Guidelines for Reducing Your Senior Parent’s COVID-19 Risk

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Coronavirus is defined by the CDC and other leading health organizations as a group of viruses associated with respiratory problems. However, many people associate this term with COVID-19, the current virus that’s causing widespread concern. While everyone is susceptible, this easily transmitted virus can be especially risky for older adults. If you’re caring for a senior family member, here’s what you can do to lower his or her coronavirus risk.

Increase the Intake of Foods that Boost the Immune System

The main reason COVID-19 is so risky for the elderly is because of their immune systems’ decreased ability to handle new “invaders” (pathogens). This happens because of the way the immune system changes with age, and older adults also tend to have chronic or underlying health issues that can further compromise their immune systems.

For this reason, one way to reduce your loved one’s coronavirus risk is with a diet that includes more foods that naturally boost immune system strength. Some of these include:

• Citrus fruits and green vegetables
• Red bell peppers, carrots, baked beans, and sweet potatoes
• Almonds, walnuts, and Brazil nuts
• Sunflower and pumpkin seeds

At-home caregivers can assist with planning and preparing nutritious meals. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care. Turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.

Limit Unnecessary Social Contact

Social distancing is a common recommendation for lowering coronavirus risk, but it’s not always possible or practical for seniors in need of regular assistance or certain services to do this. What you can do instead is limit your loved one’s need to go to areas where groups of people tend to gather, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and hair salons. Your loved one may be able to practice social distancing by:

• Having medication delivered
• Using a local meal delivery service if he or she normally goes out to eat on a regular basis
• Having healthy family members, friends, or neighbors run routine errands for him or her, such as picking up some things at the local grocery store

A home caregiver can run errands, including shopping for groceries and picking up prescriptions, so your loved one doesn’t have to leave home. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care. West Hartford Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Continue Safe Social Interaction

Social interaction is still essential for older adults’ mental health, but it’s not easy to remain social in the traditional sense if their options for in-person engagement are limited. Lower your loved one’s coronavirus risk without sacrificing the need to remain socially engaged by helping him or her explore other ways to stay connected. Possibilities include:

• Using social media, email, and communication/text messaging apps
• Video chatting with family members and friends
• Playing interactive games online that are appropriate for older adults
• Signing up for interactive online courses to learn new things and keep the mind sharp

Explore Options with In-Home Care

Ideally, it would be great if only family members could provide care for your loved one. However, this may not be possible for logistical or scheduling reasons. If professional care is needed, consider in-home care instead of assisted living facilities or senior day care centers. While such options certainly have their merits, the reason for this advice is simply that it’s easier to limit exposure to airborne pathogens and lower coronavirus risk in a more controllable home environment.

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. West Hartford, CT, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. If your senior loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (860) 372-4500.

With information surrounding coronavirus/COVID-19 changing by the hour, it’s challenging to stay updated on the most recent best practices for keeping seniors safe at home. At Home Care Assistance, we understand how critical it is for seniors and their caregivers to protect against coronavirus as much as possible. All our team members have received detailed communication on infection control protocols, including effective cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and hands. Our caregivers can pick up medications, groceries, and anything else a senior needs, minimizing their interaction with large groups of people. For more information on how Home Care Assistance helps protect clients, click here: https://www.homecareassistancehartford.com/covid-19-home-care/.

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