The caregiver and the pandemic

We couldn’t have made up what is going on in the world right now – even in our best movies.

And we know you are feeling the pinch as a caregiver.

Perhaps, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant you have to cut your hours at work.

Maybe, the people who were helping you taking care of your loved one are now having to keep their distance.

And it certainly doesn’t help that the number of COVID-19 cases around the world keeps going up.

So how do you take care of yourself as a caregiver during this time?

In today’s post, I will offer some suggestions on what you can do to cope with the current crisis.

The caregiver and the pandemic – Taking care of yourself during this time

Dealing with unemployment

If the current crisis has led to losing your job, here are a few paths you can take.

  1. File for unemployment quickly in case your period of unemployment extends beyond what you expect.
  2. Even though there have been mass lay-offs in certain industries like travel and tourism, some industries are looking to bring on thousands of workers during this season. Grocery outlets, pharmacy chains and hospitals are hiring staff to keep up with the current demand on these sectors. Start applying now.
  3. Talk to your utility companies and credit card companies. Several companies are now issuing leniency clauses that state that you will not be penalized for late payments or nonpayment for your utilities or credit cards. I imagine calling these companies right now will be a long phone wait. So, if you have access to the internet, I recommend you try to get in touch with the company that way to discuss your situation. There is also now relief for you if you’re paying off student loans. Call your student loan servicers and talk to them.
  4. To protect older adults, Medicare recently approved telehealth benefits for older adults. This way, older adults can get the care they need from home. If you care for an older adult, call your loved one’s doctor to make sure they offer it and then take full advantage.
  5. Don’t give up.

Handling the emotions that come with uncertain times

These are unprecedented times.

It is alright to voice your feelings or even to cry. Care-giving is hard. Having to do it in the current environment is even harder.

Because of physical distancing, mental health professionals have had to move their services online.

This is a great opportunity to chat with one so they help you discover coping tools you can use.

These guidelines by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is helpful for finding the right mental health professional.

If you do indeed have one or two people helping with your loved one, make sure they are observing increased hygiene practices.

Any caregivers who come from an agency, need to be washing their hand before and after they touch your loved one.

If they are sick, they should be staying at home and a replacement should be provided.

If someone gets sick

If someone in your household gets sick during this time, call the hospital first.

There are triage nurses who will speak with you to determine if you (or your loved one) should come in to the hospital.

 

Let’s continue to stay safe.