Questions About COVID-19 and Home CareApril 27, 2021
COVID-19 and Home Care: Most seniors in home care have heard of the most serious effects of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death. However, as more is known about the disease, a new phenomenon has arisen that has experts concerned about the long-term effects of the disease.
Though most people recover within a few weeks, some have symptoms that have lasted for months, with no end in sight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has begun to classify these as “post-COVID conditions.” These conditions persist even after the virus is no longer detectable in the patient’s body.
What are “Post-COVID Conditions?” And Can They Affect Seniors?
Post COVID-19 infection conditions fall into a few categories. The most common is long COVID (in media stories sometimes referred to as “long haul COVID”), which can occur in anyone who has had COVID-19, even if they initially showed few or no symptoms and had a mild initial course of the illness. Some long COVID symptoms may be similar to those experienced in the initial phase of the disease, such as:
- Loss of smell or taste
- Joint or muscle pain
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
However, there are additional symptoms not generally associated with COVID that occur in long COVID, including:
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating
- Depression or anxiety
- Dizziness when standing up
- Heart palpitations
These symptoms can last for weeks or even months. A preliminary study even reports such seemingly unrelated symptoms as attention disorder and hair loss occurring in as many as one quarter of patients, including seniors. Seniors experiencing these long COVID symptoms may need more at-home care, so it’s important to monitor these symptoms.
Are There Other Post-Covid Conditions Seniors Should Worry About?
Unfortunately, there are other less common post-COVID conditions for seniors to be concerned with. Multiorgan effects of COVID-19 can affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, or other organs, and can also include multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS), which mainly effects children, but is still being investigated as a possible lingering effect of COVID. MIS occurs when different parts of the body may swell because of an immune reaction. Finally, those who have been hospitalized for COVID may experience post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Are There Treatments for These Post-COVID Conditions?
Because we are just learning about them, there are few treatments that have been established for post-COVID conditions. Hospitals are setting up dedicated medical centers for these patients. Caregivers for the elderly should encourage seniors to seek advice from their medical professionals if they experience any symptoms like these.
What’s the Best Way for Seniors to Avoid Post-COVID Conditions?
Whether you’re a senior living at home or an in-home caregiver, the best way to avoid post-COVID conditions is not to get COVID. And the best way to do that is to get one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines. Even after vaccination, it’s best to continue staying home when possible, wearing a mask in public and maintaining 6’ of distance from others when possible, as the CDC recommends.
If I Already Have a Post-COVID Condition, Should I Still Get the Vaccine?
The answer to that is an emphatic yes! There are reports that some patients with post-COVID conditions have gotten relief from their symptoms after receiving the vaccine. Studies on this phenomenon are just beginning, however, so these stories may just be anecdotal.
The message, however, still holds. Everyone should get the vaccine when it is made available to them. Seniors are eligible for the vaccine in every state in the US now, and appointments are more widely available at government run and pharmacy locations. A home care aide can help seniors book an appointment.
Home Care and Post-COVID Conditions
Because the most common effects of long COVID are fatigue and “brain fog,” seniors who live at home may need some extra help around the house when dealing with post-COVID conditions. An in-home caregiver can provide assistance with a variety of daily activities to allow seniors the time to recover, such as preparing healthy meals, bathing and dressing, or light housekeeping. Having help at home gives seniors and their families the peace of mind of knowing that their needs are being met.
Home Care powered by AUAF is your Home Care Agency
If you or your loved one is a senior who needs help at home, look no further than the talented caregivers at Home Care Powered by AUAF. They provide the quality care your family deserves. Contact us at 773-274-9262 or drop us a line to find out how you can get started with Home Care Powered by AUAF.
In-Home Care Precautions During the COVID-19 Pandemic
We provide care to vulnerable senior populations who are in risk of severe illness from covid-19. That is why we are taking extra precautions when continuing to provide service and care.
Staff is receiving additional guidance when they are providing home care or any other face-to-face visits. This comes in the form of a COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire. There are also a variety of other precautions we are taking for our staff and home care recipients during this time.
We take the safety and care of all those we reach very seriously and are doing all that we can to stay informed about best practices during this time.
Home Care Powered by AUAF offers a competitive hourly rate of $15 an hour to our caregivers. This rate is dependent upon performance. Successful performance is completion and submission of monthly task sheets and timely punch in and out.
We also offer additional compensation for traveling time and mileage. This amount is higher than the average pay rate for caregivers around the country.
The Care Giving Options You Have
Many people looking to be caregivers for older adults; often do so because of a family member that may have a disability. We can provide caregivers for a parent with a disability in the case that you cannot. More commonly, this will be with elderly individuals that have dementia or Alzheimer’s. If you have any questions about your specific situation, be sure to reach out to us.
The Benefits of Becoming a Formal Caregiver
The introduction of family caregivers provides financial assistance and respite care to those who may have already started or who want to care for their parents full time. Thus, it provides a great way for parents to remain at home while having care recipients from someone they are already familiar with.
Oftentimes as our loved ones grow older, we naturally begin to take on tasks for them. This can include helping them with laundry, basic grooming, meal preparation, or even transportation to and from places.
These are the exact types of tasks that family members take on when becoming a caregiver. These tasks can often be time consuming. Thus, that’s why opting into a full-time or part-time job as a caregiver for your loved one; is an option that may be necessary for you.
Additionally, the AARP found that one in five (unpaid) caregivers reported financial strain due to care giving. That’s why the introduction of formal family care giving was incredibly important. Care giving is no easy task and requires dedication and time.
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