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Sandwich Generation Duties Go On – Sometimes With A Twist
Welcome to a brave (or not so brave) new world – the world of Coronavirus Quarantine! If someone had told you five years ago that we would be in this kind of situations – would you have believed them? I don’t think I would! But here we are! And we all seem to be dealing with it pretty well. I check the stats for it regularly but other than that, I’m keeping my eyes on God and rarely worry. Now that it’s about time it was supposed to be over, but has been extended, are any of us starting to wear out?
To be honest, I’m doing OK. I’m considered essential for both caregiving and real estate – I’m mostly just writing for real estate, though fully available for my clients if they need me. And even more fully available for my carees though with more challenges. I have come up with some good resources, interesting tips, and fun ideas that I thought I would share with you.
Elderly Quarantined Elsewhere?
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 are on quarantine and you can’t visit them. I know that feeling well! I have it both ways with more than one. How in the world do you care for them? I have seen people go visit through windows and may eventually try that. 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 I would think it could be a problem. I have one loved one like that and I’m 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 am rejecting him. I could be overthinking it. But I decided to try two phone calls a day – one in morning and one in afternoon – and that is working very well. We chat for 5-15 minutes each time – mostly depending on how he is doing (or if he falls asleep while we are talking 😉 ). He still remembers me, though forgets most everything and everyone else. And I do most of the talking. I talk about the weather, the trees, what I’m doing, food, grandkids, and more.
I also do a Facetime visit once a week when the caregiver with the iPad is available to do so. That confuses him a bit but overall he seems to like it.
Phone calls while you walk
It’s vital to stay active during this coronavirus quarantine. 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 (I often literally walk 3-4 miles a day INSIDE my house in a circle!)
If your area allows walks outside, like mine, 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
When possible, you can send needs and treats to your loved ones via Amazon, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and other online shopping sources. The frustrating part, as you may have discovered, is that some needs are as out of stock online as off – or more. I haven’t been able to order acetaminophen (Generic for tylenol), toilet paper, or cleaning wipes online. I did find some baby wipes at one point for grandkids – yay!
But things that aren’t being uber searched for are fine, though they often seem to take longer than normal to be delivered – like books, coloring books, games, puzzles, etc. That gives you a fun way to send a smile through the mail.
Handle their medical needs
I can still oversee the pharmacy needs, the same as before. 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 to help with quarantined carees.
When asking what to do during a Coronavirus quarantine, 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 in the next three months.
Two weeks before the first appointment, I wrote the doctor and asked if they wanted to reschedule and I got a new appointment by return mail for three months from now. I’m planning on writing each doctor about two weeks before to either change it for sure or ask about changing, depending on how the virus progresses.
Elderly Quarantined With You
Of course, this has many challenges as well!
Do you have a caregiver option?
If you are used to using caregivers to give you a break, have you been able to continue doing so during this quarantine? 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, 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 due to the coronavirus quarantine. I know several care facilities are not accepting any new patients until this situation is resolved.
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 thanks to the corona virus quarantine BUT it seems to be slower too, since more people are using it. So definitely plan ahead.
- Restaurant delivery – I have used this in the past. To be honest, I’m not using it now – partly for safety. I can wipe down groceries and packages or let many sit for a couple days to protect from coronavirus. I could do the same with some restaurant foods by freezing them for 3-4 days and then eating them and if I was really desperate, I would do that. But it saves money not to and since I’m not bringing in much income right now, that’s a higher priority. Happily, I do like my own cooking and have extra time right now so that works out well.
- Delivery in general – Amazon has been one of my best helps over the years, though it too has slowed down now and there are fewer options available due to the coronavirus. 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!
Interestingly – I bought most of those at Amazon. But now, a couple years later, they are hard/impossible to find at Amazon. The video cameras and baby monitors are easy to find at Target, Walmart etc. Or Amazon has the products by different manufacturers. Smart Caregiver products might be harder but 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! 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. 😉 Their website is SmartCaregiver.com – click here for their catalog.
Coronavirus Quarantine Activity Ideas for Older People When You Are Wondering What to Do During a Coronavirus Quarantine
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, Seven, about a group of people surviving after the Rapture – during the final seven years of time before Christ returns. It is as enjoyable as the Left Behind series! And it’s FREE! The author has put the whole book onto a forum I love – RaptureReady.com – and 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 has me totally hooked and I’m enjoying it very much! I’m even going to be sharing it with my older grandkids. I think they will have fun reading it too – and can learn a lot about the Bible, Revelation, and how to live off the land in case more viruses come our way before the Rapture! 🙂 I’ve already sent the links to various loved ones to enjoy during this Coronavirus quarantine.
When i finish it, I’ll be re-reading my fave – the Left Behind Series OR trying one of Mark Goodwin’s series, probably starting with his end times / rapture series – Days of Noah and Days of Elijah. 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.”
