Advice For Family Caregivers In The Time Of COVID

Advice For Family Caregivers In The Time Of COVID

Caregivers are known to be good at planning for the future and managing unforeseen health crises. Still, with COVID-19, you may not have time to plan or request the available information on the novel Coronavirus pandemic, which evolves quickly and sometimes conflicts, which makes your duty as a family caregiver a bit tasking and complex. 

The below-listed tips can help you protect yourself and your loved ones as much as possible.

Follow the instructions of the CDC: The CDC has gathered a variety of resources to answer specific questions and to answer any questions you may have. They have made recommendations to help ensure everyone's health and safety.

    •    Avoid large crowds. Currently, the CDC recommends that you do not hold public meetings with more than 10 participants.

    •    Avoid non-essential travel.

Find Support: Caring for the family is difficult, even at the best of times. Now you may be caring for a parent who is in a nursing home and assisted living center but who you cannot visit for weeks and may not be able to visit for months to come. Hence, you feel for them, and this, in turn, makes you feel restless and guilty.

Do not try to face it alone. Meet and talk to other people in the same situation. Share ideas and maybe get a virtual shoulder to lean on. You may be lucky to find local groups through religious communities, local agencies on aging, local non-profit organizations that support the elderly or groups linked to creating awareness about the virus. 

Refill Prescription: Make sure you have enough medical supplies and medicine for an unforeseeable time.

Make sure your loved one's medication is part of a patient assistance program: Meanwhile, many health care plans and practices are expanding their patient care programs to help eligible unemployed patients in the United States or anyone who lost their health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These expanded programs offer free access to many prescription medications for free.

Monitor the health of your loved one and stay in touch with their medical team: 

Many health plans and practices have their guidelines on how and when to contact them about COVID-19 for possible symptoms or exposures. Get in touch with your loved one’s medical practitioner and ask them how to go about it.

Go to emergency rooms only for emergencies: If you think you or your loved one is having symptoms of COVID-19, call your doctor.

Know your risk factors: Do you have a chronic illness? Are you immune-suppressed? Many caregivers have health issues, so don't put yourself in danger.

Be aware of any changes in visitation policies: Many hospitals and emergency rooms no longer allow visitations, including caregivers, to treatment areas or patients' rooms. In case you are not allowed to be with your loved one in the hospital or the emergency room, discuss a strategy with the team that allows you to receive updates concerning the loved one. Many health and care facilities have changed visitation policies. 

Call before going to see a Doctor: To minimize the risk of exposure, many health centers carry out several telemedicine consultations. Medicare and other insurers have expanded their coverage to now include telemedicine. Call your loved one's doctor before planning to see if telemedicine can be planned.

Prepare for any quarantine: If your loved one has been exposed to COVID-19 or has shown symptoms and a positive test for the virus, you should be prepared to manage a 14 days quarantine period. Some of the questions you should ask yourself should include but not limited to:

    •    Can the loved one stay in a specific room and away from other people in the house during the quarantine period? You should also use a separate toilet, if available.

    •    Avoid sharing personal items, such as towels, dishes, and bed linen.

    •    Clean all frequently touched surfaces. These include tables, counters, and handles. Use sprays or cleaning cloths as directed on the label.

One last piece of advice for family caregivers: Take a walk, breathe, and stretch. Caregiving can consume everything, especially with the novel coronavirus. You need a break and do everything you can to maintain your health. A walk is a perfect solution. Everything else may seem broken, but try to be positive and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Try to have fun.

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