Adult and elder care
Table of Contents
COVID-19 has focused attention on older adults who are at a higher risk for serious illness. It is normal to feel worried or sad about family members or friends who are vulnerable and who may be fearful or lonely. If your loved one needs help from a caregiver, you may also have questions about what quality care looks like – regardless of whether the care is provided by you, other family members or a care facility.
The resources below can help you plan to talk with older adults who may need assistance, find care alternatives, and help you look after your own needs so you can continue supporting those you love.
Talking with older adults about COVID-19
Talking with an older friend or relative about their well-being can sometimes be hard, but it can also be empowering and rewarding. Taking the time to collect information and sort through your thoughts and feelings about COVID-19 can help you prepare for a compassionate and constructive conversation. Keep in mind that some older adults will be more receptive to ideas that come from experts or others’ experiences, rather than from a family member. The resources below can help you to educate yourself and open dialogue with those you care about.
- The National Council on Aging maintains a comprehensive set of COVID-19 resources for older adults and caregivers. It covers topics ranging from staying healthy and avoiding COVID related scams to accessing benefits and public health guidance.
- The Centers for Disease Control has created a form to help older adults and their caregivers develop a care plan that summarizes current health conditions, medications, healthcare providers, emergency contacts, and end-of-life care options.
- The AARP’s weekly coronavirus information tele-town hall includes live Q&A and provides archives of past events.
- Staying connected while staying at home is a Public Health – Seattle & King County guide to help older adults stay healthy without losing contact with others.
Finding adult and elder care
Care finding during COVD-19 may mean finding someone who can be with an older adult physically or helping older adults access meals and health care safely.
- UW CareLink gives you easy access to elder care professionals who can help you locate elder care services and connect you with experts to discuss financial, legal and mental health issues related to aging and illness.
- Bright Horizons Backup Care Advantage Program provides backup care for your adult relative in their home, regardless of where they live in the United States. During COVID-19 this resource is only available to employees whose positions require them to work in UW’s medical centers or on campus providing patient care and/or sustaining critical operations
- The City of Seattle’s COVID-19 supports for older people lists meal programs, shopping options and transportation services that maintain safe social distancing.
- The UW Medicine Care and Share website brings together those in the UW Medicine community who want to provide support during the COVID-19 crisis with those in need. (UW NetID required, available to UW Medicine employees only).
Care for caregivers (updated 4/22/20)
Changes surrounding COVID-19 are affecting everyone and making everyday life more stressful. Caring for an older adult during the pandemic, in addition to working and caring for others in your family, is especially demanding. Remember that self-care is actually quite selfless: staying healthy and reducing stress during COVID-19 can help us adapt to uncertainty and to be present for those we care about.
- UW CareLink connects benefits eligible employees and their family members with an elder care professional who will work to understand your unique situation and to develop an elder care plan and explore aging-related legal, financial and mental health issues.
- Aging and Disability Services for Seattle and King County has developed a resource for caregiving in the era of COVID.
- UW Human Resources self-care page can help you prioritize your physical, mental, and social-emotional health through COVID-19.
- Balancing work and elder care through the coronavirus crisis is an article from the Harvard Business Review with advice for employees with elder care responsibilities.
- How to protect older adults at home from COVID-19 includes practical guidance from Public Health – Seattle & King County to reduce risks for vulnerable older adults who live in multi-generational households.