There are different variants of Covid-19 that are emerging globally, and elderly people fall into the category of being highly susceptible to the virus. Unless symptoms are not severe, it is better that elderly patients with Covid, quarantine at home and recover through efficient healthcare provided by caretaker services.
Attending to an elderly patient with Covid needs proper handling and adhering to all precautions by the caregiver so that they themselves do not get infected. It becomes more tricky if the elderly person stays with other family members.
To mitigate any health risk for both the caregivers and the elderly patients, there are some precautionary guidelines that can be followed at home while taking care of the quarantined patient.
Let us take a look at them:
1.Caregiver must be tested
Nurses providing caretaker services for elderly patients with Covid must also be tested before administering any caregiving services to the patient. This is very much pertinent as the caregiver, or the nurses can transmit the infection to their own family or the patient’s family members.
2.Wearing PPE Kits
Wearing a PPE kit is a safety precaution to mitigate the risk of transmission by the caregiver and the care receiver to other members of the family. Caregivers tending to quarantine elderly patients at home must wear PPE kits at all times. Before leaving the house, they can dispose of the PPE kit or disinfect it for 72 hours.
3.Maintain social distancing
Unless the elderly patient has severe mobility issues, nurses providing caretaker services can try to maintain social distancing from the patient. They can keep the food or the medicines outside the patient’s door. If possible, during bathing, they can assist and guide the patient rather than coming in contact with them.
If the caregiver stays full-time at the patient’s home, it is better that they do not share the same space to avoid transmission.
4.Limiting contact with other members of the family
If the elderly patient with Covid is staying with other family members, it is imperative that the caregiver limit contact with them. The household items used by the patients and the caregiver should not be shared. Bathrooms after usage must be disinfected regularly.
For updating the recovery and progress of the elderly patient, the caregiver must use virtual modes such as video conferencing or calls to provide the information.
These preventive actions can prevent the chances of transmission as much as possible.
Every household item used by the caregiver and the care receiver should be sanitized or disinfected regularly. Bedsheets and the clothes of the patients should be washed and changed frequently. Surfaces such as doorknobs and hand-showers in the bathroom also need sanitizing.
Nurses providing caretaker services must also see that all grocery items, fruits, vegetables, or care packages get disinfected and washed immediately before stocking inside the fridge or kitchen.
6.Follow hygiene protocols
Caregivers must follow the hygiene protocols. They should wash their hands or sanitize them frequently. Wearing surgical masks is better to curb the transmission. Besides this, disposing of the masks and regularly cleaning them is also essential.
7.Limit doctor’s visit
Clinics and hospitals are the primary hub spots of contracting the virus; hence caregivers must avoid physically taking the patient to the visit the doctor.
As the world is now functioning virtually, online consultation with the primary healthcare provider can be conducted through video calls and telephones. Availing telemedicine services and ordering medicines at home online is preferable for the caregiver and the care receiver in such times.
Also, till the patient is infected, it will be better if the caregiver postpones physiotherapy sessions to avoid transmission.
Caregivers and nurses attending to elderly covid patients can stock up groceries and medicines for at least two weeks. This would prevent ordering new items every day and avoid travel and coming into any external contact with an infected person.
9.Have the emergency contact details
If there is no one in the house, or the elderly patient stays alone, the caregivers and nurses must have all the emergency contact details of close family members, neighbours, and doctors. If the patient shows any severe symptoms or discomfort, caregivers can update the emergency contact person before admitting the patient to the hospital.
10.Taking care of diet and medicine management
The nurses and caregivers must constantly be in touch with the family physician and ensure that the patients have healthy food and take medicines on time as prescribed by the doctor.
They also need to monitor the patient’s oxygen levels, blood pressure, and body temperature and update the doctor of any fluctuations.
In case of any severe symptoms, such as breathlessness or chest pain, the caregiver must contact the doctor immediately before administering any medicine.
11.Keep a positive environment
Ensuring the elderly patient has a positive environment at home will improve their spirits. Even with social distancing, caregivers must provide compassionate gestures to the patient to liven up their mood. The patient’s room should also be well ventilated to allow fresh air and sunlight to enter.
Anvayaa’s caregivers are well-equipped to provide caretaker services to elderly patients with Covid-19 by adhering to all safety protocols for mitigating the risk of transmission.