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  • Writer's pictureChris Yancey

The Benefits of a Caregiver During a Pandemic

It’s 2020 and in some office spaces, calendars have not been flipped since March; clothing stores have their dressing rooms closed; groceries stores have one-way traffic and there are police check points to stop out-of-state drivers. The list of oddities is endless. Our seniors have undoubtedly been through some trying times during their decades on this planet, but let’s face it, this is bizarre! What can we do at First Coast R and R to assist during this challenging time?

CONNECTIVITY BENEFITS

First, we can help loved ones connect electronically. If a client does not have a computer or a smart phone, we do! Our caregivers are more than happy to assist by facilitating a video call from their personal phones to enable a client to see friends and family. Several of our seniors do have computers but are not informed on how to maximize their use, and our caregivers can show them how to create email, check Facebook, initiate a video call, etc.

MENTAL STIMULATION BENEFITS

Secondly, the caregivers can provide mental stimulation. Whether it be cards, dominos, puzzles, Yahtzee, (my favorite) Rumikub, or anything in between. Our caregivers are happy to participate in fun and games, and it is mental stimulation and a benefit for all involved.

PHYSICAL STIMULATION BENEFITS

In addition,we can provide physical stimulation. Perhaps it is unsafe for the client to walk alone but with somebody standing by, they can take a stroll….and this may be inside or outside of the home. If the client likes music, we can turn on music to encourage dancing (standing or sitting) …which will also lead to an improved mood, most likely and provide great benefits in positive mindsets. Or maybe a client is unable to fix a meal independently but with a caregiver there, prepping and moving the heavy kitchen items, opening the jars, etc., they can together prepare a meal. One thing that is evident is that seniors are becoming unconditioned due to a lack of activity from not being able to shop, see a doctor, go to church, or get their haircut (among other things). And yes, some things are open, but leaving home poses a risk. Let caregivers provide the benefit of having someone to assist in normal activities in this abnormal time.

BENEFITS OF A CAREGIVER

During this pandemic, we have had several calls from family members who report their loved one is suffering from decreased appetite and dehydration because of being isolated. Some clients are not able or interested in cooking and we can certainly oversee meal prep and planning. Nutrition and hydration are important for optimal health. Dehydration has a significant effect on mental status as well as balance, so hydration is very important and can be key in preventing falls.

Overall, the social interaction benefits a caregiver brings can encourage laughter, connection, stimulation, positivity, and be a distraction from the news. Depression is on the rise due to not only isolation, but the state of the world brought on by this pandemic. Sometimes we need to turn off the TV and focus on other things, but when seniors are alone, the TV often serves as their companion. The benefit of a caregiver during this pandemic can literally be life changing for our loved ones.

We would love the opportunity to assist you or your loved one during this trying time. Please contact us for a free consultation and be well!

~ Christine

“Enabling seniors to age in place, with dignity and grace”

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