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Update on Coronavirus / COVID-19 and senior safety, click here for more information.

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Coronavirus Prevention Guidelines for Family Carers

Researchers at Australia’s Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity say they’ve mapped the immune system’s response to coronavirus. While this is good news, it’s still more important than ever to take steps to keep the immune system strong so it can handle this new virus. This is even more essential for older adults with immune systems already affected by age-related changes. If you’re acting as a family carer for a senior loved one, here’s what you can do about coronavirus.

Stress the Importance of Eating Right

One of the most effective things you can do as a family carer is encourage your loved one to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water. This gives an older immune system the assortment of beneficial nutrients it needs to function well. The Dietitians Association of Australia recommends the following immune system–friendly foods:

• Seasonal fruits and vegetables
• Certain meats and oily fish
• Rolled oats
• Greek yogurt
• Green tea

If your loved one needs help following healthy habits that boost his or her immune system, a home care worker can be a wonderful source of support. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. North Coast families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualised care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Encourage Regular Exercise

Exercise & Sports Science Australia says physical activity is especially beneficial now that COVID-19 concerns are high. They reference evidence showing regular physical activity may reduce incidences of bacterial and viral infections. For older adults, forms of exercise that can be beneficial include:

• Low-impact aerobic workouts
• Gentle, controlled forms of exercise like yoga
• Walking around the home or even around the neighbourhood, as long as social distancing is kept in mind

Offer Assistance with Errands or Have Things Delivered

Adults 65 and older are also especially vulnerable to new threats like coronavirus because they’re more likely to have underlying or chronic health issues. If this applies to your loved one, keep him or her safe by taking care of routine errands. Another option is to use local delivery services whenever possible, especially for essentials like groceries and medication. For example, Australia’s largest grocery chain, Woolworths, has delivery options.

To keep your loved one from having to go out, a home care worker can run errands for him or her, including shopping for groceries and picking up prescriptions. If your ageing loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home care workers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Help Your Loved One Use Technology to Stay Social

Many Australians, regardless of age, aren’t all that thrilled about not being able to gather with large groups of friends and family members in public right now, especially for special events and celebrations. Help your loved one manage this inconvenience by helping him or her stay social and remotely connected with the people he or she knows and loves. Social media is a great way to do this, since popular platforms like Facebook have plenty of user-friendly features. Other options include:

• Text messaging and other smartphone features
• Senior-friendly chat sites like Silversurfers
• Email

Consider In-Home Assistance

If your schedule has been turned upside down because of coronavirus-related changes, you may not have as much time to be a fully involved and attentive family carer. Instead of stretching yourself too thin and increasing your stress levels, consider in-home care. It’s a safe option, since it’s provided in your loved one’s own home by a trained professional who knows how to keep home environments as safe as possible. Even though the staff at assisted living facilities do what they can to mitigate the risk, it’s very difficult to practice social distancing in such environments, which makes being cared for at home a safer alternative.

Families who find it difficult to care for their ageing loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. North Coast, NSW, family carers who need a break from their duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite care workers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Call us today at (02) 6646 3527 to learn about our high-quality in-home services.

With information surrounding coronavirus/COVID-19 changing by the hour, it’s challenging to stay updated on the most recent best practices for keeping seniors safe at home. At Home Care Assistance, we understand how critical it is for seniors and their carers to protect against coronavirus as much as possible. All our team members have received detailed communication on infection control protocols, including effective cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and hands. Our care workers can pick up medications, groceries, and anything else a senior needs, minimising their interaction with large groups of people. For more information on how Home Care Assistance helps protect clients, click here: https://homecareassistance.com/covid-19.