Last week, President Trump unveiled broad new federal guidelines that lay out conditions for parts of the U.S. to start relaxing some of the strict social distancing measures imposed to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 18-page plan for “Opening Up America Again” identifies the circumstances necessary for areas of the country to allow employees to start returning to work. However, the decision to lift restrictions will ultimately be made by governors.
Before entering the first phase, the guidelines say that the number of cases, positive tests and reports of flu- or Covid 19-like symptoms in a state or region should be trending downward. There should also be a “robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing.”
Keeping Elders and Vulnerable Individuals Safe as COVID-19 Restrictions Lift
Phase One of the plan says that “all vulnerable individuals” should continue to shelter in place, and it encourages everyone to maintain various social distancing practices when in public.
We feel this is particularly important to emphasize, as this could be a high-risk time for these individuals. We know that many of the elders in our community have struggled with restrictions even when they’ve been at their tightest. People who have already been reluctant to stay at home may start to go back to normal routines when things are improving. We understand how tempting that is. Unfortunately, it is possible there may be additional outbreaks and these individuals remain most vulnerable.
How can we help keep elders safe from COVID-19?
The tips in this post can be useful as you talk to your loved ones about staying safe. You can also download our free Wellness Checklist to ensure elders are safe during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
We also offer helpful resources to support them. This includes our “Safe at Home” package, which provides a great value for getting needed supplies and some help at home.
Vulnerable individuals should continue using resources like telehealth to manage health needs while staying away from medical facilities and workers. Check out our tips to get the most out of your telehealth appointments. Our team can assist with telehealth visits and other remote services to keep you connected while safe.
It will be vital for individuals to assess their personal risk and make a plan to minimize risk. If you need help with this plan or discussion, we offer free phone and video consultations.
Concerns for Caregivers Returning to Work
Another issue your family may face is balancing duties when workplaces reopen. You or some of your family members may currently be working at home or furloughed. And, while returning to work is a positive step, your family may be balancing kids at home and eldercare. Governor DeSantis has announced that Florida schools will not reopen this school year.
We know that the COVID-19 situation has already been creating challenges for many families, balancing issues like working at home and caring for family members of all ages. It isn’t always easy just to keep everyone occupied and maintain the family peace (we shared some ideas here). Essential workers like our caregivers and other healthcare workers have been on the frontlines while trying to maintain safety and wellbeing for their families.
As the situation changes, your plan may need to as well. Our team members can consult with you about resources and options. We offer respite care services that can be personalized to your family’s needs.
Want to be sure your loved ones remain safe and healthy?
Contact us to schedule a free consultation, or give us a call anytime at 727-447-5845 or 813-333-5020. We can arrange phone or video consultations to answer your questions, listen to your worries, and provide resources and guidance.