HEAT ALERT

Heat advisory continues in New Jersey as highs approach near 100 degrees

Limited social gatherings during pandemic could mean problems with older loved ones go overlooked

The COVID-19 pandemic means that many people will be spending the holidays in smaller groups or all alone, and could mean some miss potential signs that there could be a problem with these older loved ones.

News 12 Staff

Nov 25, 2020, 3:28 AM

Updated 1,304 days ago

Share:

The holidays are typically a time where family members are able to spend time with older relatives and potentially notice some health issues.
But the COVID-19 pandemic means that many people will be spending the holidays in smaller groups or all alone, and could mean some miss potential signs that there could be a problem with these older loved ones.
“COVID has created an isolation crisis across New Jersey and across the country in terms of the elderly,” says Casey Holstien, co-owner of Synergy HomeCare Metro New Jersey based in Parsippany.
The company offers a variety of home care services for older New Jerseyans. Holstien says that this is the time of year that calls for his services – calls for help that he is concerned won’t get made during the pandemic.
“Normally families get together and now it’s not possible to do so,” he says. “So, a lot of our families are worrying and wondering about elderly loved ones.”
Elder care experts say adult children can check in on older family members during a virtual get together with what they call “benevolent probing.” Use careful observations and considerate conversations to get the answers you need.
“Make sure their apartment is clean and tidy. Ask them, if possible, they can take you for a walk around and take you on a tour,” Holstien says. “Look for those issues that may be cropping up. Do they look well-kept? Whether they are wearing the same clothing over. Gaining or losing weight.”
Family members who do notice something concerning are urged not to challenge the loved one during the holiday. Talk to siblings or other relatives after to make sure they notice the same and come up with a plan with the older relatives. Self-care is also encouraged.
A recent AARP survey of people 65 and older found that 86% of those asked want to remain in their current residence for as long as possible.
Anyone who thinks their loved ones need help should consider calling a home care company like Synergy.


More from News 12