The pandemic has changed caregiving for both professionals and family members.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every part of our daily lives. Since older adults were one of the most vulnerable populations for serious complications, changes due to the pandemic have affected all aspects of caregiving as well.
These important takeaways from COVID will inform the future of caregiving for seniors and other vulnerable populations.
While the entire globe was instructed to remain at home as much as possible, eliminating restaurant dining and other activities, seniors were especially isolated at home. Recent research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with others, has demonstrated that isolation can lead to serious health complications like:
Reduce isolation for your loved one by:
Caregiver burnout was already a serious issue among family and professional caregivers, but the COVID-19 pandemic made the phenomenon even worse. Caregivers were put at risk for contracting COVID themselves as they took care of those who needed them. Recent surveys show:
Be sure you are scheduling in self-care during your busy routine so that you don’t burn out:
For those adults who are charged with caring for kids as well as aging parents, the pandemic has made caregiving even more difficult. A few statistics from the San Diego chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association tell the tale:
Make sure you are getting the help you need by asking for assistance with caregiving tasks like:
The pandemic made heading to the physician for a routine check-up more difficult or dangerous, leading seniors to take a chance on virtual appointments. While meeting with a physician is not always the same over a screen, seniors adapted well to the virtual option with nearly 1 in 4 using some type of virtual or telehealth solution during the pandemic.
If your loved one is nervous about using virtual or telehealth appointments, here are a few ideas to make the process smoother:
While professional and family caregivers consistently use gloves to reduce infection control, the pandemic taught us that personal protective equipment, or PPE, is crucial for respiratory protection as well. Masks are now a part of the caregiver uniform throughout the globe.
When family caregivers should use PPE:
Both professional and family caregivers were left to provide care to others without much direction or support from local or national agencies. Ever resourceful, caregivers found a way to make good care a priority but the support system and resources for caregivers need to be improved moving forward.
Get the support, resources, and education you need to be an advocate for yourself and your loved one here:
The pandemic taught us that we are all connected and our decisions can have a serious impact on the lives of others. Seniors relied on their family members and greater community receiving the vaccine in order to provide safe care.
The biggest caregiving lessons from the pandemic are rooted in finding new ways to support caregivers and seniors so that they can remain healthy, happy, and connected with others.
Haley Burress is a senior care and caregiving expert. She worked in senior care for more than 15 years before she started writing for senior care agencies and professional caregivers full time. She has experience in Skilled Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living, Independent Living, and Memory Care as well as Adult Day services and home care.
Ready Set Care is creating a community to provide guidance for anyone caring for an aging loved one.
If you know someone that could benefit from our website, click the share icons below
or copy link below