Given the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, many families might be wondering what to do about having outside professional help come into their homes. We understand the challenge of trying to weigh the risk of having the help you need, versus the incredible demands of caregiving all by yourself. Here are some of the questions you might want to ask yourself if you are considering that difficult decision:
- Does your loved one with dementia need personal care, such as help with dressing, bathing, and toileting?
- Do you need some relief from providing all the personal care yourself?
- Do you need some “time off?” Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed?
- Do you have other close relatives or friends who have not been around other people and can help?
- Is your loved one in fairly good health otherwise?
- Is your loved one able to cooperate with the hygiene requirements of the coronavirus (washing hands for 20 seconds, coughing into elbow, etc.)?
- What extra precautions has the company your caregiver works for put into place to ensure workers are healthy?
- Does the professional caregiver know and follow the standards for providing hygienic care and preventing the spread of infection?
- Is the professional caregiver serving multiple clients?
What if your loved one with dementia is in a facility? Should you bring them home with you? Here are a few things to consider:
- Would you be able to provide all the care which is currently provided by three shifts of caregivers at the facility? For example, special meals, bathing, grooming, toileting, activities.
- Do you have family or friends that can help you and provide you with respite time/time off?
- Will your loved one be confused by the change in environment and routine? This can potentially cause very difficult behaviors
- Will you experience additional stress having your loved one home with you?
- Is the facility following the medical guidelines for infection control?
- Are you generally satisfied with the care that your loved one is receiving?
Your own well-being, mental and emotional health are key, especially now. If you need assistance, then don’t hesitate to ask. And don’t forget, be thoughtful and consistent with disinfecting and washing, and know that you are doing the best you can to keep yourself and your loved one with dementia safe.
If you want to talk to someone about these issues or any other challenges you are facing during this difficult time, please call our Helpline at 844-435-7259 and ask to speak to our dementia experts, our care counselors.