Do you have an elderly family member, perhaps one who is suffering with dementia – you might be more worried than normal about how this current threat of coronavirus will affect them?
Trudi Scrivener runs a home carer company, Ashridge Home Care, and is supporting her team of live-in and visiting carers to ensure their clients remain 100% calm and safe. As an active Dementia Champion, here are Trudi’s top tips for keeping your loved ones safe if they are not living with you but have dementia:
- Check that they have handwash and hand sanitiser available in the usual spot where soap is kept – maybe singing a song with them can encourage the person to wash their hands. Make sure that any visitors know to make use of sanitiser too
- Clean things that are handled a lot, such as remote controls, door handles and taps
- If your loved one is self isolating you might be able to help out with practical tasks. The person might need shopping dropped off, medicine collected or some library books left outside the door for them – ask how you can help. Many communities have formed groups of volunteers to offer this kind of help
- Make sure the person has all the medication they need. You can speak to a GP or local pharmacist to make sure they will have a supply. Keep checking in to make sure they are continuing to take the right medication
- Check that they have a plan of what to do if they do get unwell – leave the number(s) to call prominently displayed
- While the person is indoors, encourage them to stay active and consider gentle exercises. There are lots of online yoga and gentle exercise sessions you can tap into. You can use your garden (if you have one)
- Try to make sure the person has activities that they can engage in at home as well; reading, magazines, jigsaws, music, knitting, their favourite TV/radio programmes available
- Keep in touch by phone, post, email or Skype. They may be anxious about the situation.
During this anxious time staying at home and maintaining a normal routine is now more important than ever. A live-in carer can be the best option to keep people safe at home. It minimises change and they stay in familiar surroundings. As part of live in care service, carers can work closely with district nurses, NHS, GPs, occupational therapists (OTs), families, and other healthcare professionals to create a personalised care plan and ensure their client receives the highest quality care in the comfort of their own home.
Ashridge Home Care is here to support anyone affected by dementia through this difficult time. If you simply need help or advice, please call one of our kind-hearted dementia champions on 01494 917344.
www.papool.co.uk is an alternative to agency staff and allows people to recruit carers 24/7 remotely.