When It Happens to You

Vector isolated portrait. Son and happy senior dad spend day together. Teenager hugs his father. Two generations show close relations, love and affinity in African American family. Boy trusts daddy

Virtual Calling via Google DUO

During my dad’s stay in the hospital, it was frustrating not to see him or get updates from the medical staff.  We spoke on the phone several times a day, but it was hard to understand how he was doing and how he was progressing.  Thankfully my daughter previously download GOOGLE DUO on his phone .  So I downloaded the app and called my dad. It was the best conversation we had and the longest.  I was able to see him, see his room, read his reminders on the white board and speak to the medical staff.  This relieved anxiety and helped with clear communication making the conversation less stressful for me and my dad.Here is a short video tutorial on how to use google duo  

List of Medications

Getting a list of your parents medications is important.  The attending doctors and nurses need to know what medication your parent(s) are taking.  Having a list readily available to send to the hospital will help keep everyone’s anxiety levels low.  When our parents find themselves in a vulnerable situation and secluded from family it provides assurance when you let them know you were able to give the hospital a current list of their medication.  

Doctors Contact Information

Just like keeping a list of their medication is important, so is having their physicians contact information.  The hospital asked for my dad’s primary care physician’s contact info and my dad was unable to provide it. Keeping your parents primary care physician up-to-date about their COVID experience is critical to future medical care.  

Home Cleaning Service 

If your parent lives alone plan to have their residence cleaned while they are in the hospital. COVID-19 is highly contagious. Hiring a company to properly clean and sanitize your parents home, using products that include certain Environmental Protection Association (EPA) registered disinfecting products and specific cleaning methods to reduce bacteria will ensure a safe recovery.

There are many companies online that offer these services, simply google COVID Cleaning Services. Below I provided a  link to Molly Maid Services:https://www.mollymaid.com/our-services/
 **You might also want to consider having your parent(s) vehicle disinfected.

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Drop Off Fresh Home Cooked Meals

When your parent(s) arrive home from the hospital, it is helpful to have some of their favorite meals readily available.  Depending on what you make it could take you 4-6 hours to create a weeks worth of meals to deliver to their front porch.  (Social distancing is still very important to keep yourself and your parents healthy).  Pack the meals in easy to use containers that can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and can be reheated in the microwave. I found this blog to be helpful in providing meal prepping tips:

Patience

Having a parent test positive for COVID-19 is our worst fear.  However, we need to stay mindful that it is their worst fear too. Our parents were our care givers and our source of support during our early years.  So it is hard on them when they are now sick and in a vulnerable state.  So be patient. They are not used to having to listen to their children tell them what is best for them and it is during these times that tempers rise.  We must be mindful to keep our ego’s in-check, be understanding and empathetic. 

Here are some mindfulness tips when caring for parent with COVID-19

Be supportive – Your parents are adults with the right to make decisions. My dad didn’t want his home cleaned. He is very private and didn’t want anyone going into his home when he wasn’t there, so I had to honor his wishes, even though I knew it would be easier and better for his home to be disinfected, I had to accept his wishes.
Choose Your Battles – Decide what issues are the most important and focus on them. After care, following up to get another covid test and following up with their doctor are important. These should take top priority
Treat your parent like adults – just because they are sick does not mean they can’t think for themselves.  There will be times that your parent will become stubborn or behave irrationally.  Just remember the main objective is to help your parent(s) receive the best care possible and to recover. 
Find an outlet for your feelings – If you find yourself loosing patience, getting angry or the conversations are becoming stressful, find an outlet to vent.  Confide in a friend, spouse, sibling, therapist or online support group. 

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