According to Business Insider, “80% of US coronavirus deaths are among people 65 and up”. This should come as no surprise to most readers, since lately it has been widely reported that seniors are more susceptible to contracting the virus. Many seniors do need help, especially if they live alone. However, it is important to cautiously consider how to be of assistance.
What You Can Do Over the Phone:
1. Check in with them:
- Check up to see how they are feeling. Do they have any symptoms? How are they feeling emotionally? A regular call could be an important factor in keeping their spirits up. When people feel happy, they are less likely to become ill.
- Make sure that they understand about sanitation and what the Centers for Disease Control is currently recommending.
- Ask about their stock of supplements/medicines and if they have enough for a 2-4-week period.
2. Call service providers:
- Are there any health care providers that regularly visit them? Find out if they will be continuing their services. If they have suspended their services, see if you or someone else, such as a close friend or family member, can temporarily provide these services.
- Call their physician, if regular visits have been necessary in the past. Find out if the visits need to continue during the current epidemic.
- If they have a service that provides meals but has temporarily stopped, see what other options exist.
- Check with them to see if any other services have been suspended.
In Person Visits:
In-person visits are more-than-likely going to be necessary, even if infrequent. You and the senior may want to wear a mask and gloves for extra protection during the visit.
1. Check the Home
- Do a walk-through of the home to see if there are any safety issues. If you’re uncertain about what to check, then a senior safety audit is recommended. (We provide that and you can call us – Hawkeye Home Inspections - at 978-897-7130 to schedule.)
- Show them how and what to properly sanitize according to the current regulations.
2. Review in person:
- Go over what you discussed on the phone. For example, see for yourself if they have enough of their regular supplements/medicines.
3. Physical Health & Exercise:
- Take them out for a walk in a safe area, if they are able. If not, see what kind of indoor movement you can help them with, so they don’t become stiff and lethargic. Movement is critical to staying healthy, maintaining a strong immune system and keeping a positive attitude.
- Assess their health. What are they eating? Do they look healthy or pale? Are they out of breath? Check pulse and heart rate. Bring a stethoscope if possible. Are they employing proper hygiene?