Visiting the Elderly amid COVID

The Unwelcomed Surprise We Didn’t See Coming

Let me preface this discussion with a disclaimer. I’m not a doctor and have no medical training at all. I’m just reporting on a phenomenon that I see almost daily in our elder law practice and am reflecting on some of the recent trends that I have seen in my community. The trend that I’m discussing today is interaction between adult kids and their beloved senior parents in light of COVID.

Just when we think it’s about over, it seems that we realize it’s really not! Recently we’ve seen a lot of adult kids with slightly declining parents receive a Covid slap! They are extremely busy with life and have never given a second thought to Mom’s health. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, they are knocked to the mat by a George Foreman left hook. (For the youngsters out there – George Foreman was a champion boxer back in the day!) Except this time, it’s not George Foreman – it’s Covid!

None of us want to think of Covid as a champion – but it is really good at surprising people – and not in a good way! The Covid left hook is especially deadly among the Senior population. Mom may have been getting along fine, then suddenly she is diagnosed with Covid. If Mom had several other things going on in the background, like heart disease or diabetes, the unwelcome left hook of Covid may be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

A New York Times article (As the US Nears 800,000 Virus Deaths, 1 of Every 100 Older Americans Has Perished) reports that seventy five percent of those who have died with Covid in the US have been over the age of 65. This statistic is shocking!

The Tough Part

The really tough part is that adult kids and grandkids want to visit Mom, but they are afraid to do so. Maybe this same young family has personally been affected by Covid – as often happens when one of their kids brings it home from school or from some outside event. We personally know young families who have gone through this process unscathed. The recent variant was more of an inconvenience than a threat to these folks. But it may not be the same story with their parents or grandparents.

It seems that when things are just now opening up, the new wave is running unimpeded. Seniors who are in facilities are especially vulnerable. Folks who “thought COVID was over” come in to visit and the rest is history.

Just Be Careful Out There

Mom is lonely and she desperately wants to see you and her grandkids. We’ve done articles and videos before about the problem of loneliness among Seniors. Loneliness which can lead to a broken heart is deadly in and of itself.

Yes, we can do video chats with our elderly parents, which are good – but they are not nearly as good as a personal visit. So this is just a reminder to be careful when you do visit. Take all of the precautions that you have been advised to take concerning COVID. We are all so tired of this virus and hope that it will be abated or watered down soon.

We want to be friends!

Ok. That might come off a little fast, but you can trust us. We want to help! We fully understand the stress and turmoil that you are facing as Family Caregiver – including personal experiences with burnout.

In our time as caregivers, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge that we desire to pass on. We understand the emotions involved while making necessary preplanning and caregiving decisions. Likewise, we have met many professional caregivers (like Alzheimer’s Caregiver Phil Smith), as well as other family members who were thrust as Family Caregiver. All caregivers have shared the same advice – Join a community! There is nothing more cleansing for our situation than knowing that we are not alone!

We have since created Caregiver Connection. Caregiver Connection is a newsletter that we write personally and send to fellow Caregivers. It is full of tips, tricks, direction and even professional advice. If you would like to sign up, click the button below.

Please Invite Someone to Our Newsletter

Being an Adult Kid who is helping mom as she is declining can be a scary, frustrating and lonely place lacking stability. You feel like you are solely responsible for solving Mom’s problems while managing yours. Some occasional input and a community you can trust would help, especially when facing burnout! This is a way that all of us can be working together as caregivers!

Many others that you may personally know are having to figure it all out by themselves. Most of them have no community. Please take a minute and do them a favor. Copy this link:

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Send it to them in an email or private message. They can click on it and subscribe to our newsletter for free.

Then they can enjoy weekly tips and encouragement. They no longer have to feel so alone in their family caregiver journey. They will appreciate the favor! Thank you for thinking of them!

About the Author

Doug & his wife Cindy have not only helped hundreds of families with their estate planning and elder law needs over the years, but have personal experience as caregivers and advocates for their Loved Ones as well.

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