COVID-19: Resources for Caregivers & Consumers
Caregivers are invaluable during the COVID-19 crisis as they continue to keep at-risk Americans healthy and out of busy hospitals. But each time caregivers travel and attend a shift, he or she risks exposing themselves to the virus. Understanding this challenge, how do caregivers best help those in need while also protecting and looking after themselves?
Below we’ve rounded up some useful resources for caregivers to keep themselves and their consumers as healthy and as safe as possible, while maintaining good mental and physical health.
Protection When Caring for Your Family Member or Consumer
- COVID-19: A Guide for Direct Care Workers: This free certification course prepares and educates caregivers on topics such as reducing the spread of coronavirus and strategies for providing care to someone with COVID-19. At the end of the class, caregivers can claim their certificate and let their home care agency and consumer know that they are COVID-19 certified through CareAcademy.
- Caring for Someone Sick At Home: The CDC’s guidance for caregivers for providing support to someone with COVID-19.
- COVID-19 Symptoms Self-Checker Tool: This free tool from the CDC helps you make decisions and find appropriate medical care if needed.
- Get Your Household Ready for Coronavirus: A guide from the CDC for caregivers and consumers alike on how to best prepare your living space to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
- Caregiving for the Elderly: Practical tips for caregivers on caring for elderly consumers during this time from Johns Hopkins Medicine.
- FAQs to Keep Your Family Safe: Mount Sinai has developed strategies for health care workers for keeping their family and friends safe when returning home from work. While primarily geared towards hospital workers, these tactics can benefit direct care workers as well.
- Cleaning vs. Disinfecting: A simple guide from Michigan State University to help caregivers put into practice the best methods for disinfecting living spaces.
- Make Food Safety a Priority: This article from The National Council on Aging shares important food safety practices during this time.
- 4 Coronavirus Scams to Avoid: Read about these COVID-19 fraud tactics targeting adults and seniors so you can keep your personal information and finances safe.
- Tell Congress to Support the COVID-19 Heroes Fund: As part of the COVID-19 stimulus legislation, Senate Democrats have proposed the Heroes Fund to provide hazard pay to all front line healthcare workers, including caregivers. The fund would provide additional pay on top of caregivers’ current wages. Voicing your support to your US Senators and Representatives. For caregivers, click here. For consumers and patients, click here.
Supporting Your Loved One or Consumer
- COVID-19 Health Literacy Project: If your consumer is fluent in or speaks a different language, share with them these COVID-19 fact sheets from the COVID-19 Health Literacy Project. In collaboration with Harvard Health Publishing, this website has critical information about the virus in 30+ languages. Keeping our loved ones and consumers informed with current news and reliable information is important to help their decision making.
- Feeding America: With over 200 food banks across the country, if your consumer needs food assistance you can help them find the nearest location here. Food is completely free with no expectations of repayment or donation.
- Meals on Wheels: Meals on Wheels is an organization that donates nutritious meals right to your senior’s door. Find the local program near you by clicking here.
- SNAP: Formerly known as food stamps, SNAP is a government program that helps low-income individuals purchase nutritious food at grocery stores. To see if your consumer is eligible for benefits, click here.
- LIHEAP: The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides help to low-income households with their energy bills. If your consumer is having trouble making ends meet with their utility bills and their providers are not being flexible with payments, see if your consumer qualifies for LIHEAP assistance. Contact your local office by clicking here.
- Friendship Line: If you sense your loved one or consumer is feeling lonely or depressed, they have the option to call the Institute on Aging’s Friendship Line. This accredited crisis line connects seniors with the organization’s trained volunteers to lend a caring ear and provide “emotional listening support”. They make out-going calls to check in on your consumer as well. You can call toll-free at 800-971-0016.
- SAMHSA Virtual Recovery Resources: If your consumer is in the process of recovering from mental/substance use disorders, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has put together a list of free virtual resources for ongoing support.
- Google Duo: If your consumer has an iPhone, Android, or computer of any sort, you can set up and teach them how to use Google Duo. Google Duo is a simple-to-use video chat app that will make it easy for your consumer to stay connected to their loved ones and friends. Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, and Zoom are other video chat applications that work as well.
- NIH Guide for Exercising with Chronic Conditions: This article from the National Institutes of Health instructs those with chronic conditions, such as dementia, COPD, and diabetes on how to best exercise during this time.
- Gaby Pimentel’s Quaran-tin Workout for Isolated Seniors: This physiotherapist from the UK has an entire YouTube channel dedicated to 20-minute guided exercises for seniors in isolation. Each day, she uploads a new video so your consumer can stay on track. Start with her first series (Day 1-9) and keep working from there.
- Luminosity: If your consumer has an iPhone, Android, or computer, you can also show them Luminosity. This app/website has free games that can help improve memory, focus, and stimulate the mind. It’s a great way to keep your consumer entertained while sharpening their skills.
- Spotify: Show your consumer how to download and use the free version of Spotify. They can browse songs, create playlists, or listen to podcasts they enjoy. Spotify is available for iPhone, Android, and desktop.
- Virtual Concerts: NPR has compiled a daily list of free virtual concerts from around the world that you can watch right from your computer or phone. From The Metropolitan Opera to John Legend, check out some of the finest music and productions right from your consumer’s home.
- 2,500 Museums You Can Now Visit Virtually: If your consumer is itching to leave the house, try having him or her check out a virtual museum online. This article details all the museums you can visit remotely and for free during this time, and how to access their exhibitions.
Supporting Yourself as a Caregiver
- Taking Care of You: Self Care for Family Caregivers: This guide from The Family Caregiver Alliance gives caregivers the tools to maintain and improve their self care during this time.
- Caregivers and Coronavirus: Dealing with Forced Isolation: AARP shares best practices for avoiding friction in the house for caregivers in quarantine with loved ones.
- Keeping Caregiver Spirits High During the Coronavirus Outbreak: This resource from AARP helps caregivers manage their anxieties and fears as it relates to the global pandemic.
- Headspace: While the mobile application requires a subscription, Headspace is offering free meditations during quarantine.
- Coronavirus Sanity Guide: Ten Percent Happier’s guide gives caregivers and health professionals free access to their live videos, podcasts, talks, guided meditations, and other content to help manage anxiety.
- YMCA Health & Fitness Videos: To look after your physical health, make use of the YMCA’s free class offerings, from Yoga, to Barre, to Tai Chi. They also offer free virtual classes for children.
- The Best National Parks to Visit Virtually: Kick cabin fever by checking out a national park from your home. This list rounds up all the best national parks to “visit” and see a tour.
- Activities and Online Resources for Homebound Kids: A Coronavirus Guide: This article shares countless ways to keep children occupied and learning in quarantine so you can focus on your well-being.
- 18 Tips on How to Cope with Children During Quarantine: Forbes published a list of valuable tips on how to manage toddlers and children at home during isolation.
Got more resources you’d like us to share? Send us a message!