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Family Tips for Coping with COVID-19

Coping with COVID-19 -

Information Resource

Table of Contents
1. Protect your family's mental health during the COVID-19 Pandemic
2. Organize your parenting during the COVID-19 Pandemic
3. Clean your home to prevent COVID-19 spread
4. Find ways to be physically active at home
5. Healthy, productive ways to roll with the punches during the COVID-19 Pandemic
6. Impact of COVID-19 on Elderly
7. Help senior members of your family, friends, neighbors or communities to stay healthy and connected during the COVID-19 Pandemic
8. Get a Pet Fish for your home

1. Protect Your Family's Mental Health

During the COVID-19 Pandemic


This article by James Retzlaf appeared May 19, 2020 on Beeboom.com
This projects involved two groups in your families- Senior members over 65 years and Children

Senior's Needs
Protect them by using:
1. Use 6 foot social distance
2. Self-Quarantine - self-separation is not a punishment is it a precaution
3. Isolation - madated if exposed to COVID-19
Results of these are Loneliness and Isolation which impacts not only mental health but also physical health
Solutions:
1. Maintain communications with your seniors via Phone, FaceTime, Zoom or Google Meet
2. Encourage Seniors to get a daily walk in
3. Encourage Seniors to engage in hobbies like arts and crafts or gardening
4. Encourage Seniors to attend online sessions with their social and/or religious groups

Children's Needs
1. To be provided  legitimate information about COVID-19 and resulting life situations faced
2. Limited access to news so as not to increase their stress and concerns
3. Lessons in how to manage self-care for themselves
4. Encouragement to support one another in the family, their friends and neighbors
5. Be provided upbeat and positive thinking and positive messages
6. Time spent with parents in talking, listening, responding and reassuring to let them understand the situation, to help motivate them to think positively

2. Organize Your Parenting during the COVID-19 Pandemic


This resource comes from the American Psychological Association at: https://www.apa.org/topics/covid-19/parenting-during-pandemic

 

For many parents, home in the age of COVID-19 has become the office, the classroom, even the gym. Many parents are struggling to not only keep their children occupied, but also to oversee schooling, even as they telework, grocery shop and perform all the other daily necessities of family life. At the same time, children may be reacting to stress by acting out or regressing to behaviors long outgrown.

 

1. Acknowledge your emotions

It’s normal to feel fearful, anxious or stressed now. Discuss your experiences with relatives and friends or share a laugh. If you continue to experience problems, try a telehealth consultation with a mental health professional.


2. Set boundaries

Boundaries blur when work and home life occur at the same place, making it more difficult to get things done or disconnect from work. To help: 1. designate a specific area to work in, ideally a room with a door. 2. designate an area for schoolwork and homework. 3. If you don’t have a home office, consider setting up your children’s homework space alongside your workspace so you can model for your kids how to work productively. 4. Try setting a kitchen timer for 90 minutes and tell children you’ll spend 15 minutes doing something fun with them when the buzzer goes off. When children know the plan, they’re less likely to interrupt your work. 5 Thank your child for allowing you to do your work. Threats, such as loss of screen time, are far less effective.


3. Establish a routine

It’s unrealistic to think you and your children will put in normal hours during this stressful time. But it’s important to maintain a routine, even if children are getting or staying up later than usual. Routines help family members cope with stress and be more resilient. Post a written schedule of when you expect children to get up, do schoolwork, eat meals, play and go to bed. Also include times dedicated to your own work. Remember not every hour needs to be scheduled. Allow for flexibility, play and free time.


4. Relax screen time rules

Don’t feel guilty about allowing more screen time than usual. You might allow your child to watch a movie or play a video game while you complete a work task, for example. Or help your child stay connected to friends via videoconferencing or multi-player video games.  Don’t forego the rules entirely. Younger children should use a computer or tablet in common spaces rather than their rooms so that parents can monitor content. With teens, talk about appropriate content and screen time limits.


