Technology, loneliness a challenge for Lakelands elderly | COVID-19

Technology, loneliness a challenge for Lakelands elderly | COVID-19

Being older and alone can be a daily struggle for many senior adults. Add in the lack of visitors because of fears of spreading the new coronavirus, that daily struggle becomes even harder.

“I feel like the elderly population are fearful,” said Kerianne Hammond, director of care and marketing at Senior Helpers.

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way senior adults live their lives – no matter where they live.

“Some assisted living centers are not allowing visitors,” Hammond said. Not only visitors, some seniors are being turned away from hospitals and nursing facilities, according to Hammond.

Senior Helpers has been taking calls of the past two weeks from patients who would normally be served by either a hospital or a skilled nursing facility. But that’s not the only challenge seniors are facing.

Many health care providers are directing their patients toward using online options for appointments, which can be challenging for many older adults.

“I feel like it is a great idea,” Hammond said. “The catch is what percentage of the senior population has a computer?”

Many seniors rely on using the computers at the library, which has now closed.

“Access is where the problem lies,” Hammond said.

In these challenging times, Greenwood has a few options for senior citizens who are stuck at home. The Piedmont Agency on Aging is delivering meals as a part of its Meals on Wheels program. There are also some in-home solutions.

Senior Helpers provides non-medical home care to Greenwood’s older residents. Hammond said the company assists with tasks such as bathing or running errands and have staff available 24/7.

Senior Helpers is also prepared for keeping clients and employees safe from COVID-19. Hammond reports that they are receiving a shipment of n95 masks, 3 ply mask, face shields, gloves and thermometers. They are also receiving 25 rapid response coronavirus tests.

Contact staff writer James Hicks at 864-943-5648 or on Twitter @jameshicks3.

Source link