By now we are used to seeing headlines about the “next surge” in COVID-19 cases and they are re-emerging again after Connecticut and many other states have lifted mask mandates in an attempt to get life back to some sense of normalcy. While there are signs of normalcy all around us, there are still quite a few vulnerable populations that may be at risk of exposure and serious illness if they are not careful. One of those populations are those who are aging in place.
If your loved one is in the aging in place population she/he may not be experiencing the same levels of freedom and normalcy that are being returned in many parts of daily life. This vulnerable population is still very much isolated from the rest of the world and when they are able to venture out they are being met with a world that has the potential to be risky for their health and well-being.
How can you, as your loved one’s care giver, help them return to normalcy while also keeping themselves safe among rising positivity rates from the COVID-19 virus?
#1: Assure them that having been vaccinated and boosted is one of the best things they can do to keep themselves healthy and safe. If they have not gotten their second booster shot yet, you may consider this to be their first foray out into a world that is no longer following many COVID protocols.
#2: Encourage them to continue wearing a mask and you may want to do this in solidarity with them as well. While mask wearing is less and less common in public, it is not completely non-existent and it is not uncommon to see a group of seniors out with masks on. In short, your loved one will not be the only one with a mask on and it is one of the best ways she/he can protect themselves against the virus.
#3: Ask those who are planning a visit to their home to test before coming. Testing is now commonly done at home and it is one of the best ways you can safely get together with friends and family. If your visitors are willing to test and their results come back negative there is no reason to need to be masked when visiting. This will be a welcome sight for your loved one.
Being a caregiver for someone who is aging in place can be rewarding and also tiring. Especially during a global pandemic that seems to be waning, but is still lingering for vulnerable populations it can be a challenge. As a caregiver you can assure your loved one that you are working in their best interest to keep them healthy and safe for years to come.