Over the past 6 months many seniors have suffered the effects of Covid-19 in a variety of ways. Some of them have actually contracted the illness, but many have had to be completely isolated from family and friends. This isolation has been extremely difficult for many of them and has caused some families to make the decision to bring mom or dad home temporarily so that they are not alone day after day. While the isolation protocols have softened in some facilities things are still not the same.
For many people, bringing a senior parent home is a very difficult decision and often not possible. Many people suffer great medical issues, both physically and mentally, which makes bringing them home too difficult as they would not be able to care for them properly. For example, mom may have difficulty using the bathroom or be dependent on a wheelchair while your house is not setup for a wheelchair. These and many other concerns are certainly important to consider.
One of the options you have is of course getting a home health aid to assist with care. If you are financially able to choose this option it can help make the transition a little easier but the strain for families is still something to consider. Many families have loved ones in nursing facilities where they are on Medicaid and do not have any additional financial means to use for home care. Taking them out of a Medicaid facility would mean they would lose their spot, and since finding a spot is extremely difficult, it is unlikely that would be an option.
While so many of us are worried about our parents in these facilities it is so hard to know what to do. Bringing them home has a degree of risk too especially if you have children at home who are out and about. If you are considering taking a parent home for a while make sure that you understand the policies from the facility and the important considerations you will need to have them in your home including the physical layout of your house, ability to physically assist them and whether or not you can do it mentally.
For those of you who can't take a parent home, try and make the most of the technology that you can. I know many seniors are not comfortable with it but many are. Besides things like FaceTime and Zoom you can also use something like an Echo Show which is one of many Alexa devices. It allows you to make calls using your voice and allows you to drop in to a room anytime even if mom or dad does not want to answer the phone. My mom has one and it has been a saving grace for more than just the connection aspect. I can drop in to her room whenever I want and see her and she can see me. She hears a chime so she knows someone is there. The only people with permission to drop in this way are me and my siblings. You can set up parameters for who is able to access it this way. It is nice to know I can see that she is ok since in my case she is unable to use her hands to make a call from her phone. There have also been many situations where she has needed assistance and without it I would not have known.
The most important thing is to stay in contact with loved ones in anyway you can so that they feel some kind of connection and so that you can be sure they are receiving the care they deserve.