Taking care of an older family at the best of times can be very tiring. Luckily, I had put many of the things I am going to suggest were already in place. I am taking care of my mother, and she still lives alone at 81. One of the best ideas I had was to put a camera in her living room, dining room, and kitchen area. This way the whole family can check on her. If we do not see her walking around the house during the day someone is calling her to check on her.
I am so glad we had already set up grocery shopping online for my mother and made sure she knew how to do this by herself. We had a year of her doing it by herself. During the “stay-at-home” order she was still able to get groceries. Although she did not always get what she wanted, and it was not always on time. I had set her up at the two stores that I knew for sure that did home delivery. When she orders she has the delivery people just leave the food in the garage and they leave, and she goes out to pick them up. This has also helped me a great deal so that I am not going constantly to the grocery store for her, and myself.
The next thing I did was to make sure her computer was up to date and safe. I had help doing this part because I know just enough about computers to get myself into trouble. My partner, Steve and I then checked her tablet and her phone and made sure they were all up to date. My mother likes to watch Youtube videos on quilting so we made sure she could watch on any TV and all other electronic devices. We even tried to make sure she had enough fabric and yarn to do projects because we could not come so often.
The hardest part about caring for older family members is keeping on track of their medication. It is so easy to get thrown off the schedule on the pills. I check often when I am visiting. But now I cannot check so often due to the pandemic, so I am relying on her telling me she is taking her pills. My mother is getting better about telling me when she does not feel well. That helps a great deal.
Yesterday she managed to do a video call. I will try again every few days so that she can do it on her own, then she can also do this with the rest of the family. This will help with her not feeling like she is alone all the time.
My brother bought her a puppy just before the “stay at home” was put in place. This has turned out to be the most wonderful thing. She complains about the work involved with a puppy but, she is happy. You can hear it in her voice and see it on her face. I am so happy my brother thought of that.
I am lucky that my mother lives in a retirement community. The neighbors do check on her regularly which has helped. They also have my number so that they can alert me to any issues she may be having.
Now, in taking care of my mother is difficult because I am also an at-risk person due to my age and my health. I take the chance of getting the coronavirus every time I go out the door. This adds to the stress of taking care of someone outside of your home. Nothing about this pandemic is easy or fun. I get frustrated when others do not take the “stay at home” seriously. It is frustrating that there is such panic at the grocery stores. Maybe that just shows how much people eat dinners out. We eat all our meals at home and treat going out to dinner as a luxury. Now we do not eat out at all. We now check our supplies frequently to make sure we do not cut it to close because supplies are not always available. We do not have groceries delivered so that those that really need it can have it.
We are planning as large of a garden as I can handle and will be canning the crops. I hope to grow enough to supply us and my mother. The next issue is to create a better online business so I can continue to stay at home and make a living.
This pandemic has been stressful, emotional and scary. As long as I do not get sick I know we will be fine. Our best defense is in preparedness. I have done as much as I can for both my mother and us for food and supplies. I hope that you have an easier time if I helped with any ideas. Please take care and stay healthy!
Be safe, be healthy and stay happy!