Senior Care in the Time of COVID: Considering Home Care

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When COVID-19 first struck the United States, it became apparent very quickly that senior citizens were the most at risk. Some of the most devastating outbreaks occurred in senior care facilities, where these extremely vulnerable individuals lived in close quarters and relied on personal care from staff for daily tasks. Due to these outbreaks, many senior citizens and their loved ones are now looking for safer senior care options during this pandemic—and often, they’re turning to at-home care. If this is something you’re considering, here are a few important things that you should keep in mind.

Precautions Are Still Necessary

Currently, with the Delta variant of COVID spreading rapidly, precautions are still recommended when interacting with others, especially if one party is considered high-risk. This means that even vaccinated family members who are providing the care should ensure that they wash their hands and wear a mask when in the person’s household. Visitors should be limited, while also keeping the individual’s social and emotional needs in mind to reduce the odds of exposure.

Professional Care Is an Option

Opting for in-home care does not mean that you forfeit the right to professional care. There are many senior care professionals out there who provide at-home services. These services can range from assistance with daily chores and meal preparation to professional medical care and assistance with personal hygiene tasks. Make sure to look into your options for professional care, particularly if not a lot of family care and support is available.

Insurance and Medicare Can Still Help

Additionally, choosing in-home care does not mean that you give up any financial support from your Medicare or other health insurance. Most programs that provide coverage for care facilities will also help with the costs of professional in-home care. Speak to your insurance provider about what coverage is available for these kinds of services.

Home Modifications May Be Necessary

Finally, keep in mind that your home may not currently be a very safe and accessible place to age. Many everyday fixtures in homes can be serious hazards to senior citizens with reduced mobility. You should seriously consider making some accessibility modifications to your home if you choose to age in place. Many of these modifications are relatively simple and inexpensive to implement, and some might not cost you anything. For example, rerouting cords and tacking down or removing rugs can eliminate dangerous tripping hazards, and these changes don’t cost you a dime.

Others may come with a cost, but they’re often well worth it—and, in some cases, your insurance might even help pay for these essential accessibility modifications. Upgrades like stairlifts, safety bars, and a walk-in bathtub-shower combo can add up, but they make your home a safer place for you to live.