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Caregiving During COVID-19

May 19, 2020

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The coronavirus pandemic has complicated lives around the world, including caregivers who care for loved ones Coronavirus has limited our ability to visit those we care for in nursing homes or assisted living facilities and in some cases, forced caregivers to provide care remote. As caregivers adopt to new norms of social distancing, reduction in services, and widespread fear and anxiety, it’s important to have a plan in place in the event they or a loved one gets sick.

What happens if your loved one gets sick with COVID-19?

Create a plan for where they’ll get medical care and which hospitals are equipped to treat COVID-19 along with other preexisting conditions or needs. If you’re a long distance caregiver, be sure to write down phone numbers for your recipient’s local police and fire departments as 911 is a local service. Collect a packet of key documents, such as power of attorney, living will, medical history, medication list, and emergency contacts and medical history, such as age, health conditions, medications, allergies, etc. to be able to share with hospitals, and share electronically with key members of the care team.

What happens if you get sick with COVID-19?

Create a plan for what will happen if you get sick or unable to check in with your loved one remotely. Identify people and organizations that are able to help older adults and others at risk of the virus. Research volunteer services for grocery shopping, financial assistance, emotional support, or social phone calls during this time of need.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC recommend the following to help protect yourself and those you care for from the virus:

1. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

2. Wash your hands often for 20 seconds

3. Cough and sneeze into your elbow if a tissue is not available

4. Avoid touching your face

5. Keep safe distance from others, CDC recommends 6 feet apart

6. Stay home if you can

7. Wear a mask when in public

It’s important to be flexible, take one day at a time, and most importantly, take care of yourself.

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