The pandemic has been especially problematic for the 65 and older demographic. Health complications due to COVID-19 are high in this age group. Limiting exposure becomes all the more important. But limiting exposure for seniors has its share of problems as well.
Health Impacts of COVID-19
Having pre-existing conditions, especially pulmonary and respiratory ones, elevates a person into the high-risk category for COVID-19. Senior citizens generally have more pre-existing conditions than middle-aged people and weakened immune systems, further elevating them within the high-risk category.
According to the CDC and WHO, the best ways for anyone, but specifically seniors to stay safe during the pandemic is to limit exposure (stay home) and mask up (when outside of the home). But self-isolation for aging adults can cause another set of issues. Long periods of isolation can lead to:
- Increased risk of dementia
- Higher rates of depression and anxiety
- Increased risk of heart failure and stroke
Caregivers might feel as though they are between a “rock and a hard place” during the pandemic, but there are ways to combat isolation, and keep seniors safe during the pandemic.
Tips for Caregivers
Isolated seniors no longer have to remain that way. Caregivers should find ways to include technology into a senior’s life so they can stay connected with the outside world. Caregiving from a distance can include getting an aging loved one set up on a video chat application by walking them through the steps over the phone. This gives them an opportunity to visually connect with loved ones.
Equally as important is discussing care using a mPERS device. Video chats are great for connecting to loved ones but aren’t made for emergency situations. A mPERS device can be a lifeline for a senior citizen who has fallen or is suffering from an acute medical event. They may not be able to reach for a phone but may need medical assistance immediately. With the addition of a mPERS device, caregivers and senior citizens can have peace of mind knowing that even when they aren’t connected together virtually the mPERS device is still keeping our seniors protected in the event of an emergency.
During the pandemic, technology can save lives — literally.
All December we’ll be bringing you some valuable tips and information on assessing the health of aging loved ones throughout the holiday season. As we move through the season, each of these articles will be made available through our website’s resource center, along with any important product updates or announcements for you through our dealer portal.