Families all over the world already face immense challenges when caring for a loved one who suffers from dementia, and with the COVID-19 pandemic it could make it even worse. Many people face the question of how they can protect their loved one best from the virus.
Follow Safety Steps
The first step would be to follow the provided guidelines pertaining to social distancing. Avoid or minimize visits from anyone else that is not part of your household. Permitting unnecessary visitors to the home increases the chances of contracting COVID-19 virus. Before anyone enters your home, ensure their temperature is checked. If their temperature exceeds 100.4°F, they should not be allowed inside. In addition to this, minimize outside trips wherever you can. Obtain 90-day prescriptions for medication from your loved one’s physician to minimize trips to the pharmacy.
Practice Appropriate Hygiene
It is critical to practice frequent hygiene, however for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, it can be difficult to remember to wash their hands often. Family caregivers must take the necessary steps to practice hygiene and to protect them:
- Setting up a schedule and encouraging the person to frequently wash their hands.
- Adding written reminders above sinks with instruction to wash hands with soap and water for twenty seconds at least.
- Offering daily verbal reminders to wash their hands.
- Guiding them through the hand-washing process, where needed.
- If handwashing is not possible, using hand-sanitizer with a sixty-percent alcohol content.
Trying to keep the peace
Lockdown is not easy, and tempers can flare when frustrations reach boiling point. This environment can even be more challenging when dealing with the combative behaviors linked to someone living with dementia. It is especially essential for caregivers to try and understand the symptoms of the condition and to remain compassionate. You can also visit https://homecareassistance.com/locations/ca/san-diego-county/lakeside/ you are interested in home care services for a loved one.
Practice Home Safety
When persons living with dementia start losing awareness of their surroundings and get confused, they could face various hazards in the home. It is important to danger-proof the home’s physical milieu to try and minimize hazards.
Here are a few basic safety precautions to keep in mind:
- Avoid leaving the patient on their own for any length of time.
- Installing motion sensors to alert you once a door was opened.
- Keeping all sharp object in safe place and not in drawers and cabinets.
- Finding a safe place for keeping car keys. Do not allow your loved one to access a vehicle.
- Keeping them away from any sources of heat or fire, such as stovetops and fireplaces.
Having a Plan B
When you are a caregiver, you must be prepared for anything. You must plan for when you get sick yourself or when the caregiving side is getting too much for you to handle on your own. This must be discussed with extended family, so that options for alternative caregivers can be identified. It could include home care assistance if the appropriate home safety precautions are implemented.