With COVID, senior care has become more concerning. The isolation, the threat of infection of COVID, the extra precautions at facilities – so many changes, so many downfalls for residents.
Many have opted to take the family senior out of these facilities to live at homes with families. The family needs to be ever so careful not to infect the household with COVID, as well as take over the care that was given at the facility (many people are unprepared for this, and the family situation gets tense).
Many seniors have already succumbed to or suffered and recovered from COVID. There is so much angst, anger, disappointment, and such over the facility actions or inactions. There is guilt over not seeing loved ones before passing or just to hug.
When caregivers spread COVID in the facilities, which has happened many times, the elderly are especially vulnerable. One facility lost ½ of its residents because a facility caregiver had COVID but no symptoms, though passed on the illness. The anger from relatives is understandable. Vaccinated workers should still wear masks as Delta variant can be spread without symptoms on them.
Seniors are deprived of social contact while quarantining. Make sure to FaceTime, call, write, send cards and such. Send books and crafts. Send clothes so can freshen up with some style or comfort. Help them feel loved and give them something to do. Remind them the shots are available and later they can have visitors and visit each other once everyone is vaccinated.
Make sure they are doing anything active. Are they pacing in their room, lifting weights, stretches on chairs or beds, dancing, or such? If they can go outside for vitamin D, encourage it.
My father lives in a retirement facility of varying types of care as needed to progress through. They are doing in-room doctor visits, taking temperatures often, and closed the dining area for months. He’s more fortunate, being in an independent duplex, with a car and a dog. The dog is wonderful company for him. He can leave the facility if he uses a mask and has his temperature taken when leaving and coming back. They opened the dining area to one person per table. At least they can now see other people. The COVID shots are being administered so soon things can get more normal. As of now, the dining room has opened up and vaccinated guests are allowed to eat with them.
Costs may have gone up due to more COVID care and adjustments. They don’t want to give a discount because they need the funds to function.
Missing contact with loved ones is tough – it’s hard to see both sides of the story. One is an emotional side while the other is a business side. Each one is important but are entangled. Both have their own challenges.
You can advocate and talk to the administration, but realize they are fielding calls from many people. They might help you see the struggles they are facing, but you might help them understand what is lacking in their care, whether allowing more contact of sorts (even just to talk) or allowing walking the halls with masks (even with a nurse present), and how they can or cannot accommodate with the money and constraints they face.
Take care to do your part – engage in ways you can, and maybe other things can happen to help, while waiting out the COVID restrictions. It is taking its toll on everyone.
Getting back to socializing.