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What to Know Before Moving Parents from a Senior Community into Your Home During COVID-19

Moving from community Woman and caregiver in senior community

Throughout the DMV, senior communities are entering the fourth week of insulating their residents to protect them from COVID 19, and family members physically cut off from their loved ones are increasingly worried about their care and mental health.

While most geriatric professionals and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urge the public not to panic and say it is unwise to bring loved ones home, many families are weighing the risk of a COVID 19 outbreak along with the impact that long-term isolation will have on their loved ones. They also worry that a frail older adult may not have the ability to fight COVID 19 and are seriously considering bringing them home.

At Corewood Care Management, we believe the decision to bring an older adult home is as individual as you and your parent. While we would not discourage a family from bringing a relative home from a senior community, it is critical to think about whether you’re prepared to provide the care that they need.

To help think through your choices, here are ten things to consider as you weigh the options of moving a parent out of their senior community and into your home.

  1. Have a conversation with your parents, learn their thoughts and wishes. Can they make an informed decision, do they share your concerns about COVID-19?

  1. Is this a temporary move or permanent? It is important to discuss, and expectations are established in advance.

  1. Relationship, roles, and intentions: Are you able to have honest discussions, share feelings? Does your parent still see you as a child? How do you handle disagreements?  Are you comfortable helping your parents in the bathroom?  

  2. Are you ready to be a caregiver and all that it entails? Do they expect you to be available to them 24/7?  Remember, they are used to pushing a call button for help.   

  1. Routine: Your parent likely has a routine in place that they are comfortable with, and you need to learn what that is including when they:

    1. Wake up, take naps, and go to bed

    2. Have meals and snacks (some have Happy Hour)

    3. Require a shower or bath

    4. Watch TV, especially their favorite shows and may want to leave the TV on all day.

    5. Activities that they like and how often do that they participate

    6. The time of day that they take their medications, with or without food. Do they need reminders, and require refills of their pillboxes

  1. Assistive devices that you will need to get in place before your parents come home:

    1. Raised toilet seat

    2. Shower bench, handheld shower

    3. Special bed

    4. Incontinence products, gloves, bed pads

    5. Are you able to assist or manage: change hearing aid batteries, clean dentures, clip finger, and toenails

  1. Health requirements. Understand all their health diagnosis and future issues. If your parent has relied on a Physician that is part of the community, you’ll need to find a new practitioner as well as obtain copies of their current medical files to share.

  1. Mental Health concerns such as anxiety, depression, anger. How would a move impact them emotionally? Consult with their Psychiatrist, counselor that treats them.

  1. Cognition and Memory considerations. Do they understand the current pandemic? How significant is their memory loss? Do they require reminders or 24/7 supervision? Are their safety issues, such as wandering?

  2. Remember, you must take care of yourself as well. Do you have the time to support your family at home that is now sheltering with you along with your parents? Are you the primary caregiver, or can you share some duties with your family members?

Having weighed the options and made the decision to bring your parents to your home, the next step is to consider support – for them and yourself. Many options can be utilized while your parents live in your home.

  1. Home Care provides certified nursing assistants that come to your home to care for your parents or help supplement their ADL (Activities of Daily Living) requirements. You can set a schedule that best meets your needs.
  2. Home visiting Doctor/Nurse Practitioner come to your home if it is difficult for your parents to get to an office location.
  3. Medication delivery.
  4. Medical equipment (listed in #6 above) can be delivered to your home.
  5. Grocery and meal delivery.
  6. Activities can be recreated at home so that your parents can enjoy doing what they did in their senior community. Play their favorite music. Technology can assist by allowing family members to visit via FaceTime. Use computers to play games, join in an exercise class, or attend religious services.  

This is a stressful time, all the more anxious with the concern about COVID 19’s impact on older Americans. If all of this seems overwhelming, take a deep breath and call Corewood Care to discuss the situation. We can talk about the options offered by Care Management and Homecare services. We offer both services. We can streamline the process and put into place the care that your entire family requires and the guidance you need.    

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Comments 1

Guest - Cassidy Woods (website) on Tuesday, 30 June 2020 06:12

Thanks for sharing this article with us. I would like to add more to this. Elderly people should avoid nonessential doctor consultations as far as possible because it puts them in a potential risk to catch the virus.

Thanks for sharing this article with us. I would like to add more to this. Elderly people should avoid nonessential doctor consultations as far as possible because it puts them in a potential risk to catch the virus.
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