For seniors who are currently self-isolating during the COVID-19 outbreak, personal welfare and safety is a top priority.
Self-isolation is recommended to reduce the spread of the virus, but staying home for so long and distancing from family, friends, carers and neighbours can make seniors feel lonely, isolated and anxious.
However, there are ways to combat this anxiety with welfare checks, calls to family and friends and the comfort of a 24/7 personal alarm service.
Here are some tips to feel safer and more secure while staying at home:
Daily Welfare Check for Seniors
A welfare check by a healthcare service is important to monitor health and well-being, especially when a family member is restricted from visiting and providing care.
MePACS offer a daily call service, where our clients simply press the ‘call’ button on their home alarm unit between 6am and 11am. If they forget during this time, our response team will call a home or mobile phone to check if they are alright.
For an additional $6 per month, you can have the extra security and peace of mind that you deserve.
Starting your morning with the press of a button on your MePACS alarm unit is a great routine to maintain, and this can improve your productivity for the rest of the day ahead.
Using technology to combat loneliness in the time of COVID-19
While self-isolating, there are a range of ways to keep in touch with family and stay sociable.
Talking with someone familiar on the phone is one of the most effective ways to ease your mind and reduce anxious thoughts. Whether you reminisce on happy times or reflect on the impact of the current situation, a conversation can strengthen your existing relationship and help you maintain a positive outlook.
A recent article published by The Conversation promotes the use of video chat technology to “ease social isolation” for seniors and “keep older adults engaged and a part of their loved ones’ lives…physically distant but emotionally present.”
Many older people are also turning to technology to stay connected. From a video call on a smartphone to signing up for Facebook, seniors can join their younger family members and see updates on their lives through visual media as well as remain informed about news and current affairs.
COVID-19 Support for Seniors
At the present time, many healthcare services in the community are classified as “essential” and if permitted by their clients, will still provide in-home care.
Home support organisations have also introduced new policies to ensure social distancing and hygiene standards are prioritised by their workers.
Are you worried about shopping for groceries?
Supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths have offered a ‘community hour’ at the start of the day just for seniors with a concession card.
You can have family or friends shop for you and deliver groceries to your door, or you can register for online shopping.
Woolworths have also launched a ‘Basics Box’, which includes essential items such as longlife milk, pasta and canned items for every meal. The box costs $80 and only available for delivery in ACT, NSW and VIC.
24/7 personal alarm for peace of mind
Spending more time alone can also increase the risk of a medical emergency, such as illness or a fall, and this will have an enduring impact on general health and well-being.
A MePACS personal alarm can provide that extra support and reassurance. Worn around your neck or on your wrist like a watch, our personal alarms connect to the MePACS 24/7 emergency response service, which means help is available at any time of the day or night, 365 days a year.
Should you feel unwell or have a fall, one press of the button on your MePACS personal alarm will send a signal for help to our response team.
We can guarantee that someone will answer within two minutes to listen to you and assess the situation, then call the most appropriate contact to get you the help you need.
This could be a family member that lives close by, or 000 to get an ambulance. MePACS can relay specific information to emergency services, so your call can be prioritised and help will arrive as soon as possible. Autodialler personal alarms are unable to do this, and only call from an automated list of pre-selected contacts. It’s the human touch that can make all the difference.
Your family, friends and close neighbours will be relieved to know that a reliable and efficient organisation like MePACS is looking out for you, no matter what time it is.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
A healthy lifestyle is essential for people of all ages during social isolation.
Incorporating various fruit and vegetables into every meal can increase energy levels and help you feel more positive, while significantly reducing the risk of developing a chronic health condition, heart disease or cancer.
Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water to prevent headaches and feeling faint or nauseous.
Short walks around your neighbourhood are also permitted as long as walkers observe a 1.5 metre distance between them and another person. Exercising will release chemicals called endorphins in your body, which can reduce your perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling.
If you need to cough or sneeze, remember to cover your mouth with your elbow or a tissue and wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds to reduce the spread of bacteria.
Are you feeling unwell? It may be best to call your doctor so they can discuss the best way for you to receive care – waiting at a clinic or hospital is not advised due to potential unconfirmed cases of COVID-19.