Caregiving in the Time of CoVid-19, #1: When Assisted Living Closes to Visitors

If you have elderly parents in their 80s or 90s, you are most likely worried about how they will weather the pandemic. As an adult child, I am definitely worried.

I am pleased to share that the assisted living community where my parents reside has decided to limit visitors, including family members. While it will be tough not to see my parents over the coming weeks (months?), I am assured that they will reside in the best conditions possible during the CoVid-19 pandemic. I’ll keep in touch each day via telephone.  

Social distancing 2Limiting visitors is one aspect of social distancing — a term we will all come to intimately understand as we all move forward with life in the time of CoVid-19. The goal of social distancing is to slow down the speed of a highly contagious disease. This article from Vox News goes into detail about the concept and the positive effect it can have when a disease is spreading.

Over the next few weeks, the rest of us will need to define social distancing in our own lives. What exactly does it mean, especially given that a person may not display any CoVid-19 symptoms early on, or at all, but still be contagious?

We know we are to keep about six feet away from people. What about the checkout line in the grocery store — definitely not six feet? If we have elderly friends, do we continue to visit them in their homes or invite them to ours? Can we visit with a neighbor or a couple of friends? How about going to our favorite restaurant, a small place where there are only 15 to 20 people spread out around the dining room. What about working out in the gym?

Today has already brought major changes. My church has stopped activities for the next three weeks but will live stream a service each of the Sundays. We have tickets to a number of concerts and presentations in the next several weeks, but all of these are now canceled. We have decided not to go to the gym, at least for now, despite the impressive array of sanitizing steps the management is taking. Exercising outside seems OK since we do this on my own. Not sure, though, about that status of my Tuesday Rumba class, but I guess I’ll find out soon.

In my next post I’ll share an impressive graphic that illustrates the positive effect that social distancing can have in an epidemic,

2 thoughts on “Caregiving in the Time of CoVid-19, #1: When Assisted Living Closes to Visitors

  1. The rule to ban children from visiting their elderly family members, in my opinion, is unenforceable. Many visitors already have keys to enter the building in alternative places. As with hurricane evacuations, many people will simply refuse social distancing. It’s also discriminatory to ban the elderly from taking cruises As I ‘ve recently read.

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    • My personal opinion is that these caregiving communities are painfully aware of the coronavirus problems in Seattle and want to prevent similar problems. From my vantage point, I am more than delighted that my parents’ community is asking people not to visit, and I will gladly adhere to the rules.

      In terms of cruises, the words that I’ve seen are strongly recommending that people of any age not take cruises. It may be a moot point now, as many if not most of the cruise lines around the world are shutting down for now.

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