Seniors are one of the most vulnerable groups during the pandemic. As long-term care facilities turn into Covid-19 hot spots, it’s only natural to fear for your senior loved one’s health. You might be wondering what the best choice is, considering there are a growing number of cases and recorded deaths in such facilities. Should you let them stay? Or would you rather talk to them and bring them home instead?
It is never easy to decide since this is your senior loved one’s health and safety at stake. But asking critical questions will guide you on which option makes more sense. Here are some of them.
Are You Capable of Providing Their Much Needed Care?
Some elderly adults will require help taking a bath, dressing up, eating, drinking medications, etc. Some require a watchful eye due to their declining memory or the presence of serious illnesses. If they can’t get the right kind of care in your home, it would be best to keep them in the nursing home and find other ways to make them feel less lonely and isolated.
Most houses are not safe enough for seniors. Some have lots of stairs, no spare room on the first floor, narrow hallways, etc. If you take them home, you need to consider modifying your home to make it safer for them to live in.
You need to consider their needs and your capabilities to fill in the gaps. Don’t forget about your physical and emotional resilience. Caring for a senior can take up your time, patience, energy and can test your emotion in more ways than one.
What Are You Willing to Do to Control Infection Risks?
Let’s say you take time to disinfect the whole house each day. You got a room ready for them. But what about you and your family members?
If everyone living with you is homebound, it makes it easier to prevent infection. But if one or more family member regularly goes out to work or study at home, this can put your loved one at risks. How do you plan to control the infection, and how sure are you that they can commit to your health and safety precautions?
Is Your Senior Loved One Willing to Go Home With You?
Some seniors are extremely independent. They found a home and friends in the facility, which can make them want to stay instead. They also established a routine in their new home, and disrupting their routine can cause heartbreak and confusion.
If your loved one is willing to go home and you think you can handle their needs and necessary safety precautions, then this can be your go-to decision. If not, it can be tricky, especially if they are still capable of making decisions for themselves.
Are They Allowed to Go Back to the Facility if Needed?
Another crucial question you should never skip asking is their long-term care facility’s policy concerning returning members. Is your loved one allowed to go back as needed? What if your loved one contracted the virus while staying with you and he recovers, will he still be able to go back?
Different facilities will have different policies concerning this matter. But since there are yet no signs of the pandemic slowing down, chances are they may find it hard to return to their old quarters easily. Remember that the number one priority of long-term care facilities is the safety of their currently admitted residents.
There is no easy way to decide whether to bring your elderly loved one or let them stay. Your goals, needs, and ability to keep them safe can dictate which option is the better choice. It depends on your situation and what you feel is a better option for you and your loved one.