If you have an elderly relative who needs daily assistance in these uncertain times, one major problem is how to take care of that family member, especially since there is an ongoing pandemic.

Not only are resources going to be stretched to their breaking point, but you might not be able to find a suitable caregiver at this time.

You might then need to learn how to care for your elderly relative by yourself. This can be quite challenging, but it is possible to find ways to integrate that care with your current occupation.

Here are some tips on caring for an elderly that may help you cope.

  1. Talk to your elderly relative first

You will have to consult your elderly before anything else, since they’ll need care during this very difficult time.

Ask that family member if it would be alright to assume the caregiver role for them. If not, ask if they would prefer to hire a professional caregiver instead, such as those from Tandem Careplanning.

  1. Calculate costs of hiring a caregiver

If your relative prefers hiring a caregiver, you will have to check how much a caregiver would cost for daily service. Some caregivers charge more than others, depending on the nature of their service. Since there is an ongoing pandemic, you need to discuss with the caregiving candidate if they can be a stay-in caregiver.

This would help ease the minds of your other relatives since it is very easy for an infected caregiver to pass on the COVID-19 virus to your elderly relative. The safest choice for the caregiver candidate is to agree to a stay-in arrangement to care for your elderly, so that there won’t be any chance for infection from outside the home. 

You will also need to have the caregiving applicant tested for the virus before that person can be hired. And while you’re at it, have your elderly tested as well. If both of them turn out to be negative for the virus, a stay-in arrangement would help reduce the risk.

  1. What you should do if you’re the caregiver?

Sometimes, the elderly may prefer that you take care of them since you are relatives. If this suits you, you should have yourself tested then to rule out infecting your elderly.

Remember that the elderly are the most vulnerable demographic when it comes to the virus. Once you test negative, you may proceed to care for your elderly.

You should consult the doctor of your elderly via video call, to find out what are requirements for the elderly’s care. Here are some concerns you should consult the doctor about:

  • The current medical condition of your elderly.
  • The current medication that is being prescribed for the elderly relative.
  • The schedule for taking that medication.
  • The frequency of video call consultation with that doctor.
  • Any other concerns regarding caring for your elderly relative.

You should check if you have sufficient funds for your own care, as long as you’re the designated caregiver.

Do you need to have a regular allowance from the family, if you will be taking care of your loved one full time? Will you be able to juggle a full-time job while also taking care of that person? Does your elderly currently receive a pension from the government which can be used for that person’s medical care and other daily expenses?

You will also have to check if you will be doing some blue-collar work while taking care of your relative. Who will be doing the cleaning, especially if your relative already has incontinence? Who will be cooking meals for your relative, especially if there are dietary restrictions? This all means being able to demarcate your role as a caregiver with other roles in the home.

  1. Will you be able to protect your relatives from COVID-19 virus?

Since we all know that the COVID-19 virus is highly contagious, you will need to be on the alert so that your elderly relative will be protected. This is important as the elderly generally have a weaker immune system which can be fatal if the elderly is exposed to the virus.

You will have to set protocols that will help eliminate the virus before it can spread in the home of your elderly. This means washing your hands frequently with soap and water, and giving your elderly a cleansing bath every day.

The areas where your relative tends to spend much time will have to be disinfected at least once per day. You will have to screen visitors so that individuals who are exposed to others outside will not be able to infect your elderly. It is very important as well that the clothing and bedding of your relative as well as your own clothing and bedding will be laundered every day with detergent and water.

Conclusion

No one is sure when this pandemic will end. No one knows whether the virus will eventually go away either. But one thing is for sure – your elderly relative will definitely need assistance at some point from a caregiver.

Whether that caregiver is you or someone you hire, the primary concern is that your elderly will be protected from the pandemic virus. It is important to be strict about the health protocols, for the welfare of the elderly and for your own welfare too. 

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