5. Communicate with supervisors and co-workers

Explain your situation to your supervisor and colleagues. They may be unaware you’re juggling work and home-schooling. Negotiate with your boss about schedules and expectations. Work together to craft a plan that works for both you and your employer. Perhaps you can agree that you’ll focus on home-schooling in the morning but be available for calls in the afternoon, for instance.


6. Share responsibilities

If there’s another parent or caregiver in your home, negotiate child-care shifts. You might oversee schoolwork in the morning while your partner works, then trade off in the afternoon. Get help from people beyond your home, too. Ask a grandparent or friend to video-chat with your child while you make an important work call, for example. Or trade off organizing virtual play dates with a neighbor, which can not only keep your children busy while you work but help them maintain friendships.


7 Practice self-care

You—and everyone else in your family—need alone time every day. Take a walk, enjoy a long shower or just sit in your car. If you can’t get away physically, put in earbuds and practice mindfulness meditation via your phone.And practice self-compassion. Don’t worry if you can’t concentrate or let housekeeping standards slide. During this stressful time, it’s important to go easy on your children and yourself.


Here are two additional Parenting Tips from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s: Coping in Hard Times: Fact Sheet for Parents and Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019

3. Clean Your Home to Prevent

COVID-19 Spread


1. You can reduce potential spread of COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets and sinks. Do this daily if someone in your home has COVID-19.

2.  When using disinfectants, read and follow product instructions, including what precautions to take when using the product. Many disinfectants need to remain on surfaces for some time to be effective. This is called the contact time. Check the label for the specifics. Also make sure you have good airflow in the room when you're using any type of disinfectant.

3. When disinfecting your house start by putting on gloves before cleaning and disinfecting — preferably disposable gloves, so you can throw them away immediately after you're done. If you only have reusable gloves, don't use them for any other purposes. Thoroughly wash your hands after removing your gloves.

NOTE: These are some take away TO DO's from the article on the Mayo Clinic website: Ways to Fight Coronovirus Transmission at Home at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-transmission/art-20482397?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=controlling-diabetes

4. Find Ways to Be Physically

Active at Home


Being physically active during our COVID-19 Stay in Place TIme is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. Physical activity has better health benefits, such as better sleep and reduced stress and anxiety. Regular physical activity can decrease depression and reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. The good news is that every little bit of physical activity can provide health benefits—the key is to move more and sit less throughout the day. And there are many ways to be active wherever you live.


Find an exercise video online. Search the internet for exercise videos that are led by certified exercise leaders or trainers and match your interests, abilities, and fitness level. You can find videos to help you do aerobics, dance, stretch, and build strength. No gym or special equipment needed. You can also find videos created especially for kids and older adults

Work out with items you have around the house. Use full water bottles, canned goods, or other items for strength training if you don’t have weights around the house. Stretch with a towel. Walking or running up and down stairs (that are clear of obstacles to avoid tripping) can be a great workout.

Make the most of screen time. While watching TV, your family can do jumping jacks during commercials or move along with the characters in a show or movie by walking or running in place.

Family playtime is a great time to work in physical activity. Hula hoops, hopscotch, jumping jacks, and jump ropes are a great way for the whole family to get active. Games like Simon Says, Duck Duck Goose, and playing catch keep everyone moving and having fun.

Housework and yard work count! Vacuuming, sweeping, gardening, and cleaning inside and outside where you live all count towards your physical activity goal. And you’ll knock out some items on your to-do list while gaining health benefits


Try to keep moving because any amount of physical activity that gets your heart beating faster can improve your health. For even greater health benefits, experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week which can be broken into smaller amounts such as about 25 minutes a day every day.


