Reviewed by Kellen Bryant, Esq.
The Coronavirus pandemic is new to everyone. There were very few who believed that an illness of this level would reach America, or impact the very fabric of our country the way it has. This is a tremendous concern for all of us and, perhaps, even more so for our Florida seniors who are in the “most at risk” category for Covid-19.
You may be asking, what can I do to help? How can we make sure the seniors in our lives, and all of our loved ones, are best protected against this threat? What steps should we be taking now to decrease risk and ensure everyone we care about can be as safe as possible? What if you are the caregiver? What should you be doing to care for yourself as well? We understand these questions and want to share a few tips that may be able to help you and your family right now.
- Help them avoid isolation. Even during the best of times isolation and loneliness can be a harmful combination for any Florida senior. The National Institute on Aging tells us that both of these factors can play a role in the development of more serious conditions for seniors as they age. The fact that isolation and social distancing are now encouraged, if not mandated, under Covid-19 may only serve to worsen this issue. Reach out, at least daily, to the seniors in your life. Ask what they need and, more importantly, be a sympathetic ear to listen to their concerns.
- Get support for yourself as the caregiver in your family. Research tells us that there are more family caregivers today than ever before. While this is an amazing sacrifice you may have taken on, the key now is to ensure that you are as safe as possible. Getting enough rest, eating well, and exercising is critical to sustaining your energy level and helping to prevent you from becoming sick. Even if you have never done this before, ask for help now. You may not be able to do it all alone, and you do not want to risk becoming sick and being unable to help at all.
- Teach them mobile technology for the essentials. For many seniors, there is a significant learning curve when it comes to technology. They may be uncomfortable navigating a smartphone or using the internet. As we become a more isolated society and face quarantine protocols, being able to order food, groceries, and basic necessities from the internet is becoming a critical skill. Take the time you need to teach your older loved ones the technology they need to navigate this new challenge. Even mastering one app or website can make a tremendous difference.
- Warn them of scams. Many Americans are looking to the economic stimulus to help them. This is also true for our Florida seniors. Unfortunately, bad actors such as cyber criminals know this and are taking advantage of it. Your aging loved ones may receive telephone calls from individuals pretending to be law enforcement or the IRS. Let them know that this is taking place and ask them to talk to you before giving out any sensitive information. If they are contacted, help them report these issues using the links provided here.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. This is a difficult time for everyone, including our Florida seniors. If you need assistance, we encourage you to use our Find a Lawyer Directory to contact one of our attorneys who may be able to help answer your questions.