Our Isolated Elders, What We Can Do

Most likely you've heard about the COVID-19 threat to older people and the danger of contagion at assisted living and nursing care facilities. In California, at least 40% of deaths from the novel coronavirus have happened in elder care homes.

How do you look out for your loved ones when social distancing keeps you from them? Dr. Wendy talks to a friend who is dealing with this terrible situation and shares ideas she learned from an assisted living facility administrator.

Here are some tips and reminders:

  • Drop off homemade food for your parents or grandparents and include enough for some of the staff!
  • Now's the time to have some real talk. What if the worst were to happen and you never got to see him or her again? What would have wanted to say, to ask, to clear up, to hear again, to mend? Have these conversations now.
  • Encourage your Nana or Papi to exercise! Our administrator friend says the people who are doing the best are in the best physical shape.
  • Teenagers: Make a TikTok video with Grandma in her window or balcony.
  • Thank and support the staff. Many are operating short-handed since anyone with symptoms is sent home. Be patient. It may take a longer for paperwork to be finished. (Hot tip: Twinkies and M&M's)
  • Try not to take your anxiety and fears out on the staff. Understand that the County Department of Public Health is responsible for the visitation restrictions, not the facility.

Go ahead and listen to Dr. Wendy below. There's much more!

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