Thu | Oct 1, 2020

Errington Pellington | Caring for the vulnerable during COVID-19

Published:Wednesday | September 16, 2020 | 12:14 AMErrington Pellington/Guest Columnist
Encourage clients to do as much as they are capable of for themselves.

Now, more than ever, COVID-19 is proving to be more than a health crisis. Next of kin, loved ones, caregivers and clients need to arm themselves with important information in caring for the vulnerable.

Here is what you need to know:

CAREGIVER: An individual who provides care services to a client.

The caregiver should:

1. Provide basic necessities: food, water, medication, dressing kit and urinary catheter ‘tube’ if needed.

2. Ensure that proper hygiene is maintained:

• wash face and body

• brush teeth and use mouthwash

• comb hair and wash when necessary

• clean and cut nails as needed

• clean garments

3. Encourage client to get as much rest as possible; make sure the environment is conducive for rest, for example, it must be cool and comfortable.

4. Ensure client has a balanced diet and stays hydrated. Give vitamins and supplements as needed. Offer and encourage regular intake of water.

5. Clients should have the contact information of family members, friends and local authorities at hand.

6. Encourage clients to stay informed: read the newspaper and books to them; have them listen to media outlets.

7. Client should exercise as much as possible or try to stay active; every little bit counts. Encourage and assist with regular turnings.

8. Ensure that clinic appointments are adhered to and medication is taken as prescribed.

9. Stress the fact that you are there to provide the best care services and not to limit their potential. Encourage clients to do as much as they are capable of for themselves.

10. Encourage clients to interact with others for their emotional well-being.

PROTECTING LOVED ONES

The dos for protecting your loved ones:

• Observe health of the individual

• Make use of medical professionals and know the services they offer

• Understand the importance/use of medications

• Be informed on legal matters: power of attorney

• Know about insurance and access abilities

• Find a suitable caregiver/certified medical aide

• Understand challenges/conflicts of home care versus nursing home facility.

Stay in, stay safe, wash hands regularly, and if going outside, make sure to wear a mask and take along a hand sanitiser if possible.

Errington Pellington is a businessman and advocate for the less fortunate and persons with disabilities. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com