May 31, 2021

Covid-19 and caring for your loved ones at home

The Newsletter 05

Taking care of a loved one can be tough, especially during these times of Covid-19. Your disabled, frail, and/or elder family members may be confused and very overwhelmed. Some are wondering why they can’t go around a large crowd or other family members.

If you are caring for someone who has slight dementia or failed memory health, it may a hard obstacle to get them through what the world considers a “new normal.”

Covid-19 has placed a damper on a lot of family’s caregivers, as well as regular home health aides, home nurses, and companions, who work to care in the homes. Home care is the biggest industry in the healthcare field, but being at home can have its disadvantages.

Take Gladys from Greenwood, MS, for instance. Her mom, who recently died of Covid-19, was being cared for in a nursing home. Gladys, wife and mother of three teen sons, was recently laid off from a chicken plant, and took her mom home.

At the time, she thought that bringing her home would help. Her mom was suffering from dementia, and during that time, Covid-19 was agitating most residents at the Jackson, MS facility.

Her mom’s health took a turn for the worse as her illness progressed, along with being around family who loved her. She had come in contact with the virus, unknown to Gladys until it was too late.

Gladys and her family had to quarantine as her mom fought for her life. When her mom died, Gladys was devastated, thinking that taking her out the home would save her.

So, taking a patient or resident into new environment can be dangerous, as well. It is best to seek advice from a physician.

And being in a pandemic that seems to be dissolving into reality, we now know what we are up against, and most families are opting to take over the care of their loved ones.

There are many consumer-direct care agencies in the states that pay family members to care for their own. This is a great idea, especially during these times with the virus still lingering.

The vaccination is in full swing, yet frail, sickly elders with underlying conditions might not get the shots fast enough, so, it is indeed an option to just let the family care for them.

While the pandemic seems overwhelming to these elders, it also can take a toll on the family too. Some people may have children to care for at home, a spouse, or even a heavy social or employment lifestyle; lifestyles that may get neglected if the person they are caring for needs more of their time.

There are many ways to assure that your loved one is getting all the time they need and immediate care. The family member, who may not have any nursing certification, can always get information from the physician and nurse of the patient. Then you have family members who do have nursing skills that can provide total care and get paid, as well.

The CDC has been around for years. It was implemented by Medicare to help low income patients stay at home and receive care by non-skilled family members. However, if the patient needs advance medical care, then a skilled nurse will also be available to check on patient in their homes.

Courtesy of Time Magazine

There are things you can do for elders, disabled patients, or family members that have all of their cognitive functions. I am a caregiver and have showed my clients how to invest in a computer, load it with apps, and or find games that will keep their minds active and vital. Some found that computer games are very effective; games like Solitaire, Poker, or Scrabble does the trick. My elder parent even loves playing the Casino sites to keep their mind sharp and focused.

There are also video apps, like Portal, which allow the person to chat with family members from other states or locally. It is a fun way to let them know that people care about them, and it gives them a sense of purpose beyond what ails them.

There are a variety of portals from Facebook available. Amazon had a smart video calling portal for $99, marked down from $172, so hop online and grab it while it is hot.

A friendly pet in the home is also a way to help an overwhelmed patient or client get over the loneliness of being sick in the home. Check your local animal shelter, and make sure they are not allergic to the dog or cat.

Breaking news from AARP: Supplement from AARP

(This piece is courtesy of AARP)

A bipartisan group of lawmakers have introduced the Credit for Caring Act in Congress. The bill would create a new, non-refundable tax credit up to $5,000 for working family caregivers, who are struggling financially as they care for a sick or disabled family member at home.

The financial toll of family caregiving is growing; the Credit for Caring Act will provide some aid. Tell Congress to grant caregivers the relief they need.

For more updates on caring for loved ones, check with your local Health and Senior Services in your state.

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