Geriatric Care During COVID-19

Prologue

Old age is not a disease or a disability. Older adults may be experiencing significant isolation already and social distancing will complicate it further. Reduced time with caregivers may also place older adults at risk of instability and uncertainty. As quarantines take place across the globe anxiety thrives on uncertainty increasing stress.

Keeping ourselves healthy and safe is compounded by the challenges of maintaining our values and goals. However, as we have grown old various parts of the body will become less efficient and some activities will become increasingly difficult to manage. It is important to recognize your physical and social limitations and live your life to full within them.

How do you make it easier to do as well?

  • Do not make more changes in your timetable as it will be more challenging to adapt your body to a new routine including the external occurring changes. This can cause more levels of irritation.
  • Help if available is great but if not prefer on to stacking your essentials for a month or more. Stack the groceries; vegetables at least for a week so that you avoid visiting stores frequently. Making a list will help.
  • Stack your medical essentials like necessary medicines, sanitizers, diapers, and wipes; lozenges; ointments, etc.
  • Schedule and divide your cleaning schedules with the help of your spouse or partner. Cleaning house, utensils need not be at a stretch. Divide it over alternate days or divide it into quantities.
  • Amidst all the chaos with news and the pressure of getting ourselves updated with numbers, it is also important to relax and calm your mind with some music and movies you
  • Since temples are locked down and there are not much of religious functional activities utilize that time for meditation and enchantments.
  • Avoid sleeping for longer hours during the daytime so that night sleep is not disturbed. Engage your afternoon and evening time in recreational activities like playing in-house cards; gardening; knitting; crafts etc
  • Everybody suffers some degree of memory loss as they become older. It leads to extra work and You can overcome this by labeling stuff like spices and other items in the kitchen; making a list of TV channels; making a to-do list and then giving a tick over it; pen down on the calendars.
  • Mental stimulation is important for decision making whether long term about finances or mere day to day planning. Playing intellectual games like chess; solving crossword puzzles will help you keep the brains active.
  • Walking exercise being not much of an option it is wise to switch to another form of exercise.
  • Make sure you move each of your joints at least 5-10 times to avoid pain and stiffness. Walking in the house for 60-80 steps or climbing 1 flight of stairs is optimal to be done. Do not over-exercise or overstretch your muscles; it might cause muscle soreness.
  • Avoid increased intake of sugar; fats and starch foods. Protein-rich foods like milk; fish; eggs and immunity booster food products like garlic; lemon; Ginger; turmeric need to be included. Dinners are anyways light but include more of fluids like soups and smoothies.
  • Avoid being sitting in one spot for a long time or lying down in position for a longer time to avoid skin bruises and bedsores. Keep turning sides and turning sitting angles periodically.
  • Remember to take care of your feet as even minor injuries can lead to major problems. Cleaning them and wearing in house anti-skid slippers will help.
  • Practice gentle and smooth movements to avoid falls and jerky movements causing pain.
  • Make maximum use of your assistive devices like a stick; walkers and grab Also use your stability aids like lumbar belts; knee caps, etc for extra support. Also, remember to clean your devices and aids with sanitizers and detergents.

When to consider medical help?

It is obvious for the complexity of aging and in- house locking down to raise for one or the other joint to pain; increase hypertension levels; increase sugar levels and many other medical complications but it is also risky to seek medical help unless medical emergency.

  • Try using telehealth options to seek treatment from doctors and other health professionals. Keep their phone numbers handy with yourself and the neighborhood.
  • In case of mild to moderate pain(not occurring after a fall) try in house remedies like applying ice or hot bags after consulting a doctor.
  • Be precise with your symptoms and do not panic or misinterpret the symptoms by peer discussion or internet readings.
  • In case of emergency like severe chest pain; breathlessness; excessive perspiration; giddiness ; excessive palpitation avoid self medication or home remedies and immediately seek nearest medical help by calling ambulance or other helpful organization around.
  • Above all remember ; you all are the roots of the society and the society owes you all the care. Not for a second let negativity and depression thrive into you making you giving up on this situation. Everyone has bravely fought their own battles of life this victory shall be ours too.