As we move into the summer holiday period, we look forward to many reunions with friends and family. However, while lockdowns are mostly behind us, COVID-19 remains in our communities. To help keep loved ones ageing in place healthy and safe, it is essential to consider ways to mitigate the risks posed by the virus without sacrificing the happy moments that life has to offer.
How to keep older family members healthy and safe
Families may need to consider spending time with family and friends a little differently these holidays. With many restrictions and protocols still in place, think about how you can celebrate safely. Here are some things to consider:
- Indoor or outdoor: Indoor get-togethers can increase the chance of spreading viruses. If possible, gather outdoors in a local park or cafe. If gathering inside, have doors and windows open to increase ventilation.
- Hugs and Kisses: Greeting your family and friends affectionately with a hug or kiss means the world to everyone, however as a senior, perhaps a tip of the hat or elbows may be safer at this time.
- How many people? Consider how many are gathering and whether you can safely maintain the 1.5-meter physical distance rule in the space you are gathering.
- Where are people coming from? If your friends or family members are visiting from a place that has high numbers of COVID-19 cases, it may be safer to visit those only within your own local government area (LGA).
- Make sure their needs are met. Anticipate the needs of your loved one throughout the holidays, including physical needs, emotional and safety needs, as well as best health practices.
What if you are not able to visit your older loved ones?
During the holidays, loneliness and isolation can have negative mental and physical consequences if our older loved ones begin to feel disconnected. It is important to meet their need for physical and emotional connection during this time and that they continue to feel part of their local community.
Talk to family members and friends about setting up regular check-ins if you are not able to see or check on them. Stay in touch over the telephone, mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or computer. There are a number of ways to keep connected thanks to technology, including text messages, email, online chat apps, and video calls.
Not sure how this fandangle technology works? Tech Savvy Seniors Program provides low-cost training to help seniors use mobile apps and online services. Community colleges and libraries deliver the program at locations across NSW. Similar programs are available Australia wide.
Home Care Assistance can also help if you are not able to see your loved one, offering a number of in-home care services including hourly home care. Enjoy peace of mind that your loved one has someone there to check on them, care for them, and be a companion to them during the holidays.
Have an emergency care plan in place
For seniors receiving in-home care, an emergency care plan has all the information about the person being cared for in one place so that information can be accessed quickly and comprehensively. An emergency care plan makes it easy for someone to take over from a family carer or in-home Care Worker in a hurry.
The plan records health information, their medications, lists the care they require, as well as a list of the regular support services they receive and key contact information. Ensuring an emergency care plan is in place and up to date is an invaluable tool for keeping your loved ones safe and well cared for during the holidays, particularly if you are separated by distance or COVID-19 restrictions.
Home Care Assistance and COVID-19
Home Care Assistance (HCA) follows government COVID-19 guidelines for home care providers. This includes advice relating to emergency care plans. We work with the care recipient, their family, their GP, and other health practitioners to discuss the care plan and what circumstances would trigger its use before an emergency. In addition, we will work to implement alternative models of delivery if required.
Visiting parents during the holidays is a time-honoured tradition, although COVID-19 has changed our habits and altered visitation patterns. It has also brought the need for extra vigilance for keeping our older family members safe during the holiday season.
HCA is ready to help you through this period and answer any questions you may have. Our expertise in providing care for your older loved ones, and our dedicated care workers make us the global leader in providing in-home care.
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As a leading age care provider, Home Care Assistance offers tailored in-home care services for older Australians, enabling them to live happier and healthier lives in the comfort of their own homes.
We offer private and government subsidised Care Packages and have office locations that are a registered NDIS provider. Our Care Workers undergo extensive training in order to deliver unmatched in-home aged care services where people can continue ageing in place. We are proud ambassadors of the My Aged Care government funded aged care program, enabling Australians to successfully navigate the process and gain approval for in-home care support packages. Home Care Assistance offers hourly care, specialised care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, hospital to home care, and 24 hour in home care.