We are happy to share this important information from guest blogger Corrine Markey, founder of The Seniors’ Answer...
Usually this time of year I’m writing about hurricane preparations so that you have weeks to prepare. But this year we have to prepare to face a different disaster: a pandemic. We have had to adjust quickly and unexpectedly to being at home. And, if a family member gets the virus the most likely scenario is weathering it at home as most cases don’t require hospitalization – and right now, hospitals should be avoided if possible.
To be prepared to nurse the patient and keep others at home safe you need to have supplies on hand, to know how to self-quarantine and how to develop and use your social network. There are three general categories of supplies you can buy and stock. They are food/drink; medical and safety/ cleaning.
As is the case in all viruses, fluids are extremely important, as dehydration occurs often and dehydration can exacerbate a fever. Fluids: grandma was right about chicken soup so get/make plenty. Electrolyte-replacement drinks cut in half with water, bought or home-made teas – there are lots of recipes on the internet. Since many patients lose their sense of smell and taste herbs and spices can be added to drinks and soups such as fresh ginger, lemons, dill, oregano. Honey for the throat – local if possible. Nutrient-rich foods like avocado and pectin-rich fruits like bananas and apples. And, don’t forget the protein: chicken, yogurt, protein powder and other sources of easily digestible and tasty protein.
In addition to a thermometer, an in-home pulse oximeter is important. An oximeter measures the heart rate and blood oxygen levels, which indicate how well the patient’s lungs are working. Have standard cold medicines on hand such as Tylenol, cough drops, OTC cold medicines, nasal spray.
Isolate the patient and have on hand plenty of cleaning supplies including bleach to make a cleaning solution (dilute five tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water). Soak toothbrushes in a mixture of 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed with five ounces of water for about 10 minutes; throw away the solution and rinse with tap water.
Medical and personal supplies such as rubber or latex gloves, simple surgical masks (leave the N95 to healthcare workers), disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, laundry detergent, nail brush, soap, tissues, replacement toothbrushes/ toothbrush heads for electric, paper towels,
What to Do
Once a family member has a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19, everyone in the home must wear a mask, a simple surgical mask is best, gloves, eye glasses while interacting with the patient. Masks should be changed each day or in the case of cloth masks, washed every day. The patient must be isolated, in a separate bedroom, ideally with an en-suite bathroom, from which they do not leave. If there is only one bedroom, the other family member should sleep in the living room. If there is only one bathroom, well family members should keep their toiletries and dental items in another location, as far from the patient as possible. Make sure the patient has separate dishes, glasses and utensils that are washed separately. Use separate towels, utensils, glasses, cups, dishes, bedding and any other items that are usually shared.
If you have appliances (washer, dryer, dishwasher) that have sanitizing cycles, use them as they have the hottest temperature and thus kill the most bacteria.
ALL touchpoints must be cleaned frequently including faucets, light switches, door knobs, handles, railings, bathroom sinks, remote controls, phones, tablets, computers, keyboards, waste baskets, hampers, window shade/blinds drawstrings/chains, arm rests, books, etc. Bathrooms and kitchens need the most attention,
People want to help. Ask family, friends, neighbors and others to help with essential errands such as groceries.
Keep yourself and your family safe and sound. Many people are getting the virus, be prepared. At The Seniors Answer we can help you with this and other tasks and issues during this difficult period. If you know of anyone who can use our help, let us know – we are here for you.
If you have questions or need information about your loved-one’s life management issues don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We love helping our clients get the information and assistance they need from personal issues to daily money management, home management and more. Call me at 305-646-1833 or email me at Corrine@theseniorsanswer.com
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The Seniors’ Answer is the idea of founder Corrine Markey. After handling all the “Life Management Services” for her aunt, Corrine realized she could use her compassion and talents as a business person and adviser to help seniors and their families. She has experienced and understands how overwhelming and exhausting it is to assess what a family member needs, perform all the life management tasks, obtain quality counsel, evaluate options and arrange for services. Corrine provides compassionate, competent and trustworthy assistance to seniors and their families helping them with their daily life issues and enabling them to be independent.
Information is written by Corrine Markey, a non-affiliate of Cetera Advisors LLC.