The global pandemic has seen the entire world forced to adjust to a new normal. However, different sections of society have been impacted differently. While lockdowns are frustrating, younger people can cope. Older generations are struggling. They are at risk of becoming isolated, not having the care they need due to restrictions, and they may miss their family. As Covid-19 shows no sign of abating, you need to consider how to best support your elderly parents through this health crisis.
The concept of shielding is a sensible one. Those people over eighty should stay at home and remain indoors within their household while the pandemic takes hold. Shielding the vulnerable should prevent them from getting sick and dying. However, alongside this, mental health can begin to suffer. Feelings of anxiety and loneliness can creep in. While you can visit your elderly mom, saying hello through the window can make things even more frustrating. They may feel that life is carrying on without them and that they have been forgotten about. To combat this, you need to get your mom and dad into the twenty first century with some Zoom and Skype tutorials. Get them in a virtual meeting with you daily. Have the kids on screen and chat as you would normally. While you may be physically distant, you don’t have to be socially distant.
Elderly people tend to have other concerns about their health that don’t concern Covid-19. Your elderly parent may have arthritis, may have problems eating well, or may even have cancer. With a global pandemic, it can be difficult to know how you can ensure that your mom or dad can still receive the treatment they need. If your parent is struggling physically and you feel like end-of-life care is needed, get professional advice from hospice and palliative care services in your local area. These sensitive and supportive specialists will guide you through the process of making your mom or dad comfortable. They may even offer a space in a hospice to ensure that your elderly parent receives the finest comfort and care in their last days or weeks.
If your elderly parents are spritely and are still keen to be out and about, you may need to curb their enthusiasm. Just because they don’t look like your typical eighty year olds, doesn’t mean that coronavirus won’t make them very poorly. Ensure that you have a plan in place where you can drop off groceries, conduct Zoom calls, and even get their laundry and ironing done. If restrictions ease and you can form a support bubble, try and meet outdoors in the garden where Covid transmission is a lot less likely. While these are challenging times and older people can feel forgotten about, you need to show them that you are there and eager to help.
While you are worried about your own brood in these surreal days, you also need to consider your mom and dad. Follow this simple guide and help your elderly parents adjust to a new normal in the time of coronavirus.