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caring for vulnerable family members
Dec 27, 2022

Protecting Vulnerable Family Members: Tips for Caring for Seniors & Kids

Coronavirus has put most of us into a testing situation. But the people who are prone to go through the maximum intensity of anxiety, are young parents – people who are worried about their children and their parents. It is common knowledge now, that Coronavirus is more aggressive on people with lower immunity levels. One group that displays this characteristic is the one with people above the age of 60. These are the people who are usually retired, have high blood sugar, cholesterol and have been through a few surgeries. Corona can take a toll on their health if they come in the vicinity of the disease. On the other side of the spectrum are the children in the house. It is difficult but necessary to keep them in check. They too have a developing immune system that requires some conscious shielding from Corona. So, here are a few things you can do to ensure that the aged people and children in your house stay safe during the Corona outbreak:

1. Lead by Example – Follow the Public Health Advisory Yourself.

Teaching anyone who has reached an age beyond 60 years, something new is difficult. After all, the habits that have stayed for this long will not go away immediately. At the same time, children are notorious for not being adjacent to rules and regulations imposed on them. There is a simple solution to take care of both of these problems – make yourself the idol in the house. So far, there are only a few things the public health advisory has released to make yourself safer. These include:
  1. Social Distancing: Keep a distance of at least 2 metres between you and everyone else.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, ears, nose or face frequently.
  3. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with a hand-wash or soap. Use a sanitizer with an alcohol content of more than 60%.
These are basic tips and you can adapt them into your lifestyle without any major discomfort. Practising these will help you set an example and also help you stay safe. As far as you are safe, you will be able to take care of your children and parents without any problem. Read more about: Senior Health Care Rider

2. Keep a first-aid kit, medicine and healthcare specialist’s contact details handy.

Governments have already started putting curfews and public lockdowns for the time being. While medicine stores are meant to be open for as long as possible, it might become a little difficult to source medicines in urgent situations. So, start by making a list of all the medicines your aged parents consume and the ones your children may need. Make sure you have medicines to go for at least a few weeks. Along with these, make sure you have a few packs of reusable and usable masks, hand-sanitizers, full-sleeve clothes, soaps and hand-wash packets in your house. Don’t try to hoard anything. Just take a look at your family’s daily need and ensure that these things are available for the next 3-4 weeks to them without any hindrance. Another tip is to keep your family physician’s phone number handy. You may not have to use it during the lockdown hours; but it will give you a sense of relief since you will know you are prepared for everything. You can also save this toll-free helpline number issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, for any details you may need on Coronavirus: +91-11-23978046 Read more about: Health Insurance

3. Schedule Your Days.

As soon as the Corona shutdown takes place, families will be forced to stay home during the days and the nights. This disrupts the schedule people are used to and can cause anxiety among children and aged people. Children are used to going out, playing and spending time with their friends while some senior citizens have a habit of taking walks. When you are staying inside, you are protecting your family and other people around you from becoming carriers of the virus. At the same time, sitting home all day long can cause anxiety. Hence, as a parent and caretaker, make sure you have some ideas on how to spend your time with the family. Start with ensuring that your children don’t miss any online lectures or their academic responsibilities. If possible, sit with your parents or take a walk with them inside the house. Along with these, play indoor games, watch old family photo albums or catch a movie with everyone. Every day, make sure that you are sitting with your family and engaging in conversations. Everyone should be aware of what everyone is supposed to do. And, if anyone feels anxious about the times, you should be able to iron it out by giving the necessary information. Social media is clogged with false news and rumours about the pandemic. Make sure your family is consuming only the tested and medically supported information. The key takeaway is to stay engaged in some activity throughout the day, so there is no space for unnecessary anxiety in the first place. Read more about: Senior Citizen Health Insurance

4. Rigorously Maintain Hygiene.

Start with giving your house-help a paid vacation. They should not be commuting on a daily basis in these circumstances. When you do that, the responsibility of keeping the house clean will come on your shoulders. This may seem inconvenient, but don’t take this passively. Coronavirus can stay on surfaces touched by people, for hours. This means pretty much everything inside your house has to be cleaned and cleansed. Children may not feel like maintaining hygiene, since they are not going out. Don’t let this happen. Make sure they understand the importance of practicing hygiene in these times.

In Conclusion

It all comes down to communicating the gravity of the situation and the instructions necessary to navigate it. Make sure you are able to take care of your work without any disturbance from your children. Pending work will only make you more distracted from keeping an eye on your parents and children in the house. You can divide the responsibilities of working and supervising between you and your partner. Coronavirus is a test of patience. You have to stay in the house and follow the instructions given by the experts. Just doing that will dramatically lower the chances of anyone getting affected in your house.

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