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Ways To Care For Elderly Relatives This Winter

2022 is already getting off to a shaky start as unpredictable weather ravages cities, and a new coronavirus variant rapidly spreads. Although these occurrences are difficult for everyone, it’s incredibly challenging for the elderly. As aging adults are at the highest risk of contracting the virus and are the most frequently displaced during a natural disaster, they often need assistance. 

If you have an older relative that you’re concerned about during these uncertain times, you may be wondering how you can help. Fortunately, there are some practical and safe solutions to consider. 

Communicate Regularly

If you thought sheltering in place for a few months was emotionally overwhelming, imagine being in or near the house for years. Although vaccines were developed at the end of 2020 and distributed in 2021, it doesn’t provide 100% protection against the coronavirus. Not to mention the emergence of new variants with increased risks. 

High-risk citizens remained home for increased safety. Unfortunately, this leads to social isolation and depression. 

Reach out to your loved ones this winter to help ease their sadness and evaluate their well-being. A phone or video call a few times a week can make all the difference in their mental wellness. 

Outsource Healthcare Services

Many older people suffer from health problems, while others have difficulty completing everyday tasks. Visiting them to assist in these areas can increase their risk of contracting the coronavirus, so outsourcing is best. 

Hire a healthcare professional to help with everything from getting dressed and preparing meals to administer medications and using medical equipment. 

Home health aides or private nursing care are practical solutions. It keeps your aging relative in their homes where they feel comfortable while ensuring they get the care they need. 

Tap Into Community Programs

Whether a senior has difficulty paying for utilities and groceries or has trouble getting around, there are local programs to assist. Contact city hall or the area’s department of health and aging to find out what options are available. 

You can sign up for your elderly relative to receive hot meals delivered to their front door, transportation to medical appointments, affordable healthcare, prescription discounts, utility assistance, housing vouchers, and more. If they haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, there are even agencies that can help them get protection. The best part about these programs is they’re free to residents, which can ease your financial burden. 

Utilize Modern Technology

Taking care of a senior citizen amid a global pandemic isn’t easy. When you have other obligations like caring for your family or working, adding to your list of responsibilities is time-consuming and taxing. Fortunately, there have been several advancements in modern technology to simplify the process. 

You can manage their finances through online banking, budgeting, and bill pay apps. Most healthcare practices offer telehealth appointments for virtual visits that save time. You also have same-day delivery options for groceries, prescriptions, and other everyday items. 

Relocation

In some instances, the best way to help an aging loved one is to relocate them. Whether they’ve been displaced during a natural disaster, have significant health problems that require around-the-clock care, or they’re struggling with social isolation, having them closer to you makes things more manageable. 

If you’re going to move your family member into your home, you must be prepared. Clear out a spare room or area in your house for them to spend their days. You’ll also need to remove any tripping hazards like clutter and unsecured rugs. If necessary, have grab bars installed in the bathroom. Finally, talk with other household members to explain the upcoming changes so they too can prepare for the added responsibilities.

If the start of 2022 is any indication of how the rest of the cold season will be, get ready for a wild ride. As you prepare for what lies ahead, don’t forget about your elderly relatives. They’re not always capable of doing things for themselves, and their high-risk status makes things even more complicated. Ultimately, the suggestions listed above can help you ensure that their needs are met over the next few months. 

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