Do you know the procedures for caring for someone with an infectious illness such as COVID-19? We do!

Older adults have a significantly higher risk of complications from infectious diseases, such as Covid-19, including death.

As adult children or grandchildren, we want to do our best to protect and care for our elderly loved ones. When it comes to infectious diseases, however, their needs are likely to be beyond the scope of a family caregiver. They require the knowledge of a trained home health care provider.

Providing your elderly loved one with the best in-home care

Seniors require additional measures of care and protection when it comes to infectious diseases, such as Covid-19. This is the case even if their symptoms are mild and they have been advised by their doctor to treat at home rather than going to the hospital.

Providing this care presents family caregivers with certain hazards, such as getting infected themselves or passing the infection to someone else in the family, such as a spouse or child. It’s near impossible to practice physical distancing or isolating when you are the primary caregiver!

In circumstances like these, professional home health care is often the best way to go for all involved.

How professional in-home care helps seniors with Covid-19

Our caregivers and nurses are trained to care for those with infectious diseases, as well as additional challenges that can arise if your loved one is also living with other conditions, such as dementia.

As skilled health care professionals, our staff has been trained in identifying and practicing droplet and contact precautions in various situations. They are also equipped with the right personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to protect themselves and others in the household.

Their training and experience also enables them to recognize any signs of decline in the care recipient’s condition, which can be difficult to catch by an untrained eye. Take respiratory symptoms for example, which can be masked or exacerbated by co-occurring conditions, such as COPD.

Our caregivers are also able to help your loved one maintain a clean environment and proper personal hygiene, which is key when it comes to infectious diseases. They can also ensure that your loved one gets the nutrition and medication they need to help fight the infection and reduce the risk of complications.

Other ways our caregivers can help

We’re here for you with caregivers who are able to provide not only RN-supervised home health care, but also other tasks that can help make life easier for seniors when illness strikes.

Some of the other senior care services we provide include:

  • Contactless shopping and drop-off for groceries, medications, and supplies
  • Chronic disease care for any coexisting conditions, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cancer, etc.
  • Escorting to medical appointments
  • Companionship to help combat loneliness and isolation
  • Supplementary care in hospitals and other care facilities

Article sources

  • Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Government of Canada.
  • IPAC Recommendations for Use of Personal Protective Equipment for Care of Individuals with Suspect or Confirmed COVID-19. Public Health Ontario.

How to Balance Caring for an Elderly Parent While Working From Home during the Coronavirus Pandemic

If you’re one of the 26 percent of Canadians looking after an elderly parent, chances are your days were already complicated before the coronavirus pandemic changed the way we live. These days, managing work and caregiving – and all your other responsibilities – is likely even more complex.

The added stressors to daily life

The pandemic has changed the way we do just about everything, from the way we work to how we grocery shop and clean our homes.

Juggling senior care duties with work can be challenging enough on “normal” days, but how do you manage now when you’re trying to work from home?

Due to physical distancing, many family caregivers aren’t able to get the outside help from other family and friends that they may have relied on before. How do you work efficiently under the same roof with your elderly parent(s) or in-law(s) who require your care and attention? What if you’re also having to homeschool your children at the same time?

Honestly, it’s not going to be easy, but with some careful planning and a little – okay, a lot – of patience, it can be done.

Tips for working from home while providing senior care for a loved one

Here are some things to consider as you try balance working from home while also caring for an elderly parent.

Set aside time each day to talk with your parent

Your parent may not have the stress of work, childcare, and an endless stream of bleak bad news related to Covid-19 and the economy weighing on them, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t feeling the stress.

From picking up on your mood and any tension in the home to worrying about your health and wellbeing – as parents do – your elderly parent is probably feeling stressed, too. This stress can manifest in various ways. Your parent may act sad and withdrawn one moment and agitated and needy the next.

Listen to their concerns, remain calm, and explain what’s going on and what the plan is for the day. Just taking a few minutes to connect with your elderly parent before you start working can help set the tone for the rest of the day.

Create a routine for your parent

Consider their pre-pandemic routine, from what time they were having their meals to what TV shows they watched. Try to recreate that predictable routine for them as much as possible, but tweaking as needed to accommodate your own needs and responsibilities, too.

There are things you can do to make the routine easier for both of you. This will limit the number of times your parent may need to interrupt your work and keep them from worrying about being a burden:

  • Prepare meals for a few days in advance.
  • Set timers on the TV for their shows to come on automatically.
  • Leave water, snacks, the remote control, and other items handy so they have access to them.

Establish boundaries

It’s only natural for your elderly parent to want to spend time with you. They love you, after all! Also, depending on when they retired and their own experiences, the concept of working from home may be something they have trouble grasping. This can make it hard for them to understand why you’re home, yet not able to spend extra time with them.

You’ll need to establish clear boundaries if you want to be productive.

To do this:

  • Let them know that your work responsibilities haven’t changed even though you’re working from home.
  • Explain how you will be doing your job and what’s expected of you to help them understand why you can’t be disturbed unless absolutely necessary.
  • Offer clues that you’re not to be interrupted, such as when your home office door is closed or when you’re on the phone or computer.
  • Go over what warrants an interruption, such as help getting up or going to the bathroom if they have mobility issues.

