronavirus?
Most importantly, try to stay with your parents and if you cannot stay because of your job requirements in a different city or country, you can do as mentioned below -
- Health insurance - Amid the sedentary lifestyle and COVID-19 pandemic, there are different health insurance plans for senior citizens that are available in the market. You can also buy specific health insurance for coronavirus like a corona kavach, corona Rakshak, Arogya Sanjeevani policy for your parents up to 65 years.
- Communicate - If you can share what you feel for your parents, you will be able to motivate them to take care of themselves or inform you about any symptoms of their deteriorating health conditions. They will not avert from doctor appointments (mostly online now) and telling you about the same if they know you genuinely care about their health.
- Monitor their Health
Monitor your parents health especially respiratory conditions, you can also buy an oximeter for them that they can use to monitor oxygen levels at home. If they face any breathing issues or coughing symptoms, you can contact the nearest medical facility for advice or call 1075 for assistance.
- Encourage them to Take Online Consultations with their Healthcare Provider - You would need to take efforts and help your parents by fixing a doctor’s appointment, especially, if you see them going through any of the above symptoms. Timely health check-ups can be of great help and keep them updated about their health conditions. There is no need to visit a medical facility until it is an emergency. To maintain social distancing all the doctors are now giving online consultations to their patients.
- Encourage Your Parents to Follow Healthy Practices- Just like you; your parents also need to follow hygienic practices to protect themselves against coronavirus. You can inform them about the right practices, like proper sanitization of household items, washing hands frequently for 20 seconds, sneezing into the elbows, wearing face masks, and glove. These healthy habits will go a long way in keeping the elderly safe and protected from COVID-19 without your constant attention.
- Keep them Happy- Keep a check on your parent’s mood and feelings, to ensure they do not succumb to loneliness or depression.
Your elderly parents might not tell you blatantly if they need help during the time of the pandemic. It’s your responsibility to identify their health issues if any. Make them comfortable to share their changing health conditions with you, so that you can also take the necessary measures. Let them know you care about them and keep their health insured with senior citizen mediclaim policy or separate health insurance for coronavirus.
Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 28 August 2020