None of us saw it coming, but it’s here. This global pandemic associated with COVID-19 has forced so many of us to make changes in our lifestyles. This is especially true for our senior population. They are perhaps the most vulnerable sector of society, and at the same time, the least likely to understand the new protocols for protecting personal safety and the safety of others.
Here are some tips for increasing safety for your senior loved ones during this time.
The Centers for Disease Control has warned that older adults, people over the age of 60, are more susceptible to succumb to the virus if they become infected. This makes it essential to protect them from coming into contact with the virus whenever possible.
Handwashing has always been critical for our elderly, especially in group living situations. Problems such as UTIs, clostridioides difficile (C Diff), and other infections are common in seniors, even under ideal conditions. Handwashing can help to prevent the occurrence and spread of bacterial and viral infections that are made worse by limited access to health care during quarantine periods. Since COVID-19 can be transmitted easily from person to person, handwashing hygiene should be observed.
Be sure that their environment stays clean and that visitors are kept to a minimum. Complete isolation has its risks as well since it is likely to affect a senior’s mental health to some degree. Masks are in order when visitors come to the house. Following suggested or mandated protocols will be the safest option.
In the house, remove throw rugs and clutter to keep the area safer to walk through. You’ll want to have a plan for fire safety and make your loved one aware of what to do in case of a fire.
Inspect the bathroom to make sure that safety features, such as grab bars and raised toilet seats are installed. Adjusting the thermostat on the sinks in the bathroom and kitchen will prevent accidental scalding. Installing colored indicators on the faucets — red for hot, and blue for cold — will help your loved one to keep from mixing them up. Ask your senior care advisor to get some for you.
In the kitchen, inspect outlets and small appliance cords for damage and frayed wires. Make sure that appliances that are currently kept up high are moved down within reach, to avoid reaching and bending to retrieve them. Inspect the refrigerator occasionally to prevent mold and bacteria from developing. Make sure all food is within the “best before” date.
If you need help with keeping your parents safe, Lean on Dee - Senior Care Advocates Inc. offers a range of services and can help your family with senior wellness check-ins. Contact them today at 800-413-8733.