NOTE: The ideas came from CDC on April 23, 2020 at https://www.coronavirus.gov/
Physical Exercise you can do at home
Five Home Workout to Do During the Coronavirus Outbreat from Wall Street Journal

5. Healthy, Productive Ways to Roll with the Punches During the COVID-19 Pandemic


No one needs to tell you that the COVID-19 pandemic has turned things upside down for millions of Americans. And even though many states are in the process of reopening their economy and loosening social distancing restrictions, it will be a long time before things are back to how they used to be, if they ever get there.Now is the time to make changes in your life that can produce short-term and long-term benefits, whether they’ve been forced upon you by the pandemic or you simply want to make them. Below, you will find some healthy, productive ideas for improving your life in the COVID-19 era.

 

Selling a Home

One industry that has seen dramatic changes due to the pandemic is the real estate industry. Buyers are much less likely to tour homes in person, and home sales are declining. Nonetheless, if you need to sell your home, you can make it happen. By utilizing 3D walkthroughs and video-chat tours, buyers can view your home sufficiently.Whether you choose to sell during the pandemic or wait until things are closer to normal, you will need to prepare your home by decluttering, cleaning, staging, and other processes that help to bring out the best in your home.

 

Taking on a New Career

If you’ve been let go from your job or have experienced a significant cut in your hours/salary, make sure you allow yourself to grieve and cope. But also start thinking about what’s next. This could be the perfect time to step into a new chapter by starting a different career. This might mean staying in your current field and going out on your own, or it might mean diving into a different industry altogether. Whatever the case, you have a lot of options when it comes to remote work. Check out freelancing sites like Upwork to find work in everything from sales and accounting to writing and designing.

 

Adopting a Pet 

Another change to consider making during the pandemic is adopting a new pet. Bringing home a pet can add tremendous joy to your life, and you will have a companion who loves you unconditionally. However, there are responsibilities involved as well, so make sure you prepare your home and make the necessary adjustments to your routine to accommodate a pet.

 

Building a Garden

If you’re spending more time at home, isn’t it the perfect time to start that garden you’ve always wanted? It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, and you can create a great little garden on the cheap. For instance, buying plants in the off-season, saving seeds, building plant beds from repurposed materials, and tracking down free mulch are ways that you can save money.

 

Creating a Home Office

Whether you’re telecommuting full-time or starting your freelance career, you need a place to work productively at home. Otherwise, you will deal with constant distractions, and it will be harder to get into a rhythm. Consider the equipment and tools you need for your work, and choose a location in your home that would work best for your needs (e.g., spare bedroom, garage, closet nook). If you want to go the extra mile, make it into a multipurpose room that can be used for exercising, hobbies, and so on.  The COVID-19 pandemic has presented some obvious challenges, but it’s also brought about a unique opportunity to improve our routines and overall lives. Consider the ideas listed here for changes that can boost your health, productivity, and happiness. But don’t stop here; keep thinking of ideas and remain open-minded to how you can take your life to the next level—both in the short-term and long-term.


Written by: Jennifer Scott

6. Impact of COVID-19 on the Elderly - Critical Issues to Be Addressed

Many elderly residents get admitted to nursing homes or assisted living facilities only when a crisis demonstrates the family can no longer provide care at home. This has become clearer during these COVID-19 times. It is commonly believed that the move into a nursing facility happens only when there is a breaking point and the person or persons at home can no longer provide the care required. Although families often feel guilty about “putting my mother (or father) in a nursing facility,” they know they do not have the skills, the physical and emotional capacity or the environment and equipment to provide the required care. Family members, for example, point to their lack of skill in ensuring the right medications are taken at the right time and actually swallowed, to the physical strength of those who need care putting the whole family at risk, to the stress of providing constant care, to the complicated machinery involved and to the difficulty in ensuring appropriate nutrition. The 24-hour demands are overwhelming even for those who have quit their paid work in order to provide this unpaid care. To suggest that families take the resident back home underestimates the complex, skilled care needs as well as the resources required while ignoring the crisis that got them there in the first place and may put both the resident and the family at risk for even more than infections (Armstrong et al, 2020).

