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Sandwich Generation Duties Go On Even When Dealing With an Isolation Due to Prolonged Illness!
Welcome to a brave (or not so brave) new world – the world of Post-Coronavirus Quarantine with covid still popping up at various times! If someone had told you five years ago that we would have gone thru the past few years dealing with Covid – would you have believed them? I don’t think I would! But here we are! Happily the quarantine is over BUT for some, maybe not. I know many who have had to deal with what to do during an isolation due to covid or other long-term contagious illnesses.
To be honest, I did OK during the quarantine. I was considered essential for both caregiving and real estate. I did a lot of writing for real estate, was fully available for my clients if they needed me, and was even more fully available for my carees though with more challenges. But I learned a lot and I did come up with some good resources, interesting tips, and fun ideas that I thought I would share with you.
Elderly Quarantined Elsewhere?
What to do during an isolation due to prolonged illness when they don’t live with you. This definitely has some challenges! Including…
How to Visit?
Is your beloved parent or other senior relative in an assisted care or independent care facility? If so, there’s a good chance they can still occasionally be quarantined and you can’t visit them for a bit. I know that feeling well! What to do during an isolation due to covid or other long-term contagious illnesses????
I have seen people go visit through windows. That seems to be a sweet way to handle it for an elderly loved one who can understand what is going on.
If they have dementia, then there can be a problem. I had one loved one like that and I was concerned I’d go to talk to him through the window and he would get upset because I “refuse” to come in. He’d think I was rejecting him. I know – I could be overthinking it. But I decided that when they aren’t able to have visitors to try two phone calls a day – one in morning and one in afternoon – and that worked very well in the past. We chatted for 5-15 minutes each time – mostly depending on how he was doing (or if he fell asleep while we were talking 😉 ). He still remembered me, though forgot most everything and everyone else. And I did most of the talking. I talked about the weather, the trees, what I’m doing, food, grandkids, and more.
I also did a Facetime visit once a week when the caregiver with the iPad was available to help him. That confused him a bit but overall he seemed to like it.
Phone calls while you walk
It’s vital for us boomers and seniors to stay active and that is especially true when you or a loved one is dealing with an isolation due to prolonged illness. As I’ve suggested before, if you are able to – enjoy a healthy walk while you talk on your cell phone. I walk around my house while I talk to my beloved elderlies. Sometimes inside my house if needed. (I often literally walk 3-4 miles a day INSIDE my house in a circle!)
If your area ever goes on full quarantine again but allows walks outside, like mine did back then, you can also walk outside while talking on the cell phone. A great way to get fresh air AND have even more things to chat about. To be honest, talking to beloved elderly four times a day (I have two I call regularly and others I call periodically) can lead to running out of things to talk about – even for a chatty person like me! But outside you can have fun as you describe the trees, flowers, cute critters, traffic, etc. 🙂
Send gift via Amazon
Happily, when dealing with an isolation due to prolonged illness, you can usually send needs and treats to your loved ones via Amazon, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and other online shopping sources. Lately it seems like things are sometimes taking longer than normal to be delivered so be sure to allow for that. Some of the fun things to send include books, like Mark Goodwin’s the Beginning of Sorrows series if your seniors enjoy end times, Christian spy book series, etc.,. Also coloring books, games, puzzles, etc. That gives you a fun way to send a smile through the mail.
Handle their medical needs
Happily, it’s so easy to handle pharmacy needs – locally and long distance – and I’ve done a lot of both in the past few years. I’m so grateful for all the many options – including mailed prescriptions, pharmacies that deliver, etc. It’s well worth asking your pharmacy or provider what options they offer.
And if your loved one has moved into a long term care facility, make sure you check on those routine doctor appointments that might be scheduled months in advance and are easy to forget. One loved one had three of those coming up within 3 months of when she was moved. I caught them just in time – whew!
If Your Elderly Loved One Needs to Figure Out What to Do During an Isolation Due to Prolonged Illness While Living In Your Home.
Of course, this has many challenges as well! Most of the time, we are still able to be near them and that is awesome. But we then may have to isolate as well.
Do you have a caregiver option?
If you are used to using caregivers to give you a break, do you have some available who can come even if they get covid again? I know some friends who have. But I have one long distance relative who opted to stop having the extra caregiver to protect their parent from possible exposure.
Of course, when dealing with isolation due to prolonged illness that can mean you are more tied to the house or your loved one has to spend time alone – and you have to continually evaluate whether that is safe.
Normal Alternatives to caregivers
The normal alternative – assisted care or other care facility – may not be an option at all for many right now due to winter outbreaks of just about everything!
Thinking Outside the Box Alternatives
Some of the things I have used to help me, when I was doing it alone:
- Grocery delivery – this has been available for some time and it is WONDERFUL! It is even more available now than it used to be BUT it seems to be slower too, since more people are using it. So definitely plan ahead.
- Restaurant delivery
- Delivery in general – Amazon has been one of my best helps over the years, though it too has slowed down now. Still, I am continuing to put it to good use to encourage long distance loved ones as well as deliver needed supplies, when available.
