All – it seems likely that we’ll be dealing with this virus and its effects for a while, so I’m going to pass along ideas, non-medical information and resources as I find them.

Hospital Visitors Restricted
Health officials in many areas are ordering hospitals and residential care facilities to strictly limit visitors. In SLO County, the Health Officer issued an order yesterday directing staff at hospitals and residential care facilities for the elderly, among other places, to “exclude from entry or access to its Premises any Visitors or Non-Essential Personnel.”
The order applies to family members and health care decision makers. Facilities have discretion to allow “Necessary Visitation” for “urgent health, legal or other issues that cannot wait.” Examples in the order are a visitor for a woman in active labor, a pediatric patient, or a patient “near the end of life.” Any visitors permitted into the facility are required to comply with all infection control requirements (like gloves, gown, mask, distancing, etc.).
I’ll include suggestions for supporting family members and loved ones when you can’t visit their facility in the next post.

Essential Documents for the ER or Hospital
These visitor restrictions mean that many people will arrive in the Emergency Room or hospital alone, in no condition to direct their care and without anyone to speak for them. It is more important than ever to have documentation of the person’s wishes for care travel with them. Each person should have:
• Names and phone numbers for health care agent and next of kin
• Their Advance Health Care Directive, POLST or Power of Attorney for Health Care
• A 1-page summary of their current health conditions, medications, and allergies
• A list of health care providers with contact information
Information often gets lost as people move through health care systems in the best of times. Some people suggest having a large envelope or file for the important documents; another option might be one of the passport cases designed for travelers to wear under their clothes.
Whatever you decide to do, get the papers together now, before you need them. If your loved one is in a facility, talk to the staff to find out the best way to be sure the documents go with him or her.

More Resources for Family Caregivers of People with Dementia
My previous post included the Alzheimer’s Hot Line and other resources. Here are some additional materials. All acknowledge the enormous challenge caregivers face under the current circumstances, particularly “social isolation” and “sheltering at home.” The articles address issues like:
• the importance of routine and how to maintain it
• balancing the risk of infection against the need for respite care
• suggested activities when everyone is required to stay home
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/well/family/coronavirus-dementia-patients-caregivers.html?searchResultPosition=1
https://www.nextavenue.org/dementia-caregiving-coronavirus/
https://www.alzsd.org/dementia-caregiving-coronavirus-how-to-plan-at-home-activities-while-socially-isolating/

Most importantly, caregivers must care for themselves and know they can get support 24/7 from the Alzheimer’s Association Hotline: 800.272.3900. Many Savvy Caregiver classes and support groups are continuing on line. Contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association for details.
More soon – Keep Calm and Carry On.
Linda Beck
Square One Elder and Health Advocacy

All – it seems likely that we’ll be dealing with this virus and its effects for a while, so I’m going to pass along ideas, non-medical information and resources as I find them.

Hospital Visitors Restricted
Health officials in many areas are ordering hospitals and residential care facilities to strictly limit visitors. In SLO County, the Health Officer issued an order yesterday directing staff at hospitals and residential care facilities for the elderly, among other places, to “exclude from entry or access to its Premises any Visitors or Non-Essential Personnel.”
The order applies to family members and health care decision makers. Facilities have discretion to allow “Necessary Visitation” for “urgent health, legal or other issues that cannot wait.” Examples in the order are a visitor for a woman in active labor, a pediatric patient, or a patient “near the end of life.” Any visitors permitted into the facility are required to comply with all infection control requirements (like gloves, gown, mask, distancing, etc.).
I’ll include suggestions for supporting family members and loved ones when you can’t visit their facility in the next post.

Essential Documents for the ER or Hospital
These visitor restrictions mean that many people will arrive in the Emergency Room or hospital alone, in no condition to direct their care and without anyone to speak for them. It is more important than ever to have documentation of the person’s wishes for care travel with them. Each person should have:
• Names and phone numbers for health care agent and next of kin
• Their Advance Health Care Directive, POLST or Power of Attorney for Health Care
• A 1-page summary of their current health conditions, medications, and allergies
• A list of health care providers with contact information
Information often gets lost as people move through health care systems in the best of times. Some people suggest having a large envelope or file for the important documents; another option might be one of the passport cases designed for travelers to wear under their clothes.
Whatever you decide to do, get the papers together now, before you need them. If your loved one is in a facility, talk to the staff to find out the best way to be sure the documents go with him or her.

More Resources for Family Caregivers of People with Dementia
Post # __ included contact information for the Alzheimer’s Hot Line and other resources. Here are some additional materials. All acknowledge the enormous challenge caregivers face under the current circumstances, particularly “social isolation” and “sheltering at home.” The articles address issues like:
• the importance of routine and how to maintain it
• balancing the risk of infection against the need for respite care
• suggested activities when everyone is required to stay home
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/well/family/coronavirus-dementia-patients-caregivers.html?searchResultPosition=1
https://www.nextavenue.org/dementia-caregiving-coronavirus/
https://www.alzsd.org/dementia-caregiving-coronavirus-how-to-plan-at-home-activities-while-socially-isolating/

Most importantly, caregivers must care for themselves and know they can get support 24/7 from the Alzheimer’s Association Hotline: 800.272.3900. Many Savvy Caregiver classes and support groups are continuing on line. Contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association for details.
More soon – Keep Calm and Carry On.
Linda Beck
Square One Elder and Health Advocacy