Hawai`i’s 157,000 family caregivers need to take care of themselves and create a plan for caring for a loved one if they get sick.
“Caregiving is already stressful and loved ones who need care are among those at highest risk from the COVID-19 virus. Both caregivers and people who need care may be under increased stress and feeling isolated and anxious about how they can stay healthy and safe,” said AARP Hawai`i State Director Keali`I Lopez. “AARP’s experts have put together guidance for family caregivers and the most important thing caregivers should do is take care of themselves first because you can’t give good care to others unless you are healthy.”
Key steps for caregiving during the outbreak include:
2. Call 2-1-1 to find if services such as Meals on Wheels can help deliver meals, or if there are other local services to help with food or medication delivery.
3. 2-1-1 can also direct you to caregiver support groups, some of them are meeting online. You can also find information and support at aarp.org/caregiving.
Caregivers should also practice social distancing by limiting contact with visitors, staying in as much as you can and, of course, washing hands thoroughly and avoiding touching your face.
AARP launched a new online platform to help connect caregivers, kupuna and volunteer groups willing to help at aarpcommunityconnections.org. Users are able to Request a call from an AARP volunteer, or a trained counselor; Easily create an account with Savo (joinsavo.com) to make connecting with their families easier; and Join “The Mighty,” a safe, supportive online community for people facing health challenges and their caregivers.
If you self-isolate or if your loved one is in a nursing or care home and cannot get visitors, take steps to make sure you and loved ones receiving care are still socially connected. Humans need contact with others and loneliness and social isolation are also detrimental to your health. Here are some tips to staying connected:
“Our understanding is that the outbreak has created new family caregivers as people work at home or who are now not working and have a family member who needs care living with them. In addition, many senior daycare centers have shut down, forcing families to care for loved ones on their own,” Lopez said. “Help and support is available at the aarp.org/caregiving website. You can also find local caregiving resources at www.aarp.org/crf or by calling 211 - the United Way’s support line or your county agency for aging.”
This story is provided by AARP Hawaii. Visit the AARP Hawaii page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
Wednesday, Jun 10, 2020 at 12:00pm Hawaiian Time
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