Inspired by someone I have penned my thoughts on behalf of a lot of us in a similar situation.
As the devastating COVID wave continues to wreak havoc in India, the worst thoughts cross my mind. Being far away in a foreign country with parents are in India, it terrifies me that they may not be able to access care in time if it’s required and I won’t get there to help them. Saying it loud is funnily relieving than bottling up these morbid thoughts! The reality is blunt in these times – they are left to their own plans to find any care they may need.
Yes, my septuagenarian parents are not too bad with computers and have made friends with Amazon, Big Basket and Jiomart to simplify their existence. A friend reached out to me this morning and said “Tell them to reach out if they need anything ordered: they shouldn’t leave the house. I would rather organize homecooked ready-made meals than oxygen.” It brought a smile to my face 😊.
Covid has distressed a generation of adults that should be relaxing in their retirement with social interaction and some form of travel. The anxieties they go through are rarely voiced, they keep saying they are fine, that’s what parents always do. Not being with parents in real since months and engaging in FaceTime, Zoom or WhatsApp calling can fill that void. They are resilient, sometimes way more so than some of us 30 years younger.
Covid has come, it will swallow many but the devastation to mental health it will leave in its wake will haunt us for years to come. As I am writing this, I feel I should school myself in composure, compassion and empathy. This anguish and pain will need much more than love and care. I hope someone is thinking two steps ahead!
A few tips on handling this scenario:
• Contact with neighbours and friends: By connecting with your loved one’s close friends and neighbours–people who have daily access to them–you get an accurate picture of how your loved one is doing.
• Plan Visits: Though constant visits back home to check on your loved one might not be realistic or financially sound, planning regular visits to return at least once a year can be much more practical
• Usage of Technology: Be in regular touch with them using online chat tools like Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp or Google Meet to get more visual cues about your loved one. Also, the essential bills can be paid online so that they will more relaxed and use less gadgets in their aging phase of life.
• Home Care Help: Consider hiring an in-home caregiver in order to take some of the pressure off of you, and to make your loved one more comfortable in their own home.
I know your eyes are welling up now go get some juice! Because I am getting one. While you can’t be with your parent on an everyday basis, you can still take care by making important arrangements from afar.