Staying Safe While Staying Apart

COVID-19 continues to affect us all, but perhaps none more so than the seniors in our community. In addition to the fear of being most at-risk seniors are also facing difficulties with isolation and depression. Additionally, it is increasingly difficult for them to obtain essential personal and groceries items, and medications.

Ideally, the best way to keep our beloved older family members safe to remain away from them.  However, we realize that is impossible for many of us.  We need to pick up essentials and medications or deliver groceries or dinner for them. Because of the many unknowns and variables with virus, proper sanitation is key for both the caregiver and for elder themselves. This cannot be stressed enough! This story was recently shared with us and its message is so critical that we wanted to share it with you:

“Last week, Dad was rushed to the hospital because he was having trouble breathing.  Because of the symptoms he was displaying, he was tested for the Coronavirus, which came back positive.  Because Dad had been diagnosed with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s disease, which had progressed through the years, he had been unable to communicate the symptoms he was having.  Since news of the virus broke, he and his wife never left the home. His wife provided much of his care, but they still had some caregiver support coming into the home.  He is now hospitalized, and on a ventilator in intensive care. Dad’s wife is understandably worried about getting the virus, but is currently not symptomatic herself.”

This couple never left their home and still Dad caught the virus.  It could have been brought in the home by one of their children, or another caretaker (all whom show no symptoms), or from the groceries being brought into the home through in-home delivery services or even the mail (something no one thinks about).  Please be careful!  Please keep a close eye on our elders!

So, if you are a caretaker for an elder loved one, remember to always act like you have the virus! Wear a face mask when you visit them, don’t touch your face, stay a safe distance from them, wear gloves, wash hands. Be mindful not to overlook disinfecting anything and everything that you are bringing into contact with your senior!  That means purchased food from the store, paper goods, medicines, mail. Leave shoes outside, if possible! Disinfect the table or counters that you set the groceries on. Wash and disinfect surfaces that are in constant contact: door knobs, light switches, cabinet and refrigerator handles, locks, keyboards, phones, the TV remote, etc.

We know that this is a difficult time for all of us, especially those who are older with health issues or are caring for an older loved one. There are so many unknowns with this virus, but one well known fact is that this virus does not discriminate. So our best defense is a good offense! We are all in this together… but we have to do it by staying apart!

We want to remind you that we here at Surprenant & Beneski, are ready to help you and your family in whatever way we can. If you have questions about estate planning, at-home care, a hospital admission, or a transition to a long-term care facility, please don’t hesitate to call our office at 508-994-5200.