Before the pandemic, around 25 percent of older Americans were socially isolated. As families had to stop visiting their parents, social isolation became a concern.
Phone calls and video chats can help ease the isolation, but you know your mom is feeling isolated more than ever before. She’s anxious to have a house full of grandchildren and children. How can you tell when it’s safe to do so?
What Are Your Routines?
Start by addressing daily routines. If you work in a store where customers are not required to wear masks, the risk of you coming into contact with the virus is higher than if you work at home. Wearing a mask at work, staying a safe distance apart, washing hands regularly, and using hand sanitizer all help.
How about the routines of others? You’ve all been good about washing hands, ordering as much as possible for delivery or curbside pick-up, and wearing a mask. If that’s the case, it may be okay to visit your mom.
Pay Attention to Your Health and the Spread of COVID-19
You still need to pay attention to increasing cases in areas you’ve been. If you hear that there’s been a cluster of new cases in the area where you grocery shop, you have to consider how that may increase your chances of coming into contact with the virus.
You need to monitor your health. If you have a cough, fever, loss of smell/taste, or difficulty breathing, you cannot go see your mom.
It is allergy season, so some of your symptoms like a runny nose, cough, and sore throat could be allergies. It’s still better to stay at home for a couple of weeks to be sure. You should also talk to your doctor about being tested. Just remember that tests can give false negatives.
Create Safe Gatherings
If your mom’s mental health is becoming affected by the isolation she’s experiencing, it may be better to visit. There are safe ways to do so. Hold an outdoor picnic where people have plenty of room to spread out. Set up camp chairs so that they’re spaced apart and offer foods that can easily be eaten from a plate set on a lap.
Keep these gatherings as short as possible. Instead of an all-day event, aim for a couple of hours. Remind your mom that hugging and kissing aren’t ideal right now. If she insists on being able to hug her family, wear face masks, gloves, and wash hands before and after for safety.
Arrange Companionship Services
When you cannot visit your mom, talk to a home care agency about caregivers and companionship services. Your mom could have a caregiver spending time with her so that she doesn’t feel as lonely and isolated. Caregivers can help keep her happy and adjusted until it’s safe to see her again.
The staff at Home Care Matters is available to talk with you and your family about all of your needs. Home Care Matters is a home care agency providing quality and affordable Elder Care in Buford, GA, and surrounding areas.
Call (770) 965.4004 for more information.
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