Many seniors are forced to stay inside their homes during the COVID crisis, due to their increased vulnerability. As U.S. cases continue to skyrocket, so can a growing sense of loneliness, isolation, and despair in these individuals, who cannot interact with the outside world like many others are able to do. These feelings can contribute to severe depression, in which many neurologists state can increase the likelihood of dementia in older patients.
How can we as caretakers help address these difficult emotions in a helpful, constructive way?
It’s time for a spring cleaning! Historically, the spring cleaning ritual was performed to address the dark soot from candles and kerosene lanterns that had built up over the winter months. But today, this yearly ritual can still give your patient or loved one that spring-fresh feeling and uplift their spirits. And it’s healthy for them, too!
In the days of COVID-19, this ritual takes on new importance — deep cleaning to disinfect hidden places the virus may be lurking.
As a caregiver during the COVID-19 pandemic, you have certain responsibilities, the first of which is taking good care of yourself. Before you attend to your patient or loved one, get a reading on your own health. Take your temperature to make sure it falls in the range of normal. If you are showing any signs of respiratory illness, such as shortness of breath, coughing, or sore throat, you will need to self-quarantine and get tested for COVID-19. Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of possible symptoms when making your assessment.
There probably isn’t a person on this planet whose life hasn’t been severely impacted by the startling reality of COVID-19 and the anxiety that accompanies it. Our thoughts do not often stray far from health and financial concerns, as well as the struggle to procure items like basic foods, toilet paper, sanitizer, and the other necessities required to navigate this trying period of our lives.
Thyroid trouble? As we age, the risk of our thyroid not working properly increases. I know, yet another thing. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ in the neck, just above your collar bone and below your voice box. If you’re a man, it’s not your Adam’s apple, it’s just below it. The thyroid’s job is to produce hormones that regulate how the body uses and stores energy. It can be under- or overactive. It can develop lumps or nodules. Or it could become cancerous.
If you are caring for an elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s likely that you often feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and cranky. And you’re probably really hard on yourself for feeling that way. Welcome to the world of caregiving. You are not alone.