How to Assist the Most Vulnerable in this COVID-19 Environment
April 21, 2020
These are challenging times for all of us now with the COVID-19 pandemic. The most vulnerable population are our parents, grandparents, and those with immune suppression conditions. How do we the assist the most vulnerable in this environment, especially since we can't leave our homes to help them? I've developed a list of suggestions and questions that can help them live safer, and keep them from having an accident that might send them to the hospital, which has its own issues right now.
- Ask your loved ones to remove their area rugs where they might slip and fall if the rugs are not sitting under furniture such as by a front door or in front of the fireplace, etc. Tripping is one of the biggest causes of falling. 1 out of 4 seniors fall and can cause their death if they break a hip.
- Suggest they move any items in their kitchen that are not in their reach range such as upper cabinets or lower shelving in a base cabinet. Reaching for those items may cause them to lose their balance and cause them to fall. They can place those items currently located in the hard to reach areas on a table for future use.
- Ask them not to use a step stool or chair to stand on to reach an item. They may fall getting down. Getting up is always easier.
- Leave a night light on in the hallway so when they get up to go to the bathroom they can see in their path to travel at night. It's always harder to see once it gets dark for most of us and the older you are the harder it is to see. If you can't see well you might fall.
- Use a chair by the kitchen table, dining table or desk that has arms. It's easier to get up and down placing your hands on an arm for a support. Placing your hand on a table top or desk might cause that piece of furniture to move. This can prevent an accident.
- Suggest groceries be delivered and assist your loved one with making the list and placing the order on line. Many older adults struggle with email tasks.
- Encourage use of drive in banks instead of placing yourselves and loved ones in direct contact with someone who has had the virus or a carrier at a place of business. All they need is to take a pair of gloves in the car. Any kind of gloves will do as they are only rolling down the window and opening the compartment that houses the banking checks, deposits, etc. and placing that instrument in the window.
- Use drive in Walgreens for picking up medical supplies if you cannot get them delivered. They will place the items in your trunk and one doesn't have to be in contact with another individual.
- If someone is using a mask make sure they know how to take if off safely so they don't containment themselves.
- Make Zoom calls to check in on loved ones. It will give you peace of mind and improve their spirits as well as alert you if there is a problem in the home.