 

Given that those over 80-year-old have a risk of death more than five times higher and those over 70 years old usually have at least one medical condition that qualifies them at risk of developing COVID-19 disease in a serious form. Research has shown that greater mortality risk in COVID-19 elderly patients with pre-existing cardiovascular comorbidities, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus (Moula et al., 2020). It was for these reasons that the United Nations identified four priorities for action when dealing with COVID-19 and the elderly:

1. Make sure that difficult nursing care decisions affecting the elderly are guided by commitment to dignity and health.

2. Maintaining social inclusion and solidarity during physical distance.

3. Full integration of older people in the socioeconomic and humanitarian response to COVID-19.

4. Expanding the participation of older people, sharing good practices, and capitalizing on knowledge and information (Grigorescu, 2020)

 

It is imperative that seniors are monitored closely during these COVID-19 times. They need to have their biological, mental health, pharmacological, social and environmental needs in a consistent and coordinated way (Baker & Clark, 2020). Their model includes these Key Points:

1. Social distancing and isolation will limit transmission but are likely to result in poor mental health for the older population

2. A systematic approach to mental health assessment that covers physical, psychological, pharmacological and social domains of health is needed to

identify subtle changes in mental health

3. Health professionals must understand the inter-relationship between each

domain and the impact a change in any one domain has on the other three

4. This  bio-psycho-pharmaco-social model is one method of systematic

assessment of mental health in this population (Baker & Clark, 2020).

 

The experience in the USA since March 2020 has taught us that early detection and careful monitoring of frailty represent a neglected strategy in the management of older adults with COVID-19. From the geriatricians’ point of view, the enormous cultural background on frailty built in decades of hard research work needs to be mandatorily transferred to real-world clinical practice. A frailty-based tailored management of the older population, involving primary care and geriatric services, may help to prevent an overwhelming demand for beds and hospital resources and the risk of another unacceptable catastrophes (Maltese et al., 2020).

 

Researchers report that chronological age alone cannot be used to predict a geriatric patient’s performance in the face of COVID-19 because “having multiple chronic diseases and frailty is in many ways as or more important than chronological age” and that “an 80-year-old who is otherwise healthy and not frail might be more resilient in fighting off infection than a 60-year-old with many chronic conditions”. Notwithstanding the numerous defects normally associated with aging that result in greater vulnerability to infections, scientists have expressed  optimism about measures to delay or minimize age-related immunological defects (de Castro-Hamoy & de Castro, 2020)

 

Elderly patients who have entered palliative care due to their COVID-19 condition should hear and ‘feel’ from staff caring for them that they are not alone which suggests that, no matter what you may be going through in life, no matter how tough things are, there will always be someone caring by your side. It is important that palliative care staff help their patients and their families ti be able to feel their presence and compassion. This presence and support help patients and families with their own efforts of resilience and self-confidence, which, in turn, may give them a sense of purpose in life. In other words, such spiritual care is about enabling patients to have a purpose and meaning in life which is so needed in these COVID-19 times (Nyatanga, 2020).

 

Adults aged 60 years and over were worried about how COVID-19 had impacted their lives, and this affected their wellbeing, coupled with the loss of normal activities and consequent boredom. This highlight the importance of quality of life rather than years of life if people’s ‘twilight’ years are to be enjoyed rather than endured. Indeed, it may be a mistake to believe that everyone with frailty or multiple or serious health conditions wants their life extended or perhaps protected from an infection such as COVID-19 that may end their life, as evidenced by the growing support for assisted dying when individuals deem their life insufferable. This reality must be addressed when planning on treatment for our senior adults who have come down with COVID-19 (While, 2020)

References for the COVID-19 Impact on Elderly

Armstrong, H., Choiniere, J. Lowndes, R. & Struthers, J. (2020) Reimagining long-term residential care in the COVID-19 crisis. Toronto: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

 

Baker, E. & Clark, L.L. (2020) Biosychopharmacosocial approach to assess impact of social distancing and isolation on mental health of older adults. British Journal of Community Nursing, 25(5), 231-238.

