It comes as no surprise that older adults are considered to be at a higher risk of extreme illness from COVID-19, especially if they have underlying health conditions. But how do you actually get those you care about to stay home and practice a new, safer lifestyle in the midst of this pandemic?
It can be a bit of a challenge at first, but don’t give up. Your parents are used to having their own schedule and independence, some just need a little extra support to make these necessary lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of contracting the disease.
Try these suggestions to get your parents and older loved ones on board:
Delivery and takeout – Cooking at home is always a great option, but some loved ones have become accustomed to dining out regularly. For those that do, delivery or takeout may be the next best thing. Many services that deliver are moving towards a contactless form of delivery now. Depending on your loved one’s lifestyle, that may be a great option for them to quickly get the items they need without having to take much risk continuously going out in public several times a week.
Hand washing – Keeping the hands clean is an obvious way of keeping germs at bay, but a necessary step that will help everyone stay healthier and actively reduces the spread of viruses from person to person. Make sure that hands are cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Daily runs – Like most of us, your parents may have busy daily routines for tasks they need to handle to keep things running smoothly such as grocery runs, prescription pick-ups, appointments or even paying bills in-person. Of course the essentials are still worth a trip (with a facial covering), but perhaps you could offer to help find alternatives for the other tasks that could be done online. Did you know that Village Health Partners works with Catalyst RX, and they can deliver medications to their home?
Stay Connected – For those that are more social, spending little to no time with others can be challenging, especially when away from dear friends and family. Introduce your parents to video chat like Skype, Zoom or FaceTime if they’re not familiar with it. Get in the routine of sending them updates and videos of their grandchildren. Let them read the next bedtime story aloud via FaceTime. Most importantly, try to keep them in the loop during milestones and special moments.