Consider professional home care services

Physical distancing and self-isolation recommendations prevent you from getting help from other family members who live outside of your household, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone.

Our caregivers are trained in proper sanitizing and germ control procedures and able to provide safe and effective in-home senior care during the coronavirus pandemic.

A caregiver can come into your home to assist your elderly parent with tasks of daily living, such as hygiene and grooming, dressing, and feeding. They’re also able to take on responsibilities, such as meal preparation and light housekeeping, so that you can work uninterrupted.

We’ve also introduced a new service to assist our clients during this challenging time, called STOP, Drop, and Leave. To help you and your aging parent, a caregiver can pick up groceries, prescriptions, and other supplies and then leave them at your door, eliminating the need to go out in public and minimizing the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

RN-supervised home health care is also available for seniors living with chronic illness, including dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Be honest with your employer and colleagues about your situation

Talking to your employer and colleagues about your child care responsibilities is the norm, but few people discuss elder care responsibilities.

Caring for an elderly loved one is challenging and often unpredictable, especially if your loved one is living with a chronic illness. This can be especially disruptive to your schedule when you’re working from home, making open communication with your employer and coworkers crucial.

Let them know about the challenges you’re facing and how you plan to handle them as they arise. Always take the time to follow up afterwards if something comes up that requires you to step away from your desk or miss a call.

Take care of yourself, too

It’s easy to burn the candle at both ends when you have so much on your plate. Living in uncertain times like these certainly doesn’t help.

Cut yourself some slack and don’t try to do it all alone. Caring for yourself is important and will help you to better care for your loved ones.

Set aside time to unwind even if it means having to enlist respite care for a few hours once a week or hire a caregiver to run errands for your parent to free up some of your time.

These things can help you reduce your stress, avoid caregiver burnout, and improve your productivity.

If you’d like to learn more about our services and how we can help you care for your aging parent during this time, contact us by phone or email anytime.

We’re here for you.

Tel: 1.855.483.CARE (2273)


Pet Adoptions During This Time: How to find a furry companion while self-isolating

If ever we could use unconditional love, support, and companionship, it’s now and who better to provide it than a pet.

Research has shown time and time again that contact with pets provides numerous benefits for our mental and physical health, including:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Increased happiness
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness

For seniors, having a pet has been shown to help older adults cope with isolation. Given the current climate and the recommendation to physical distance and social isolate, there’s no better time to consider adopting a pet.

How to adopt a pet when most of the country is shut down

While there is no better time to share your love with a furry friend, finding a pet to adopt when the country is at a standstill due to the pandemic can make it seem impossible.

Animal shelters, such as local SPCA animal centers are currently closed to the public due to the pandemic, but shelters aren’t the only option for seniors who are looking to adopt a pet.

Many animal rescues are still open to adoptions and have protocols in place to help keep you and their staff safe during this time.

Animal rescues are non-profit organizations run by caring volunteers who take in animals in need and help find them loving forever homes.

Animal rescue groups generally focus on a specific type or breed of companion animals, usually dogs or cats. You can find pets of all ages and breeds in rescues.

An online search or call to a local vet can direct you to pet rescues in your area. On occasion, vet clinics have pets in their care that are in need of a home.

Occasionally, people looking to rehome a pet post on Facebook groups and online classified sites, such as Kijiji.

Things to consider before adopting a pet

Pets make the world a better place. For all that they do for us, they deserve just as much in return. This begins with not taking the decision to adopt lightly and being certain that welcoming a pet into your home is right for you and them.

Here are some things to consider before you adopt a pet:

  • Can you afford it? Along with an adoption fee, which can cost around $250 to $450, there are other expenses to consider. These include food, grooming and/or grooming supplies, and vet bills.
  • Type breed, and age of the pet. The type, breed, and age of a pet will dictate size, energy levels, and exercise needs. It’s important to consider the work involved with the animal before making your choice. The rescuer or a vet can recommend the best options based on your needs and preferences.
  • Your lifestyle. You may be home a lot now, but what about after the pandemic is over and things return to normal? Do you travel a lot? Are you involved in a lot of activities that may make it hard to give a pet the time and attention it needs?
  • Are pets allowed where you live? Many condos and buildings have restrictions when it comes to pets. Some restrict dogs over a certain size or weight, while others don’t allow pets at all. Check with your condo board or landlord before getting a pet.
  • Do you have allergies or an immune condition that could be exacerbated by a pet? Speak to your doctor before getting a pet if you have allergies, a compromised immune system, or any condition that might be negatively affected by a pet.

If you’re ready and able to commit to a pet, be sure to do your due diligence. Get as much information as you can about the organization or person you’re adopting from, as well as about the pet, including its medical history, temperament, and any special needs.

Owning a pet is a forever commitment, so the more prepared you are, the better for you and your future furry companion.

Keeping yourself safe throughout the adoption process

To stay safe from Covid-19, contact with the organization should be mainly conducted virtually; either by phone or internet. When the time comes to meet the pet in person (a MUST to make sure you’re a good fit for each other!), appropriate measures need to be taken so that you can continue to self-isolate.

Be sure to ask the volunteer or rescuer how this can be done. In order to continue your isolation, a family member who lives in your household or a professional in-home care provider can help so that you do not have to come into direct contact with anyone else.

Article sources

Healthy Pets, Healthy People. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).