A trip to the hospital can be stressful for anyone but can be especially difficult for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. They can become easily anxious and confused in new surroundings and any subtle change in their routine can cause delirium, which is a state of confusion that can develop following illness, infection, or surgery. Delirium is one of the most common complications in hospitalized patients over age 65.
People with dementia who are hospitalized are less likely to receive adequate pain relief, and potentially more likely to receive a higher dose of medication – which comes with its own risk of complications and side effects. They can also need more care from family members while they’re hospitalized.
As the pandemic sweeps the world, both organizations and individuals have been forced to adjust their practices and behaviors in so many ways. “Normal” looks very different now than it did only a short while ago and will only continue to change for all of us. In this environment, the highest quality senior living communities have adapted quickly and responsibly. Those that do it best, are more than ever, some of the safest and most fulfilling places for an older adult to live. While moving into a senior living community during a global pandemic could be perceived as a challenging decision, we believe now may be the smartest time to make that move.
Many caregivers such as home health aides are still caring for seniors and going inside patient’s homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus has changed the way caregivers think about interacting and socializing with others.
Home health and visiting nurse agencies provide health care services in a home for an illness, injury, or chronic illness that needs monitoring. Throughout the pandemic, many people are questioning whether having someone else is their home is the right decision. For those who need skilled medical care, like feeding tubes or wound care, they may not have a choice. And staying on top of a chronic condition can help prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, which bring their own increased risk of exposure to COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a time of great change and uncertainty in our community, and has brought increased awareness of our own mortality. As Hebrew SeniorLife’s Clinical Director of Palliative Care, I see every day why it is important to discuss what medical care you wish to receive if you become seriously ill. Completing an advance directive is one thing we can all do to help us maintain autonomy in the midst of challenging circumstances.
This is an unusual and difficult time we are living in. The threat of becoming sick with COVID-19, grief over losing loved ones, and necessary social distancing are challenging us like never before. If you’re not feeling like your usual self – maybe more anxious or worried, sleep changes, appetite change, trouble concentrating – this is a normal reaction.
Here are some ideas that seniors and people of all ages can use to help you cope during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Connect with at least one other person each day, by phone or video call. Staying in touch with others is one of the best things you can do for yourself – and you might even make someone else’s day by calling them.
The coronavirus pandemic is making everyday life challenging for all of us, but that’s especially true if you’re caring for someone with dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease or another cause. You may be providing care in your home without the community supports that you’re used to, or maybe you’re trying to help while being physically separated due to the social distancing required to stop the spread of the disease.
The demands and uncertainty of life right now have never been greater. Some families may be juggling home-schooling their children while working from home and caring for an aging parent. Many of us are worried about our loved ones who may be isolated from social interaction and could be more at risk of contracting COVID-19. The mental and physical harm of being alone can take a toll too.
Many of our lives have changed drastically since the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the world. We’re staying home, quarantined, isolated, and lacking social interaction.
The seniors who live in Hebrew SeniorLife’s five senior living communities have been sheltering inside their apartments to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Throughout this difficult time, employees and volunteers have been delivering meals, making daily wellness calls, organizing various programs, picking up essential supplies, and much more.
Most of us value a sense of freedom and being able to choose when and where we want to go. As the body ages, so do our abilities and function and it’s important to be mindful of our driving habits and notice when something changes. Older drivers, especially over the age of 70, have a higher risk of being involved in a car accident for every mile they drive, according to the Hartford Center.