The year 2020 has been anything but easy. Not only has the world been hit with a deadly virus, but self-isolation and quarantine practices have been mandated. In addition to working from home, home-schooling your children, and wearing protective gear at the grocery store, you must also consider the impact COVID-19 may have on your aging parents. Since the elderly are more at risk of catching the virus, you have probably limited most, if not all contact with them in efforts to prevent the spread of the virus. However, there are still many ways you can help your aging parents during this time without having physical contact with them.
Continuing to Engage in Frequent Communication:
It’s likely you and your parents have maintained a routine that involves frequent visits, phone calls, or maybe they even babysit your kids on the weekends. It’s important to remember that they depend on these types of interactions and have grown accustomed to this type of bond. Without these moments, they may get lonely and feel deserted by you and your children. However, you can combat this by making them feel your presence through frequent phone calls and virtual interactions. This is a great chance to get them involved with using technology, if they have not already. Getting your kids involved is a great way to make them feel like they are loved and cared for even though you cannot physically be with them during this time.
Get Involved in Their Daily Routines
If your parents are living in an assisted living facility, then make sure all of the nurses and supervisors are aware of any pertinent medical conditions your parents may have. You should call the facility to ensure the staff is provided with a full list of any medications or prescriptions your parents may need within the next few months. If your parents live by themselves, then you can make them aware that they may still contact their physicians through online platforms. If your parents handle their own finances and bills, then you can offer to help. For example, if they usually go to the bank to make withdrawals or deposit checks, you can offer to go in their place. In addition, if they still receive bills via mail, you can offer to pick up and send out their mail for them to prevent any possible contact with the virus. Lastly, if their local grocery stores have not provided restricted hours solely for the elderly, you can either do their groceries for them and leave them at their door or have their groceries delivered.
Prepare for the Worst:
It is never a bad idea to plan for the worst-case scenario. Since COVID-19 is a novel virus, there is no way of telling how quickly it can overcome your parents if they do come into contact with the virus. If your parents have not already planned for the future, then now is a good time to ensure that they take proper care of their assets and know their options. Some valuable documents they may consider are Health Care Surrogate, Durable Power of Attorney, A Last Will and Testament, a Trust, etc. These documents are provided so that in the event your parents were to be infected with the virus, you may be able to manage their property and health decisions for them.