Posts Tagged: covid19

Preparing for a Pandemic and a Future Wave This Winter

Officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned that this fall we will most likely experience a second wave of COVID-19. Many health officials are suggesting that Americans prepare over the summer for the potential of widespread illness and more stay-at-home orders.

In case of an outbreak, what can older adults do to protect themselves and their families?

Here are recommendations for how to prepare now to be ready for another outbreak.

1.    What should I buy now to prepare?

The US Department of Homeland Security, before a pandemic strikes, store a two-week supply of water and food, as well as over-the-counter medications you tend to take.

Items to consider stocking up on for your pantry:

  1. Canned soup, vegetables, fruit
  2. Crackers, snacks
  3. Cereal/oatmeal
  4. Hand soap
  5. Paper towels
  6. Kleenex
  7. Lysol, Clorox wipes, laundry detergent
  8. Toilet paper: this goes without saying, right?
  9. Disposable gloves
  • Chocolate: This is my favorite, as a staple and a smile maker.

2.    What should I do about groceries if I can’t or should not go out this fall?

Many online grocery options have been overwhelmed during the recent COVID 19 pandemic. Nevertheless, many of these online options are gearing up on supplies, workers, and delivery options in preparedness for the fall. Consider joining and using the service now while demand eases off, so when ordering online becomes more popular again, you are already in the queue.

Some online shopping options to look into include:

  1. Peapod
  2. Fresh Direct
  3. Shipt
  4. Boxed
  5. Instacart
  6. Thrive Market
  7. Instacart
  8. Walmart Online Grocery Delivery
  9. Target
  10. Whole Foods

Another option to look into for grocery delivery is your local senior Village. A Village is a neighborhood-based nonprofit membership organization supported by volunteers that work to keep older adults living safely, comfortably, and act in their own homes. Some Villages are providing once weekly grocery delivery for full-time members. To learn more contact your local Village Network.

3.    What should I have in my medicine cabinet?

Before a pandemic, it is recommended to periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure you have a continuous supply in your home if needed.

Some additional suggestions you may want to consider obtaining, in consultation with your Primary Care Physician, include:

  • A list of all your medications, vitamins, supplements: keep this current
  • Thermometer: for your use, guest use, and/or caregiver.
  • Check with your doctor to see if you should have: Pulse Oximeter, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, throat lozenge, cough medicine, Pedialyte/Gatorade
  • First aid kit: band-aids, gauze pads, hydrocortisone, tweezers, nail clippers, q-tips. If you have been worried like me, you may be picking at your nails/have not been able to get out for a manicure.

 4.    What documents should I be sure to have access to if I need to go to the hospital?

We have learned that this virus has changed the way we had been living our life. Emergency rooms and hospitals have always welcomed family members and visitors to assist their patients in the healing and recovery of illness and surgery. That has not been an option with COVD-19. You will be alone in these settings without direct contact and touch with those you care for and about.

Lists/Documents to have in one place:

  1. Power of Attorney: make copies
  2. Advance Directive/Living Will
  3. Medication list: yes, I have it twice because it is that important
  4. List of phone numbers: Emergency Contact, Family members, Physicians, Neighbor
  5. Medical history, current diagnosis, past diagnosis, surgeries, allergies to food/ medications
  6. Copy of insurance cards: front and back
  7. Copy of Photo ID
  8. MOLST form if you have one
  9. Long term care policy information (if you have one)  

What to leave behind:

  1. Wedding rings
  2. All jewelry
  3. Watches
  4. Wallet and money

What to take:

  1. Glasses
  2. Hearing aids and batteries
  3. Dentures
  4. All documents listed below

5.    Stay informed:

If you have more questions about the Novel Coronavirus, stay up to date on the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov

Experts agree that the most important thing you can do is not panic and stay informed.

It’s important now to plan and have a conversation with your family and/or the important people in your life about what you want to happen if you contract COVD-19. This will benefit not only you, but those close to you, and all the medical staff who will be taking care of you.

What to Know Before Moving Parents from a Senior Community into Your Home During COVID-19

Throughout the DMV, senior communities are entering the fourth week of insulating their residents to protect them from COVID 19, and family members physically cut off from their loved ones are increasingly worried about their care and mental health.

While most geriatric professionals and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urge the public not to panic and say it is unwise to bring loved ones home, many families are weighing the risk of a COVID 19 outbreak along with the impact that long-term isolation will have on their loved ones. They also worry that a frail older adult may not have the ability to fight COVID 19 and are seriously considering bringing them home.

At Corewood Care Management, we believe the decision to bring an older adult home is as individual as you and your parent. While we would not discourage a family from bringing a relative home from a senior community, it is critical to think about whether you’re prepared to provide the care that they need.

To help think through your choices, here are ten things to consider as you weigh the options of moving a parent out of their senior community and into your home.

  1. Have a conversation with your parents, learn their thoughts and wishes. Can they make an informed decision, do they share your concerns about COVID-19?

  2. Is this a temporary move or permanent? It is important to discuss, and expectations are established in advance.

  1. Relationship, roles, and intentions: Are you able to have honest discussions, share feelings? Does your parent still see you as a child? How do you handle disagreements?  Are you comfortable helping your parents in the bathroom?  

  2. Are you ready to be a caregiver and all that it entails? Do they expect you to be available to them 24/7?  Remember, they are used to pushing a call button for help.   

