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How to Support Elderly Family Members and Friends During the COVID-19 Outbreak


Florida is an idyllic place to retire, except when it is a nightmare.  There is hardly any middle ground between peaceful summer breeze and hurricane-force winds, or between a scenic backyard swimming pool and alligator-infested waters.  COVID-19, a coronavirus that can cause severe respiratory illness, has attested cases in almost every state, but Florida is one of the hardest hit.  To make matters worse, COVID-19 presents a greater danger to elderly people than to any other age group.  Even though local authorities have encouraged all Floridians to avoid close contact to slow the spread of the virus, your elderly relatives and friends need you now more than ever.  Some of the ways you can help include the involvement of a Florida elder law attorney.

How to Help Elderly Relatives and Friends Who Live Alone

COVID-19 is a new foe for elderly people, but loneliness is an old foe.  Social isolation increases seniors’ risk of illness, dementia, and death from virtually every cause.  The simple act of visiting your elderly parents does wonders to help them stay physically and mentally active, even if all you do is take them to the supermarket or sit at the kitchen table and play cards with them.  COVID-19 precautions have caused the cancellation of many activities on which socially active seniors rely.  Senior centers and gyms have closed or reduced their activities, and churches have suspended their social activities and, in some cases, even their Sunday services.  Here are some ways to help elderly loved ones who live alone.

  • Call them on the phone at least once per day. Video chat with them if they have video chat-capable phones or tablets.
  • If you have otherwise been staying in isolation, take them for a walk in a non-crowded place, such as the walking trail in a park.
  • Bring groceries or hot meals to their door, but don’t go inside.

How to Help Elderly Relatives and Friends in Nursing Homes

Your frequent visits help your elderly loved ones more than they can express.  Florida’s response to the threat of COVID-19 includes new restrictions on visiting nursing homes and other group residences for people deemed at high risk of serious complications from COVID-19.  If you have recently traveled or live in a county or city with a high number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, you probably cannot visit your loved ones in a nursing home in the near future.  Instead, contact them by phone whenever possible.  You should also ask the nursing home for details about its COVID-19 prevention strategy, as well as about your family member.  If they refuse to give you information or something seems fishy about what they tell you, contact an elder law attorney.

Contact an Attorney Today for Help

Dealing with the threat of COVID-19 is hard for everyone, especially vulnerable seniors and their caregivers.  William Rambaum is an elder law attorney dedicated to defending the rights of elderly people during this crisis and any other.  Contact Clearwater nursing home planning attorney William Rambaum to discuss your questions.




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