While the world is still waiting on answers about the COVID-19 crisis, EZ-ACCESS is here to be your resource for helping your loved ones age in place safely. Many households have taken their elderly loved ones out of assisted living facilities and nursing homes due to the rapid spread of the virus and have moved them into their homes.
If you’ve made a decision like this for the safety of your loved ones, we want you to know that you’re not alone!
Many families are doing this and are having to quickly make significant adjustments and learn how properly care for them. We have compiled a few tips for new family caregivers to stay safe and avoid being overwhelmed as much as possible.
Plan Ahead for Safe Access To and From Appointments
Bringing your parent or grandparent into your home means making sure they maintain their regular schedule of medical appointments.
Planning ahead for these appointments is crucial, especially with COVID protocols potentially adding a few more complexities. You may want to call ahead to see if traffic has been redirected due to COVID. Many doctor’s offices and hospitals across the country have created zones to limit the number of people in certain areas of the building. With a new route, there may be obstacles that can prevent you and your loved one from making it to an appointment safely and on time.
However, there are a few simple ways you can overcome these barriers by planning ahead. Try to brainstorm areas of concern by mapping out the route from your front door to your destination. Are there any obstacles, such as steps or elevated entrances, that your loved one will encounter? If your loved one has a mobility device, do you have a safe way to transport it in your vehicle?
Portable ramps are a great solution for overcoming obstacles on your route and getting mobility devices into your vehicle. EZ-ACCESS carries multiple options that are easy to set up, fold up, and transport, including:
Bonus: Call ahead to make sure you’re allowed to attend appointments
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, many medical facilities have not allowed patients to bring guests along with them to appointments. Call ahead to verify that you can go with your loved one to their doctor’s visit. If that is against the office’s current COVID policy, you can request that a staff member meet you at the door to escort your loved one in and make sure they are checked in.
Join a Virtual Support Group for Caregivers
Becoming a family caregiver is no small task as there are many learning curves, including adapting to someone else’s routine or becoming fluent in a variety of health conditions. Because of this, all of your questions and doubts are completely normal, but many people will find comfort in talking to other caregivers who are going through the same things they are.
In a world of social distancing, we recommend you find a virtual support group for family caregivers (like a Facebook group, for example). A virtual support group should have group guidelines and rules that align with your personal values as a caregiver, as well give provide you with a platform to ask the questions you need to. Many individuals form deep friendships from virtual support groups, and we hope the same is true for you.
Create a Caregiving Budget
Now that you’re a caregiver, you have many more expenses that you didn’t use to worry about.
Things like buying more groceries, and extra gas mileage from driving to appointments can really add up! A great practice for peace of mind is creating a caregiving budget to make sure you have a financial plan to cover fixed and ongoing expenses. Read this article from Policy Genius on How to Care for Aging Parents: A Financial Guide to get help building your budget and seeing how insurance can help.
A few fixed expenses to consider are for products that will help lighten the caregiving load for you. Some of these aging in place products include:
Bathroom Safety Supplies for convenient showering and shampooing
Toilet Incline Lifts to remove the potential strain from lifting your loved one on and off the toilet
Portable Ramps for easing navigation throughout the home and at public locations
Create a Rotating Help Calendar
Caring for a family member isn’t something you can do alone.
It’s important to have a deep bench of individuals that you can call for help, whether that’s for errands or self-care. If you create a calendar for designated days when your support system will come and help, you’ll be able to better plan your time away to take care of personal responsibilities and activities.
Scheduling will also allow and your support can plan ahead and give them time to take proper safety precautions such as self-quarantining to keep your household and theirs healthy and safe.
Regularly Check CDC Guidelines for COVID-19 Safety
This is something you’re most likely doing already, but here’s your friendly reminder!
This virus is something that the world has not seen before. So, naturally, advice from medical professionals is constantly evolving as they learn more information.
Tip: You can bookmark the CDC’s Coronavirus page in your web browser so you can check for updates quickly.
As experts in home safety and portable access solutions, we’d love to help your loved ones age in place as safely and comfortably as possible.
Reach out to us so we can help you find the right solutions that would be best for you and your loved ones.