As LA County begins to lift stay-at-home orders, many are worried about the implications following decreased regulations. With approximately 3.5 million positive cases across the state and just over 1 million throughout the county, high-risk individuals are expressing concern regarding reopenings.
Among those concerned are senior citizens and their loved ones, many of which are still in full lockdown mode. However, with the vaccine rolling out and officials prioritizing high-risk populations, there is hope for safer conditions in the near future. Until then, seniors, caregivers, and family members should engage in safety precautions, avoid high-transmission areas, and social distance regardless of state-wide reopenings.
If you’re worried about your elderly loved one, read on for five safety tips for at-risk elderly populations.
Invest in in-home care services
Many seniors with declining mental and physical health consider heading to a nursing home to aid them day-to-day. However, care facilities often serve as hotbeds for coronavirus, leaving many fearful of abandoning their isolated homes for a potential breeding ground. Luckily, seniors who need assistance can invest in at-home care services, allowing for a safer, controlled, sanitary environment in the comfort of their house.
Providers like 24 Hour Home Care offer seniors the ability to stay at home, minimize contact with others, and build lasting relationships with caregivers. Nursing homes often cycle through staff, forcing seniors to readapt to unstable conditions constantly. With in-home care, your elderly loved one will see one or two residents, allowing them to bond and better control contact with outside individuals.
It’s critical for you, and your elderly loved one, to understand the risks involved with outings and face-to-face contact. Although you should encourage them to stay in as often as possible, activities outside of their home are unavoidable from time to time. As restrictions lift, lower-risk seniors can implement outdoor activities into their daily routine, whereas high-risk individuals should continue to stay in for the time being.
If you care for your elderly loved one frequently, engage in safe practices, like sanitation efforts, social distancing, and stay home as often as possible. Additionally, consider running their errands, allowing them to sidestep high-transmission areas.
Establish sanitation efforts at home
As restrictions lift, you and your elderly loved one may expand your bubbles to involve more people and places. As you engage in more frequent outings and introduce new individuals into your social circle, you’ll want to implement strict safety efforts at home to reduce spread—especially if you care for your senior loved one.
Frequently sanitize common areas, wipe down any items entering the home, and increase personal hygiene efforts in and out of your house to minimize transmission. If your senior loved one has a caregiver, ask them to implement strict precautions, including frequent cleanings and limited social contact.
Expand with caution
If your senior is free from significant health complications, it may be worth expanding outside contact and activities as positive cases drop. Stay-at-home orders have created mental health problems for seniors, especially those living alone. Many are feeling isolated and depressed from prolonged periods inside.
Although it may be tempting for them to jump into extended-family reunions, you can suggest they expand slowly and carefully, only allowing those who are careful day-to-day to visit. Additionally, look into vaccine eligibility, as most healthcare facilities offer vaccinations for elderly folk.
Although lifted stay-at-home order across LA county can feel unpredictable and unsafe to many at-risk seniors, there are numerous ways to stay safe and slowly expand their social bubble. By engaging in strict sanitation efforts, wearing a mask (and doubling up), and understanding the risks, you and your elderly loved one can stay safe through reduced regulations.