Since March 2020, people have been living in a time of containment and have taken strict measures of “social distancing”. This is a new situation, linked to the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 virus, which prohibits most travel, with a few exceptions: rescuing a loved one, carrying out essential errands or taking a breath of fresh air for a few moments close to home.
Under these conditions, it is impossible to go to one’s parents’ or grandparents’ home to look after them, especially as the oldest and most fragile people are, as we know, the most vulnerable to the Coronavirus. Here are a few tips to watch over your loved ones from a distance:
Use “video surveillance”
Among the solutions that allow you to stay in touch with your loved ones, video surveillance systems, or more precisely “video benevolence”, can be a good choice. Thanks to several cameras installed in different rooms of the apartment, you can talk to the person occupying the dwelling as soon as he or she feels the need to do so. You will be connected to them via your smartphone and can therefore respond quickly, wherever you are.
In addition, the system has an unusual behavior detection function. You can configure the application to detect if the elder is abnormally absent from a room (e.g. not in the kitchen at mealtimes or in the bedroom at bedtime), or activate the motion sensor to monitor for sleepless nights. You will receive a video in case the elderly person gets up abnormally at night.
The main advantage of video surveillance over traditional remote assistance is that you are in direct contact with your loved one. You do not go through a telephone assistance platform system. Privacy is thus preserved and the link strengthened. This is an important plus in these times of social distancing.
Communicate by instant messaging
Older people are more and more connected! A 2017 study already showed that 70% of people over 60 own a computer or smartphone. A figure that has necessarily increased since then. A godsend in these times of confinement! You can therefore communicate regularly via various instant messaging systems or e-mail, so you can keep in touch regularly. What if your loved one doesn’t have a smartphone or computer? The good old landline phone will take over! Why not, for example, set up a daily appointment on Skype or any other video system to make sure you get regular news?
Go through a home helper
In spite of the rules inherent to confinement, home helpers can still intervene in the homes of dependent, elderly or vulnerable people, by respecting certain rules such as frequent hand washing or wearing a mask (when they are lucky enough to have one!). Don’t hesitate to go through this personal assistance professional to look after your parents or grandparents. Not only can she help the senior in the management of his or her daily routine (toilet, meal preparation, housework, etc.), but she can also be a trusted person for the senior.
Using the Post Office
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, mail carriers will soon only deliver mail three times a week instead of six days a week. On the other hand, services that create social links, such as carrying meals to senior citizens, are being maintained. For example, the “look after my parents” service continues: you can take out a monthly subscription for a postman to visit your relatives. A report is sent to you after each visit. This service can be accompanied by remote assistance (the elderly person wears a medallion around their neck and can trigger an alert if they encounter a problem, a fall for example).
Stay at home
While the temptation to visit your loved ones can be strong during this time of confinement, remember that staying home and therefore not potentially transmitting the virus is still the best way to look after your loved ones. Even at a distance, you have different ways to take care of them. We’ve just listed a few: use them to the fullest! But please note that the exceptions to the containment measures state that you can “rescue a loved one”. In an emergency, only.