Question: I live alone, what will happen if I get sick with COVID-19? Who will care for me?
The fear of getting COVID-19 or someone close to us getting the virus can almost be crippling these days. While we want to take every precaution to keep ourselves from getting the virus, we also want to be prepared and think through what we will do if it happens to us.
I commend you for thinking ahead just in case. And, this is a “just in case” because ideally by taking precautions, wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, you will be able to avoid this scenario.
When creating a back up plan of what to do if you become ill, you will need to think through the different areas of need, resources and care. Think about what support you will have if you become ill or need to quarantine at home. Will family or friends be available to do errands for you and pick up medications? Are you able to set up and practice with online delivery services for groceries in case you should need this. If you currently have home care aids or a cleaning person who comes inside the home, discuss with them what they will or will not be able to provide if you are sick.
If you have pets you need to consider your options for their care if you cannot do this yourself.
Prepare for any needed medical care by talking with your physician to understand their process for caring for you at home, as well as any telehealth options. Ensure you have a supply of medicine, masks, cleaning supplies and food so you can stay at home safely.
Review your legal paperwork and make sure it is accessible and that your loved ones have copies. This includes financial papers as well as advanced healthcare directives. Make sure your healthcare agent is up to date on your wishes and is still available and able to act on your behalf if needed. For more information on Advanced Healthcare Directives visit the website for the Ventura County Coalition for Compassionate Care: http://www.vcccc.org/
It may be that you need to shelter at home but do not have symptoms. You will want to be sure you can maintain socialization from home by ensuring that your technology is working properly and that you have options for activities, seminars and entertainment from home.
Senior Concerns is presenting a seminar titled “Creating a COVID-19 Backup Plan: What do you if you or your loved one becomes ill.” It will be held over Zoom on Tuesday, September 8th at 4pm. You can register on their website at https://www.seniorconcerns.org/seminars/.
Being prepared reduces our stress and ensures that if something should happen, we will be ready to act quickly. Uncertainty about the future naturally produces anxiety and can be harmful to our overall mood. By thinking through possible scenarios, we can help ourselves feel less uncertain about the future. No matter what happens, we have a plan in place to help get us through.
Martha Shapiro can reached at Senior Concerns at 805-497-0189 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.