  3. Routine: Your parent likely has a routine in place that they are comfortable with, and you need to learn what that is including when they:

    1. Wake up, take naps, and go to bed

    2. Have meals and snacks (some have Happy Hour)

    3. Require a shower or bath

    4. Watch TV, especially their favorite shows and may want to leave the TV on all day.

    5. Activities that they like and how often do that they participate

    6. The time of day that they take their medications, with or without food. Do they need reminders, and require refills of their pillboxes

  4. Assistive devices that you will need to get in place before your parents come home:

    1. Raised toilet seat

    2. Shower bench, handheld shower

    3. Special bed

    4. Incontinence products, gloves, bed pads

    5. Are you able to assist or manage: change hearing aid batteries, clean dentures, clip finger, and toenails

  5. Health requirements. Understand all their health diagnosis and future issues. If your parent has relied on a Physician that is part of the community, you’ll need to find a new practitioner as well as obtain copies of their current medical files to share.

  6. Mental Health concerns such as anxiety, depression, anger. How would a move impact them emotionally? Consult with their Psychiatrist, counselor that treats them.

  1. Cognition and Memory considerations. Do they understand the current pandemic? How significant is their memory loss? Do they require reminders or 24/7 supervision? Are their safety issues, such as wandering?

  2. Remember, you must take care of yourself as well. Do you have the time to support your family at home that is now sheltering with you along with your parents? Are you the primary caregiver, or can you share some duties with your family members?

Having weighed the options and made the decision to bring your parents to your home, the next step is to consider support – for them and yourself. Many options can be utilized while your parents live in your home.

  1. Home Care provides certified nursing assistants that come to your home to care for your parents or help supplement their ADL (Activities of Daily Living) requirements. You can set a schedule that best meets your needs.
  2. Home visiting Doctor/Nurse Practitioner come to your home if it is difficult for your parents to get to an office location.
  3. Medication delivery.
  4. Medical equipment (listed in #6 above) can be delivered to your home.
  5. Grocery and meal delivery.
  6. Activities can be recreated at home so that your parents can enjoy doing what they did in their senior community. Play their favorite music. Technology can assist by allowing family members to visit via FaceTime. Use computers to play games, join in an exercise class, or attend religious services.  

This is a stressful time, all the more anxious with the concern about COVID 19’s impact on older Americans. If all of this seems overwhelming, take a deep breath and call Corewood Care to discuss the situation. We can talk about the options offered by Care Management and Homecare services. We offer both services. We can streamline the process and put into place the care that your entire family requires and the guidance you need.    

7 Helpful Answers About COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates, we are reminded repeatedly of what preventative measures to take. Social isolation, holding a 6-foot distance from others, and proper handwashing to name a few. However, like many I know, I have also wondered about other preventative measures to take in the new way of living we are all experiencing. Below are some tips that I have found helpful while isolating at home.

  1. Can the virus spread on paper or cardboard?

Many of us are using Amazon and Instacart as well as other delivery services for groceries and items to avoid in-person visits. We know the virus can spread through physical contact and through mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, nose), but what about other surfaces? The length of time the virus stays on surfaces does vary, however, the risk is of obtaining COVID-19 through commercial goods or packages is low, per the CDC.

  1. Can my pet transmit COVID-19 to me?

You may have heard the recent news of the Tiger at the Bronx Zoo testing positive for COVID-19. The tiger showed symptoms consistent with the virus. Animals and our domestic friends have been an important topic at hand as it relates to the virus. Many want to know if animals can transmit the virus to humans and vice versa. As it stands now, these reports and studies have concluded that animals can contract the virus from humans, however, it does not appear that humans can contract the virus from animals.

  1. What do I do if I don’t have an N-95 mask?

N95 Face masks are nearly impossible to find and if you do find them, it’s possible they are counterfeit. The N95 masks filter 95% of airborne particles. It is important to note that the masks are mainly to help persons wearing the masks to not transmit their germs to others. The importance of the mask diminishes once touched and should be removed and replaced with a new mask. Healthcare workers need these masks and are most knowledgeable on how to appropriately and safely wear them. Let’s leave the N95 masks for them and make our own. Below is a great video recently posted by the Surgeon General on how to make a face mask at home. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the fabric blocks out the sunlight from coming through. If you do reuse your mask, fold it inwards to prevent the outside from touching other surfaces and place it in a sealable bag.

Link to Video:

  1. My disinfecting supplies are running low. What should I do?

Groceries stores are limited in supplies, especially disinfecting products. Fully in the throes of the virus, personal supplies of disinfectant wipes and products will be running low. The EPA has a great website on other products to use as household disinfectants. Click Here. You can also dilute household bleach as an alternative!         

  1. Is drinking tap water safe?

As it stands now, yes. Per the CDC website, the virus has not been found in drinking water and should not be of concern at this time.

  1. Can the virus spread through produce I purchase?

COVID-19 is a virus causing respiratory illness. To date, there is no evidence suggesting the virus can be transmitted through food and food packaging. While we know that the virus can remain on surfaces and be transmitted, this is not believed to be the reason of the main factor of the virus spreading. Once the virus is airborne and is on a surface rather than a person, the percentage of the virus being transmitted from that surface diminishes greatly and becomes harder to be transmitted the longer it is in the environment. The FDA (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration) gives facts on the virus and how it relates to production. The website can be found here https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/food-safety-and-availability-during-coronavirus-pandemic.

  1. Which sources are the most reliable on information regarding COVID-19?

There are many websites, blogs, press releases, etc. sharing information on COVID-19. I am inundated with information and have often questioned which facts are true and which are opinions. Regarding general information on the virus, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website is the best. However, the World Health Organization is reliable also. They have just implemented an alert system to bring the public facts on COVID-19. Check it out here https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/who-health-alert-brings-covid-19-facts-to-billions-via-whatsapp. Regarding your specific county and state interpretation of the virus, regulations, policies, and safety measures, it is best to go to the Department of Health. The Maryland Department of Health website and information resources can be found here https://health.maryland.gov.

Call Us: (301) 909-8117