Caregiver Grandparenting in the time of COVID-19

During our current health crisis older adults who are their grandchildren’s primary caregivers face a laundry list of new challenges. Not only do they have to worry about keeping their grandchildren healthy and safe – they have to protect their own health too. Older adults, especially those suffering from high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, are at a greater risk of having complications from the Coronavirus.

With daycare centers and schools closed, caregiver grandparents are spending a lot of time indoors with their grandchildren.  This means extra steps are needed to constantly keep the house tidy, to avoid the spread of the virus from person-to-person contact.

Here’s a list of 10 precautions for grandparents and their grandchildren to follow:

  1. Wash your hands often. Lather up with plain soap and water of any temperature, and gently scrub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. Don’t forget the back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails. Finish by drying your hands.
  2. Keep hand sanitizer handy at all times.
  3. Use bleach, Lysol® or wipes to disinfect “high-touch” surfaces, such as door knobs, light switches, counters, tables, faucets, toilets and remotes. For all disinfecting products, follow the instructions for the best results.
  4. Germs enter your respiratory tract when you touch your face, so keep your hands away from your face.
  5. Make sure everyone in the house wears a mask or face cloth when going outside. COVID-19 germs are airborne. By covering your mouth, you can reduce the risk of getting sick.
  6. Avoid physical contact. It’s hard for grandparents not to kiss the little ones goodnight and cuddle, but in this case, that’s one sacrifice worth making.
  7. Keep your grandkids away from other children in the neighborhood. Children can unwittingly carry germs and you don’t want them to bring the virus into your house.
  8. If you have to go out of the house to the grocery store, pharmacy or pediatrician, maintain the social distance of six-feet apart. That includes any interaction with neighbors.
  9. Constantly wash toys and stuffed animals.
  10. If you suspect you or one of your grandchildren is ill with the virus, call your health provider. This disease spreads like wildfire and you have to take immediate steps to isolate anyone in your household who is ill.

To find out more about the best way to protect you and your family during COVID-19 go to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/checklist-household-ready.html