Electronic “Second Eyes”
I bought Canary video cameras, Summer infant baby monitors, and Smart Caregiver alarm sensors to help me keep an eye on my loved one so I could work in one room and ensure her safety in another. Or so that I could walk around the block and ensure she didn’t get up and fall if she was wobbly. The Canary has a small monthly charge that allows me to use its walkie talkie option via my iPhone and it worked well for quite some time. I could walk around the block while keeping an eye on the video. If she started to get up I just spoke up “Hi Mom, can you wait in your chair for a few more minutes” and she’d sit right down. It was great! 🙂
I think that the Smart Caregiver motion sensors are the best for bedtimes tho I used all three of the items mentioned above (video camera, baby monitor and smart caregiver motion sensor) together for even better coverage. I could put the Smart Caregiver sensor pointing to the door and if she got up to go to the bathroom, it would notify me and I could run and help her to ensure no falls. I never used their chair pad as she is a wonderful “tidier” and I knew it would disappear into a drawer. But for a caree who rarely gets up, they are great too!
Amazon currently has Smart Caregiver products though for a while they didn’t. If ever they are again harder to find, they are WELL WORTH FINDING. The video camera tended to notify me only after 1-3 minutes. The baby monitor didn’t beep. The Smart Caregiver products always worked perfectly and quickly – I just couldn’t see her. But if I could only have one of these for her – that’s the one I would take! It was such a blessing during such a stressful time period while dealing with an isolation due to prolonged illness. And they were the most reasonably priced of them all as well. Again – this was a couple years ago I purchased most of this equipment. 🙂 To be safe, their website is SmartCaregiver.com – click here for their catalog.
Activities For Sweet Elderly When Confined to Bed / Room Due to Illness
For years, I’ve subscribed to several magazines for my elderly mom as that’s been her favorite thing to read and it gave her mail on a regular basis.
Books are another great resource for us all. I’m currently reading a very interesting novel series, The Beginning of Sorrows, about various people dealing with so much craziness in the world right before the end times. (Hmmmm, sounds familiar??? 🙂 ) It is as enjoyable as the Left Behind series! I’m reading it on my computer or cell phone whenever I have a few minutes. I have been so busy with real estate, caregiving, and babysitting over the past few years, I rarely have the patience to read. But this book series has me totally interested and I’m enjoying it very much!
When i finish it, I’ll be reading more of Mark Goodwin’s series. I really appreciate that he writes interesting exciting books but keeps them clean (unlike another Christian series I recently read which I would have to designate PG13+ which really disappointed me. This sounds much better – as one reviewer wrote, “I’ve read all of Mark Goodwin’s fiction. Every time I pick up a new series, I’m hooked within the first chapter or two. Dysphoria was no different. I read it in two days. Marks books are always full of lots of good information about the dangers our society faces whether it be economic collapse, civil war, or the tribulation….They are clean of cussing and sex, but there is some violence that is appropriate for the situation.”
My elderly mom loved doing word search puzzles. My dad’s favorite were crossword puzzles. Many people of all ages – from grandkids to boomers and seniors enjoy the new intricate coloring books. One of my grandkids just sent me a photo of the Bible coloring page she just enjoyed working on with a thank you for sending it to her a year or two ago. 🙂
We were vacationing with friends when 9/11 hit. We were actually supposed to head home that day but ended up having to stay for three more days. We weren’t dealing with an isolation due to prolonged illness BUT we still had similar needs. What to do with a large group of mixed ages when you are “hunkering down” and wondering if your city will be next? Puzzles were a HUGE help. I went to the store and bought groceries and several puzzles and the kids, teens and parents all had a great time with them. If your elderly who is recuperating can handle it, puzzles could be a lot of fun for them.
Explore New TV Options
I had never been fond of English mysteries but my mom has always raved about them. With so many reruns on TV nowadays, perhaps give a different genre a try. You might find some new ones you’d like. I finally broke down and tried some of those English mysteries with her and we both loved the British mystery with a comic flair called Death in Paradise. Currently, you can purchase the DVDs from Amazon by clicking here. PLUS it is now available on Prime Video via a subscription to their Britbox and I bet that has other interesting British mysteries as well.
I continue to enjoy Bible studies and Bible prophecy updates on YouTube. But it’s also great for news updates, sewing classes, craft classes, photography classes, and so much more. And they have a LOT of tv shows and movies – many are free! I do pay the $10 or so subscription fee to keep away commercials and it’s WELL WORTH THAT!
Most Importantly When Dealing With an Isolation Due to Prolonged Illness?
Keep Our Eyes on GOD
We’re definitely best off if we first make sure to keep our eyes on God. Daily Bible study – whether reading your Bible, listening to an audio Bible or Bible app, or listening to online Bible studies via apps or YouTube will help keep us focusing on Him. He has promised us that “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” With that promise in mind, we can definitely “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Have a great week! And if you have other suggestions for what to do during an isolation when dealing with a beloved senior OR your own extended illness – at home or in a care facility, we’d love to hear them.
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