The Trials of Caring For an Elderly Relative in These Difficult Times
These are scary and unprecedented times for all of us. Although much of the world as we know it has returned to its normal pace, the health threat posed by COVID-19 is never far from our thoughts. Despite the continuing protestations that the virus is either being overplayed by the government (or an outright hoax) the troubling statistics tell a very compelling tale to the contrary. One that’s especially worrying to those of us who have elderly, sick and vulnerable relatives. Many of us with elderly parents have brought them into our homes so that we can give them the support and protection that they need, or at least endeavored to visit them more often as part of their support bubble.
However, after months of lockdown and inconsistent rules all over the country, many of us are feeling unsure, exhausted and frustrated. They may be juggling the ongoing challenges of staying productive while working from home with parenting under-stimulated kids and learning to use Bard products for their elderly relatives. They will undoubtedly have had to make sacrifices in terms of their own social lives. But here are a few things that we all need to remember when caring for vulnerable and elderly relatives in these difficult times…
You can’t afford to let your cleanliness standards slip
You likely already have a habitually clean home. You like to keep the place spotless and inviting as well as keeping it cosy and tidy. So that it looks and feels like a home and not a hospital. However, now that lockdown restrictions have been eased, it’s especially important that you take extra steps to keep any traces of infection from entering your home;
- Keep cleaning surfaces that are touched often in the home
- Always wear face masks outside
- Wear different outdoor and indoor clothes
- Wash your clothes regularly
- Make sure everyone in the home knows the proper hand washing technique and uses it regularly.
Love at arm’s length
If you’re looking after an elderly relative who doesn’t live in your home, it may break your heart that you have to keep them at arm’s length. However, as much as you may yearn to hug them, kiss them or hold their hand, you’ll need to maintain social distancing until the virus is better under control.
By rule of thumb, you should always assume that you are infected but asymptomatic.
Your kids need to know why things are so different
The current situation is definitely a tough sell to kids. They may feel that they are being punished because they can’t have friends over and because they have to be so vigilant and diligent. It’s important to be open and honest with kids, explaining the risks to your vulnerable relatives and how their efforts are so helpful in keeping them safe. Remind and reward them for the good that they’re doing.
Remember, it’s not forever
It may seem as though the current status quo will endure forever. But there will come a time when we can all hold our loved ones close and enjoy the quality of life that now seems like a distant memory. The more effort we make now, the sooner that day will come.
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