The year 2020 has impacted practically everyone in one way or another, especially when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone can talk at length about how they have been personally affected by this virus. I thought it would be fitting to take a different approach and see different experiences from the standpoint of our elderly loved ones. We will cover the stories of elderly individuals in different settings like: Assisted Living, Rehab, Nursing Homes, Respite Care, Home Care, Home Health Care, Hospice etc.
At New Wave Home Care, we have been blessed with opportunities to work with seniors in all these settings. The stories are real, but to protect the identity and names of these individuals, some background details and some situational details have been altered. However, you will certainly be able to see how COVID has changed their lives.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Seniors Receiving Home Care
Esther was having a hard time. She was a very successful woman, a self made person who worked her way to the top of the organization. She was always in control and everyone around her knew that she was in charge, always.
A few years back, Esther developed an infection in her ears and as a result lost a good portion of her hearing. Esther also suffered a decline in her personal health and she has been receiving care from New Wave Home Care for the past 6+ years. She was very happy that New Wave Home Care trained their staff so well, to speak to her clearly looking into her face, a bit slowly and loud enough for her to hear. She now needed to see the lip movements to understand conversations clearly.
COVID-19 Changes Everything
However, now Esther was having a hard time understanding her caregivers. Ever since the COVID thing started, the caregivers were wearing masks all the time. Esther could no longer understand the caregivers since their voice was muffled and she could not see their lips moving. The caregivers could see that Esther was struggling. They called us at the office and presented their challenge. They were trying their best to speak as loud as they could and yet Ester could not understand. This was frustrating for everyone involved.
At New Wave Home Care, we came up with a great solution. We found out about a shield, which serves as a mask too. A clear mask, for lack of a better term. It looked like a shield from the front, but also protected like a mask. We procured this for the client and now the situation was much better.
COVID-19 Takes Its Toll
However, that was not the only problem affecting Esther. Ever since the onset of COVID-19, New Wave Home Care set very strict protocols to protect both the client and the caregivers. This included restrictions on visitations. Her daughter and her grandson who lived in Northern California could not visit her. Esther also really enjoyed going to her bridge club. She had friends her age and every Thursday they would meet at the Valley Hunt Country Club , in Pasadena. The club suspended its activities, which not only affected her bridge games, but all social activities.
Being stuck at home was not the best for someone like Esther, who was always on the go. She had a very healthy and active lifestyle. This was despite the fact that she had caregivers with her 24/7. Normally the caregivers would take her on all her social activities, that way her quality of her life never suffered. By mid August, things started becoming more difficult for Esther. She was no longer the cheerful and happy lady she was always known to be. She became more aggressive, moody and now she would yell at her caregivers and her neighbors.
New Wave Home Care Provides Assistance
At New Wave Home Care we observed the changes in Esther. Something had to be done to improve the quality of life for Esther. We decided to take her on drives. Caregivers would drive her every day, drive to the beach, drive to the dog park, drive to places with a lot of foot traffic, get food from drive-through restaurants. The objective was to make sure Esther was not confined to her home, but at the same time, not exposed to COVID-19 by visiting public places. Esther would sit in the car, keep her mask on and enjoy the drive around town with her caregivers.
We Understand the Challenges Facing Seniors & We’re Here to Help
The COVID-19 pandemic has not been easy for anyone, however, it has been particularly hard on the elderly. The fact that they are the most vulnerable to the virus is just part of the problem. The bigger issue has been dealing with social isolation. That has been made even more challenging, particularly, if that individual had any cognitive decline.
With the current health situation in the world today, seniors and their loved ones are now shifting to quality alternatives, particularly home care. As a result, home care agencies, like New Wave Home Care, are now becoming a top-of-mind option for families living with a senior. Now so, more than ever before, there is increased awareness of the vulnerability seniors have to infection, so families are choosing to stay away from options where the health of their loved ones could be compromised. Right now, there is no safer place for our elderly loved ones to take shelter in than at home.
To learn more about New Wave Home Care now, or to set up a FREE in-home assessment for a senior in Southern California or the greater Los Angeles service area today, please visit us at: www.newwavehomecare.com!