Tips and tools to help older adults stay healthy and happy at home as COVID-19 impacts continue
Omaha, NE /PRNewswire/ - Staying home. It's what we were all asked to do to protect ourselves and our community since the arrival of COVID-19. As restrictions lift, home is still the safest place to be for many of our older adults.
In addition to being at the highest risk for severe illness due to COVID-19, older adults also are faced with unprecedented challenges navigating the healthcare system and fighting prolonged isolation from their families, friends and communities. Seniors have never been more vulnerable.
As seniors and their families cope with the many challenges that have arisen as a result of the pandemic, Home Instead Senior Care® – experts in caregiving, aging and in-home senior care – is sharing free resources to help seniors get home, stay home and stay healthy.
"We hear from seniors all the time that they want to be at home. Now more than ever, home is the safest place to be," said Jeff Huber, Home Instead CEO. "Our goal in sharing these resources is to make it as easy as possible for families to ensure home – wherever that may be – is a safe and healthy environment for older loved ones, not just during this pandemic but for good."
For families working to bring a loved one home from a hospital or a facility, Home Instead® recommends beginning discharge plans early and exploring all your options, including what services may be available at home vs. inpatient.
"Many seniors have not explored what their aftercare options are if they were to be hospitalized," explains Lakelyn Hogan, gerontologist and caregiver advocate with Home Instead. "We know that, more than ever, home is not only the preferred but often the safest place for older adults to recover from a recent hospital stay or heal from a health issue."
In a time when the number of available hospital beds is at a premium, keeping seniors safe and healthy at home is critical. Home Instead recommends reviewing home safety checklists to remove potential home hazards, such as addressing fall risks, and simple, inexpensive home improvements like grab bars and improved lighting. Also be sure to review medications carefully and have a specific plan in place for managing them, such as a pill planner and reminders.
No matter the location, staying healthy for seniors means paying attention to both physical and mental wellness.
"Families must remain vigilant with infection control practices but also with regular communications to address seniors' emotional well-being," stresses Hogan. "While we all have experienced isolation during this health crisis, the implications are most severe in older adults."
Home Instead resources include recommendations to connect with your senior loved one safely, whether via technology or in-person, as well as a simple checklist to go through each time you visit your loved one to assess COVID-19 risk.
All of these free guides, and more, to help seniors get home, stay home and stay healthy during the pandemic are available at www.HomeInstead.com/COVID-19.
DISCLAIMER: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your physician or other qualified health provider.
About Home Instead Senior Care
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network provides personalized care, support and education to enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, the network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,200 independently owned and operated franchises that provide more than 80 million hours of care annually throughout the United States, Canada and 12 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 90,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. Home Instead Senior Care franchise owners partner with clients and their family members to help meet varied individual needs. Services span the care continuum – from providing personal care to specialized Alzheimer's care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. Visit HomeInstead.com. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.