The Days of Noah: Book One: Conspiracy (Volume 1)The Days of Noah: The Complete Box Set: A Novel of the End Times in AmericaThe Days of Noah: Book Two: Persecution (Volume 2)The Days of Noah, Book Three: Perdition (Volume 3)The Days of Elijah, Book One: Apocalypse: A Novel of the Great Tribulation in America (Volume 1)The Days of Elijah-The Complete Box Set: A Novel of the Great TribulationWormwood: The Days of Elijah, Book 2Angel of the Abyss: The Days of Elijah, Book 3Dysphoria: A Novel of America’s Coming Financial Nightmare (Black Swan)Carrion: Black Swan, Book 2Gehenna: A Novel of America’s Coming Financial Nightmare: Black Swan, Book ThreeThe Days of Noah: The Complete Box Set: A Novel of the End Times in AmericaEMP Survival Box Set: Seven Cows, Ugly and Gaunt: A Post-Apocalyptic Saga of America’s Worst NightmareAva’s Crucible: The Complete Box SetCyber Armageddon Box Set: A Post-Apocalyptic Survival SagaThe Economic Collapse Chronicles Three-Book Box Set: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel of America’s Coming Financial DownfallAva’s Crucible (3 Book Series)
Between all these series, I should be fine til long after the coronavirus quarantine is over! AND I’m looking forward to sharing them with others. Both Christians and non-Christians loved the Left Behind series and I’m hoping the same will be true with these books. It’s another great series to read OR reread during this Coronavirus quarantine. And all of these make great answers to the question, “What to Do During a Coronavirus Quarantine.”
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. 🙂
Staying active is not only enjoyable, it’s downright vital. Which is why many of the states and cities specifically allow and encourage walking as long as you maintain a safe distance from others not in your immediate family. (Doublecheck though. Each state and city does have different rules).
If you live near a golf course and it’s closed for golfing, check to see if you are allowed to walk on the golf cart trail. Some are allowing that – others aren’t. If you can, it makes for an easy, enjoyable and interesting walk you will rarely get to experience.
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. 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.
Explore New TV Options
I had never been fond of English mysteries but my mom has always raved about them. As TV series end and reruns begin, 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 last year and we both loved the British mystery with a comic flair called Death in Paradise. Last I heard it was available on Amazon Prime’s Britbox.
I continue to enjoy Bible studies and Bible prophecy updates on YouTube. But it’s also great for news updates – including coronavirus quarantine information, training classes (in my case – real estate and blogging but you can also find sewing classes, craft classes, photography classes, and so much more), and now they even have shows you can rent and/or buy. I haven’t done that so I’m not sure how it works but it does look rather intriguing. I do however continue to pay the $10 or so subscription fee to keep away commercials and it’s WELL WORTH THAT!
Volunteer Inside Your Own Home
One of my dear friends is an awesome quilter and sewer. She’s busy making facemasks for friends, family, and more. Other friends are involved in a local volunteer group that provides a variety of helps – in home (sometimes out of the home, too, but keeping within the strict quarantine guidelines – which in our city/state does allow helping at-risk neighbors).
I’ve noticed various organizations looking for people to make phone calls to check on at-risk residents or encourage quarantinees. For that matter, join me in calling friends, neighbors, and relatives to check on them and encourage them.
There’s a myriad of ways we can help others – even in quarantine. Here are some more ideas.
What to Do During a Coronavirus Quarantine – Most Vital – Keep Our Eyes on GOD
No matter the way you decide what to do during a Coronavirus quarantine, we’ll definitely be 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 blessed Easter!
P.S. Do you have more suggestions. Do share them with us – here or at Facebook. 🙂
P.P.S. Wondering what to do during a coronavirus quarantine right this minute? Here’s a couple of excerpts from the book, SEVEN, by Alice Childs, that I mentioned above for you to read and see if it looks interesting. To read the whole book, click here. Then just click each link of chapters in order and enjoy! 🙂
“Sitting on the porch, I opened my laptop to check the news – nothing. I tried the iPad – also nothing, and both of them should have been fully charged. I don’t use them often, and keep them charged up. By then, I was beginning to get a sick, sinking feeling in my gut – a little worm of unease. I grabbed my cell, which is the latest iPhone X, only a year old. Not. A. Thing. What were the odds that everything electronic that I owned had suddenly gone out at the same time?
I took a cold Pepsi out of the fridge, mentally yelling at myself for forgetting again that the power was off, and sat on the porch, thinking. No power, no electronics, and Bertha won’t start either. “What is going on?” I mused out loud to – no one. But a cold splinter of fear had begun to snake up my spine and wrap itself around my heart. I thought I might know what the problem could be after all. That was when I suspected. Yesterday, my birthday, I was 95% sure I knew the answer. Today, I’m 100% sure I know what the problem is. Sometime during the night on Wednesday October 2nd or very early in the morning of Thursday the 3rd, America, or at least some part of it, must have been hit with an EMP….”
“…Mama’s not dead, and she hasn’t wandered off. That I know,” Trail answered quietly.
I looked at Mitch, asking with my eyes, What is going on? Is he okay?
Mitch shrugged and shook his head, saying nothing.
“Then what is going on here? What’s going on everywhere? Have we been sucked into another dimension, or DID I fall and hit my head, and now I’m lying on the floor of the shop in a coma dreaming all this? Maybe I’m still asleep, or maybe there was something wrong with the vegetable in that soup I made and it was bad, and now I’m having hallucinations, or maybe I’m in some hospital in Asheville or – WHAT? What do you mean ‘Mama’s gone‘? Gone where?”
I realized I was nearly shouting, and made myself calm down. I held my hands palms out in front of my face, taking a deep sigh. “Look, please just tell me what’s going on. Has the world gone berserk, or have I?” I nearly pleaded.
“Chill, Bobby,” said Trail. “I’ll tell you what I know. Mama’s not dead; she’s gone – vanished….”
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