Healthy Living Blog – Caregiving Concerns within the Sandwich Generation: Part 2
In addition to mental health, the sandwich generation has more caregiving concerns because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sandwich generation’s older loved ones are most likely to be at high risk for serious COVID-19 illness due to their age and health conditions. It’s important to take the right precautions when caring for your older loved one, especially if they have tested positive for COVID-19.
Caring for someone who is infected with the coronavirus
As a caregiver, these are ways to protect yourself from getting the virus:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Don’t touch your nose, eyes, or mouth without washing your hands.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces often.
- Wear a face mask every time you are in close contact with the person you’re caring for.
- Wear disposable face masks and gloves when you have to touch the care recipient’s (the person you’re caring for) or are in contact with their bodily fluids. Make sure to throw away the masks and gloves after one use.
- Have the care recipient wash their hands often, if they are able, and wear a face mask as well.
- If your older loved one lives in your home with you, keep them isolated and limit contact with them. Bring them food and be sure to clean their room as needed.
Playing it safe when bringing items into your home
The coronavirus can live on surfaces for up to a few days but it is unlikely that it can spread from your groceries or mail. You should still be mindful of your hygiene, especially if you help your care recipient with their food or mail.
- For groceries, make sure to wash your hands after touching the food packaging and before preparing and cooking the food. Rinse fruits and vegetables with water before cooking or serving them. Disinfect the surfaces of where the food and grocery bags were.
- For mail, wash your hands after opening and throwing away any packaging.
- For your personal items, leave them in an area of your house where it won’t be touched by others. This helps to stop the spread of germs between household members.
Looking out for your older loved one’s mental health
If your older loved one is in isolation because they are sick with COVID-19 or is physically distancing from everyone else, it’s easier for them to get lonely. Here is how they can stay connected:
- You can teach them how to video chat so that they can talk to other family members and friends.
- Write notes or send cards to your older loved ones if they don’t live with you.
- Get them involved in at-home projects such as organizing old photos or cooking recipes. If they are well enough, they can share stories and songs with other family members.
Have questions or curious to learn more? Please reach out to our Health Center and make an appointment to speak with a doctor. AACI provides services in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and many other languages. Call (408) 975-2763 to schedule your appointment today!