 

Burlacu, A., Mavrichi, I., Crisan-Dabija, R., Jugrin, D., Buju, S., Artene, B. & Covic, A. (2020). “Celebrating old age: An obsolete expression during the COVID-19 pandemic? Medical, social, psychological and religious consequences of home isolation and loneliness among the elderly. Archives of Medical Science  DOI: https://doi.org/10.5114/aoms.2020.95955

 

de Castro-Hamoy, L. & de Castriom L.D. (2020). Age matters but it should not discriminate against the elderly in allocating scare resources in the context of COVID-19. Asian Bioethics Review 12, 331-340. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41649-020-00130-6

 

Grigorescu, A. C. (2020) United Nations political brief: Impact of COVID-19 on older people. Oncology-Hematolog 51,3.

 

Maltese, G., Corsonello, A., Di Rosa, M., Soraci, L., Vitale, C., Corica, F. & Lattanzio, F. (2020). Frailty and COVID-10: A systematic scoping review. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9. 2106. doi:10.3390/jcm9072106

 

Moula, A.I., Micali, L.R., Matteucci, F., Luca, F., Rao, C.M., Parise, O., Parise, G., Gulizia, M.M & Gelsomino, S. (2020). Quatification of death risk in relation to sex, pre-existing cardiovascular diseases and risk factor in COVID-19 patients: Let’s take stock and see where we are. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9, 2685. doi:10.3390/jcm9092685

 

Nyatanga, B. (2020). Enhancing spiritual harmony in palliative care. British Journal of Community Nursing, 25(8), 411.

 

While, A. (2020). COVID-19 and end of life. British Journal of Community Nursing, 25(8), 414.

7. Help Senior members to stay healthy and

connected during the COVID-19 Pandemic

1. Help them handle social distancing by getting them masks and gloves
2. Help them when they must self-quarantine
3. Help them deal with their feelings of isolation
4. Help them deal with their feelings of loneliness
5. Encourage them to get Financial Counseling if experiencing financial difficulties at this time
6, Encourage them to use Telehealth to keep up with their doctors to maintain their health both physical and mental health
7. Encourage them to use computers and smartphones to stay connected with family members, friends and their social networks
8.Encourage them to increase their physical activity in their homes
9 Encourage them to maintain their weight and healthy balanced diet
10. Encourage them to engage in old or new hobbies such as gardening, arts & crafts, picture albums and scrapbooks
11. Encourage them to engage in activities that bring them joy
12. Encourage them to take care of their health through getting a good night's sleep, taking their medications and eating healthy meals daily

NOTE: These ideas are more fully explain in this article which was sent to me after opening this tip sheet:
Help your Older Family Members, Friends, Neighbors or Citizens in you community who want to age in place both during our COVID-19 era and in the future

If you have older family members you are concerned about during these COVID-19 times and these family folks are living at home on their own, here are some things you can do to help them age in place safely not only now but after this pandemic goes away.

Take on a project of fixing up you family members home to insure their safety by doing the following:
  • Remove area rungs from their home and check to see that all carpets are fixed firmly to the floor
  • Replace handles on doors or faucets with ones that are comfortable for their use
  • Install grab bars near toliets and in the tub or shower
  • Reduce fall hazards: place no slip strips or non-skid mats on tile or wood floors or surfances that may get wet
  • Place Light Switches at the top and bottom of stairs and make sure that night lights are used at night
  • And if need install a ramp with handrails to the front door

NOTE: These tips are from the National Institute on Aging to make your old family member's home safer so that they can stay in their home and Age in Place safely.

8. Get a Pet Fish for Your Home


The Editor of VIVOFISH Blog at https://www.vivofish.com/ sent us a request to put an article on 18 Reasons Why Getting a Pet Fish Can Keep You Healthy and Improve Your Life at https://www.vivofish.com/fishkeeping-benefits/. The amazing thing is that the research done on this activity comes to us at a perfect time with our COVID-19 Stay at Home orders. Our thanks to Matt Leighton for asking us to post his wonderful ideas. Below is the chart that goes along with his article.