How do you take care of your elderly loved ones amid of overwhelming infections these days?
We live in a time where the emerging illnesses have become as advanced as the ever changing and innovative world. Some are preventable, some are not. Some diseases are not only unpreventable but also highly infectious. Young people may be able to withstand the new health crises. However, our grandparents and parents have become less resistant to the infectious diseases.
They took great care of us to raise us when we were young. Now it is time for us to take care of them. So, how can we care for our beloved family members to be happy and healthy in their old age?
Are the number and rate of infections on the rise?
As many as the type of infections, the way these infections are transmitted are also just as many. A disease can be transmitted via sweat, or it can be air-borne. A virus can be spread through close contact or via droplets released from coughing and sneezing. Some infections are transferred through the body fluids like blood.
How do we prevent our beloved older family members from these infections?
Infections, if treated properly, can get better however, some infections can be serious and life threatening. Prevention is still better than cure. Here are some practical ways we can do to help prevent infections as well as improve well-being of our family members.
Encourage frequent handwashing.
Hands carry the most germs in our body. These hands come in contact with everything we touch. We also use them to put food into the mouth and touch our faces. Hand hygiene is very important because most of the infectious diseases we catch are caused by the germs on the hand. Ask your grandparents to wash their hands frequently with soap after touching dirty things, before meals, and after going out.
Prepare good nutrition for them.
Well balanced diets can improve the immune system and are able to fight off numerous infections. Daily meals of elderly family members should include adequate amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals and fiber. Try to prepare one meat or fish, rice and vegetables in every day meals for them.
If they have not much an appetite, we can incorporate some nutrition supplements into their diet as well. Being well nourished is an effective way to protect against infectious diseases.
Remind them to drink water.
Older adults tend to drink less water. Water also has a significant role in maintaining a healthy immune system so make sure your parents drink enough water throughout the day. Put water bottles where they can see or pour a glass of water for them.
Make sure they are getting enough sleep.
With older age, adults tend to sleep less. Sleep deprivation in long term can have serious effects on the body immunity. Older adults should at least get 6 hours of sleep every night.
Try getting your parents and grandparents to exercise at least 15 minutes every day. Good examples of exercise for older adults are slow walking and yoga.
Avoid unnecessary visits to hospitals.
Healthcare facilities such as hospitals and clinics are also the breeding ground for most of the infectious diseases. Avoid these places unless it is required.
Do shopping for them.
Shop in behalf of your older family members for their food, medicine and daily amenities. Social distancing is also an effective way to prevent against infections.
Take care of their personal hygiene.
Personal hygiene is key to good health. Regular clipping and cleaning nails, hair washing and showers should also be taken great care of.
Clean the house regularly.
Some places in the house can also be full of germs. It is important to clean the house every day, disinfect weekly. Regularly change the bedsheets and pillowcases.
Vaccination is not only for children. Older adults should be vaccinated for preventable infections such as seasonal flu and hepatitis. It is important to vaccinate in advance to prevent the unwanted consequences from these infections.
Let’s protect our beloved older family members from nasty infections with the use of the practices discussed above.
A Guide To Caring For Elderly Parents https://www.aginginplace.org/a-guide-to-caring-for-elderly-parents/ Accessed Date 22 April 2020
Family Caregiver Tips: Infection Risks and Prevention for the Elderly https://www.redi-nurse.com/family-caregiver-tips-infection-risks-and-prevention-for-the-elderly Accessed Date 22 April 2020
Coronavirus and COVID-19: Caregiving for the Elderly https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-caregiving-for-the-elderly Accessed Date 22 April 2020
Coronavirus and older people: 6 tips for families https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/coronavirus-how-can-i-look-after-older-relatives/ Accessed Date 22 April 2020