Visiting Angels Blog

Elder Care Options for the “New Normal” in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties

Our elder care options can help seniors in Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Marina and surrounding areas in California get used to the “new normal” during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected people on California’s Central Coast and around the world. Our older adults are a vulnerable population. Although the number of COVID-19 cases is declining in some parts of the country, it is spiking in others. Public health experts continue to recommend taking precautions to reduce the spread of the virus and protect older individuals.

Communities are starting to reopen, but precautions such as wearing masks, social distancing and limiting time spent in public areas are still in place. These changes can be unsettling to seniors. Those with dementia can be more prone to confusion and anxiety. Visiting Angels Central Coast offers elder care options to help your loved one adjust to the “new normal” during COVID-19.

Explain Safety Protocols and Practices

Older adults with memory impairment might need reminders to follow safety precautions. They might have questions about wearing masks, limited visits with family and friends, or frequent hand washing. Masks can make it difficult to recognize familiar faces, which can increase confusion and apprehension. Some older adults might resist following safety rules that they don’t understand or deem necessary. It’s important to continue communicating about safe elder care options.

If your loved one seems resistant, calmly explain the reason for safety precautions. Remind him or her that others are concerned for their health and well-being. Use strategies to enforce safety practices and ease stress. For example, show your loved one a photo of yourself without a mask or make a game out of washing your hands. Perhaps recall a memory of a loved one who was ill and recovered.

It’s important to be honest with your older loved one about the risks of COVID-19, but don’t cause alarm. While it’s true that those in nursing homes and those with diabetes and heart disease are at higher risk for complications, it’s also true that medical treatments are often successful. It’s normal for your loved one to express concern and worry about the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay calm and use a reassuring tone of voice when discussing the virus. Remind your loved one that caregivers are choosing the necessary elder care options to keep them safe and healthy.

Prepare for Public Outings

Eventually, it will become necessary for your loved one to go out in public, either for a medical appointment or other essential errand. Ease the transition by explaining what the trip might be like.

For example, before a doctor’s appointment, explain that he or she will have to wear a mask; the office staff will be wearing masks too. Also, you will have to call the office from your car to let the staff know you have arrived. The office might require that patients have their temperatures taken or take a survey regarding symptoms. Upon returning home, explain that hand washing and using hand sanitizer are necessary precautions for remaining healthy.

Encourage Connection with Friends and Family

Isolation from friends and family is difficult for all of us, but it’s especially tough for older adults. Before introducing others into your loved one’s “quarantine bubble,” assess your loved one’s risk factors, and your comfort level with those risks. If he or she is not yet ready for socializing, explain the reason for the delay. Show your family member how to use social media or video technology to connect with others. Telephone calls can be essential during this time.

Explore Your Elder Care Options in the Central Coast Area

Having a trusted caregiver can help your older loved one as they adjust to new routines, activities and safety precautions during the pandemic.

A caregiver from Visiting Angels Central Coast will:

  • Take precautions to protect against COVID-19 such as wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing
  • Watch for COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, dry cough and fatigue
  • Help your senior stay active during social distancing with elder care options such as walking and doing arts and crafts
  • Assist with technology to promote connection with family and friends through our Social Care program
  • Ensure your loved one’s daily routine is followed as closely as possible
  • Run errands so your loved one can stay safely at home
  • Assist with transportation to appointments

Your home care provider will also take time to patiently explain safety protocols and elder care options to your loved one while helping them feel secure and supported as their community re-opens.

If you're interested in learning more about the “new normal” in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, contact our office in Scotts Valley and Marina, CA today.

Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.