Calling 2020 a challenge is quite an understatement – we have an abundance of adjectives to describe the frustrations and insecurities of the past year. For many, this struggle has meant confining social interactions to meetings on Zoom, forgoing holiday meals with family, and turning to the internet for everything from grocery delivery to entertainment. This certainly wasn’t what anybody had planned.
No group has been spared the adverse side-effects of the pandemic. Most college students have started another school year of distance learning, and young working parents have attempted to carve out a home office while becoming elementary educators. Seniors who were fiercely independent have had to rely on neighbors since restrictions strictly limited individual mobility (especially across state lines). As their counterparts in 65 and over communities were aided by staff, those choosing to live at home have endured additional stresses just taking care of the basics.
It is easy to take for granted simple tasks like going to the grocery store or pharmacy, until that option has been removed. What then? The beginning of last year was a real shock, and the families of many seniors were reluctant to get additional help taking care of their loved ones due to the risk of COVID transmission. As we turn a corner and see the rapid deployment of vaccines, it may be time again to ask ourselves “can I handle all this on my own?”.
The good news – Delaware has a multitude of in-home senior care providers who perform an astonishing number of tasks from cooking to cleaning, dog walking to running errands. Some take this a step further by assisting with mail & bill management, organizing, medication reminders, and transportation for appointments. Having one or two caregivers dedicated to your loved one means there is consistency to the tasks being performed as well as familiarity with all parties involved. While these agencies operate under guidance from government health entities, most have adopted their own standards and protocols as an additional layer of safety (ask them for specifics when you call). The needs for seniors have changed drastically this past year, so understand the flexibility of your provider before making a decision. Customized care plans based on thorough assessments are essential, and reputable outfits will accommodate most requests.
Trustworthy in-home care is a lifeline and an opportunity to improve the quality of life for everyone. Knowing that the essentials are being handled means enjoyable quality time which isn’t centered around doing chores. When you’re ready to make a change for the better, get questions ready, pick up the phone, and know your loved ones are being supported and protected when they need it most.