To address some of the challenges of the present time, Avenidas of Palo Alto is providing guidelines from our Care Forum experts. The guidelines were produced in collaboration with the Avenidas Care Partners staff.
We are sharing these guidelines with you in case a loved one is in crisis and or you wish to think these matters through with a friend–or with your physician.
Summary of Dr. Ghatak’s Tips
- It is crucial to be in touch with the caregiver agency to discuss how caregivers are protecting themselves.
- When family members are not able to visit their older adult relatives, it is very important to stay in close touch via smart phones or telephones.
- If your loved one is in a retirement community or skilled nursing facility, it is important to stay in close touch with the facility without placing a burden on staff members.
- Isolation and loneliness are health problems too. Almost every older adult is experiencing great social isolation.
- Family members are encouraged to have online family meetings to discuss how to support each other during the crisis and to develop a crisis plan in case the older adult or one of them falls ill.
- Individuals with dementia that are further isolated during this time need special assistance and management.
- Connecting with caregivers at home and facility staff to ensure proper nutrition and provision of good meals is critical.
- Older adults need to continue physical exercise, music and dance therapy, cognitive exercises, relaxation exercises, and reading books and magazines.
- Families are encouraged to be aware of local senior centers and their multitude of programs.
About the Author
Rita Ghatak, PhD, psychologist, was the CEO of Rose Kleiner’s eldercare company Older Adults Care management, after her research at Stanford. As the founder of the aging program at Stanford, and Aging 101, she focuses on caregiver research, family meetings education and care transitions.