Concern for parents’ safety amid Covid-19 is universal and constant, and Bollywood actress Janhvi Kapoor’s recent bout of worry for her father Boney Kapoor is an example.
It has been over a year and a half since the pandemic took over our lives. We’ve witnessed tectonic shifts over this period of time — from stringent lockdowns to fatalities, there’s so much that has happened. Of course, with the vaccination drive on in full swing, things are a tad better, but that doesn’t mean we don’t follow the protocols of social distancing and masking up.
Although these are precautionary measures that we all must follow, these are even more critical for our parents, who are increasingly vulnerable to the virus, due to their age and comorbidities. No wonder, our concern is justified.
Recently, Janhvi faced a similar situation at the Mumbai airport. Her father removed his mask while posing for pictures, but she made him put it back on. Although the paparazzi said “kuch nahi hoga”, Kapoor was quick to tell them, “Hoga, aise galat advice mat dijiye (it is not safe, please don’t give wrong advice).”
So, what are some ways in which we can keep our parents safe?
First and foremost, ensure that your parents wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, before and after they eat food, use the bathroom, or even touch surfaces in public places. In case there is no access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
Encourage them to avoid crowds, and in case they must step out, ask them to always mask up. It is also essential to practice social distancing to reduce the spread of the virus.
Make sure to sanitize your home from time to time. Dr Sandeep Patil, chief intensivist and physician at Fortis Hospital, Kalyan, previously shared with HealthShots, “One must adhere to basic hygiene practices to curb the spread of infection. Of course, hand washing for up to 20 seconds, along with following social distancing protocols is ideal in such a situation, but it is also important to keep your surroundings sanitized, especially if you’re living with an older adult.”
Ask them to follow proper hygiene practices. Dr Patil says, “Practice daily change of clothes, ensure that the elderly wear freshly washed clothes every time they change. Their clothes must be washed meticulously with a detergent, preferably in a washing machine. If possible, wash laundry with warm water which will aid in killing the germs, and make sure they are thoroughly dried in a dryer or sun dried before being worn again.”
What about their mental health?
That’s equally important because the pandemic has taken a toll on everyone’s physical, mental, and emotional health, more so the elderly! Dr H.P. Bharathi, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute, shares with HealthShots, “The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has brought on unprecedented challenges and fears, especially among the older adults, whose mobility has been restricted. So, we must check in on them regularly through audio and video calls.”
He has some tips to keep your parents’ mental health in check:
Help them stay connected: They should feel involved, purposeful, and less lonely. Therefore, we need to guide them on how to video chat with others using smartphones, laptops, or tablets. In addition, we have to encourage them to call up their friends and family so that they can lift one another’s spirits.
Cook something special and healthy for them: Home-cooked meals are the best for your parents.
Ensure they get enough exercise: Make sure that they are involved in the day-to-day work. If not, they can walk inside the house, do simple yoga asanas and pranayama.
So ladies, it’s not so hard to keep your parents safe during this time! After all, a few small steps go a long way!