Taking Extra Precautions Against COVID-19
A multigenerational household can be a great way to keep families together. Families are able to take care of their elderly while spending quality time and creating memories. It was not until the COVID-19 pandemic that multigenerational households began to have special safety needs. Although anyone can get sick from COVID-19, these households are more vulnerable because they are more likely to have members who are at higher risk of developing complications from the virus. Practicing the following guidelines can help protect the more vulnerable household members from COVID-19:
- Stay at least six feet away from those in the household who are at a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19. If you cannot stay six feet away from them, wearing a mask around them can help prevent the virus from spreading. Those who are at higher risk of developing serious complications include:
- Older family members
- Family members who are immunocompromised or who live with chronic conditions like type diabetes, severe obesity, and heart conditions like high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, pulmonary hypertension, congenital heart disease, heart failure, or coronary heart disease
- Make sure that members of the family who have chronic conditions are taking their proper medications. For example, if a family member has diabetes, controlling blood sugar levels and continuing medications like insulin can help lessen the risk of infection. Family members who have heart conditions should be sure to take their medications as prescribed.
- Keep supplies on hand in case someone gets sick. Helpful tools include a thermometer, masks, tissues, soaps, hand sanitizer, medications, sanitizing wipes, and emergency contact information.
- Disinfect surfaces frequently, especially surfaces that household members commonly touch. It is best to use an EPA-approved disinfectant to clean surfaces.
- You should wash your hands regularly every day, but it is especially important if you live in a multigenerational household. Wash the front of your hands, back of your hands, and underneath your fingernails for at least 20 seconds using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. The most ideal times to wash your hands are before, during, and after preparing food.
- Watch out for symptoms of COVID-19 in your family members. If they have trouble breathing, experience intense chest pressure, become confused, or have blue-tinted lips or face, they should seek medical attention immediately.
What to Do If Someone in the House Has COVID-19
We all know that COVID-19 is spreading quickly across the globe, and even those who are extremely careful are at risk of contracting the virus. If a member of your household tests positive for COVID-19, there are steps you can take to help protect other household members, such as:
- Making sure that everyone in the household wears a mask as much as possible, except when they are sleeping
- Having each member of the household sleep separately if possible
- Using a separate bathroom from the household member who has tested positive if possible
- Having the person who is sick eat in a separate space from others, and do not have them make food or serve themselves
- Designating one person who is not sick and who is at a lower risk of developing complications to attend to the person who is sick if necessary, while everyone else stays at least six feet away
- Washing or sanitizing hands, especially after touching surfaces used by the sick person
- Disinfecting surfaces with even more frequency than before
How to Emotionally Cope with the COVID-19 Pandemic
Taking safety precautions are a great way to help protect your physical health, but protecting your mental health is important as well. With all of the stress this pandemic has brought, coupled with the inability to visit places outside the home, many families find themselves wondering how to keep the family coexisting happily. If your family has been struggling with this, you are not alone. We understand that these times can be especially difficult for multigenerational families who might have a full household. When it comes to uplifting the family’s spirits, some small steps can go a long way. Find some helpful tips below.
- Spend more time outside
Being outside can do wonders for your mental health. It makes us happier, less stressed, more creative, and more socially connected. It can even improve short-term memory and focus, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and boost the immune system, all of which will help you fight COVID-19, so it’s a win-win!
- Keep the lines of communication open
When dealing with a stressful situation, it is important to not keep the feelings bottled up. We encourage family members to talk with each other about their fears and concerns. Even if these conversations cannot take place in person, a simple video chat or phone call can make a big difference in a loved one’s day.
- Encourage the family to get enough sleep
The average person should get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night in order to feel their best and function properly. Getting enough sleep can help lower your risk of serious health problems, reduce stress levels, and improve overall mood.
- Help your family eat healthily
Eating plenty of stress-reducing and immune-boosting foods is always a great idea, but if your family isn’t in the habit of doing this, now is a great time to start. Some foods that reduce anxiety are salmon, turmeric, dark chocolate, and yogurt. Some foods that boost the immune system are citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, ginger, spinach, and almonds.
- Remember that we are all in this together
Take things one day at a time and remember that you are not alone! Multigenerational households have family members who are there to support them, and the team at Advance ER is here to provide support as well.
When available, Advance ER provides rapid COVID-19 testing with same-day results, giving priority to patients with COVID-19 symptoms. To get tested for COVID-19 at one of our centers in Park Cities or Galleria, please register online or call us at (214) 494-8222.