10 ways to protect the elderly amid the Covid-19 pandemic

Here are some top tips for keeping our elders safe.

The coronavirus outbreak has caused major panic this year, especially for those who are most at risk like the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

For the rest of us, it is our responsibility to limit the spread of the virus and particularly to keep our most vulnerable family and friends safe.

Here are some top recommendations from the care nursing agency CareChamp to protect the elderly during these tough times.

1. Stay calm

Panic and stress can impact the immune system, so try your best to make older people feel relaxed and at ease. Try limiting exposure to too much information, as it can often be overwhelming.

2. Protect your health

The most important thing about keeping others safe is protecting yourself first. Follow official guidelines regarding washing your hands, and avoiding contact with anyone who’s sick.

3. Social distancing

Avoid contact with strangers and people who don’t form part of your household. Slow the spread from household to household and keep physical interaction to a minimum.

4. Limit visitors

It’s best to limit visits and to encourage visitors to rather make contact using a phone. Remember to keep physical interaction to a minimum.

5. Stick to a healthy routine

Maintain a sense of normalcy as it will create a sense of security. Encourage your household members to get up, get fresh and dressed, and make their beds – like every other day.

6. Create healthy habits

Encourage great mental health and wellbeing through physical exercise, enough sleep, and a nutrient-rich diet. Crack the windows open for some fresh airflow. 

7. Plan ahead

Ensure you have enough prescription medicine and make arrangements with medical professionals for at-home appointments or online consultations.

8. Get creative

Find fun and interesting ways to use the time available to keep the elderly entertained with audiobooks, podcasts and streaming services like Netflix, for example. For someone who’s a bit more old-fashioned, encourage them to catch up on their reading list, play board games or any other activity they’d enjoy.

9. Stay informed

Use trusted sources to get your information, such as South Africa’s official Covid-19 portal and theWorld Health Organisation. Also beware of misinformation and disinformation during this time.

10. Caregivers

This time is important to consider whether you may need a live-in caregiver and to make those arrangements if necessary. It’s one of the safest ways to care for the elderly.