Caregiving for Those with Memory Loss During a Pandemic

April 16, 2020

A caregiver’s job is already a difficult one, without the added stress and responsibilities the worldwide pandemic is adding. Daily routines are interrupted, self-care and hygiene are more critical than ever, and many households are dealing with children home from school and lack of extra support like volunteers and community programs.

Taking Care of Yourself and Reducing Your Own Anxiety Will Benefit Your Loved One

Your loved one depends on you, so take time to make sure you are eating well and take breaks to decompress. Meditate, talk to a friend, take a short walk around the neighborhood. Although they may not be able to understand what is going on, they are certain to pick up on your anxiety and changes to the household routine. Plan ahead to make a back-up plan in the event you get sick.

Establish a Routine Which Includes COVID-19 Hygiene Protocols and Temperature Checks

Your typical routine may now be altered, without community support groups/programs and visitors to your home. Slowly introduce a new one, with set meal times in their preferred location, exercise and stimulating activities like reminiscing over family pictures and enjoying music together. If they enjoy watching tv, avoid turning on the news and watch a favorite movie or an old show, instead. Incorporate handwashing protocols into your routine and continuously monitor them for any changes in behavior or a temperature, which could indicate they have symptoms. Visit alz.org/help-support/caregiving/coronavirus-(covid-19)-tips-for-dementia-care for detailed tips.

Take Advantage of Help with Grocery Shopping

Local stores and shopping services are providing free delivery. All packages should be left outside your door to avoid contact. If you prefer to do your own shopping and have back up caregiving support at home to do so, take advantage of the early shopping hours for seniors. Be sure to practice preventative measures as recommended by the CDC, including wearing a cloth face covering, avoid touching your face and washing your hands as directed, as soon as you return home. Visit cdc.gov for more.

Support Groups

There are still people here to help you through virtual support groups, online information and by phone.
McLean provides comprehensive residential memory care, a social model adult day program, and various free support programs and education for the community. Please call 860-658-3941 or visit McLeanInspiredLiving.org to learn more about resources to help you through this today, and when this crisis passes.

Stay safe and stay well, as we all work together to protect the ones we love during this time.

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