Rockford, Illinois News

Local business offers pandemic solutions for older adults

ROCKFORD — An local business is offering solutions to protect older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Home Instead Senior Care is a network that provides personalized care, support and education to enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Representatives say that while staying home is optional for many people, for members of the aging community members, it’s still the safest place to be.

That is why experts in caregiving, aging and in-home senior care, are urging those with senior loved ones to keep this vulnerable population top of mind. And they are making it easy to help, sharing free informational resources on how to navigate the many challenges impacting older adults in this pandemic.

“For many seniors, home is the foundation to both physical and mental wellness,” said Dan Woodka, owner of Home Instead Senior Care in Rockford. “But whether seniors are trying to return home, stay home or simply stay healthy, it can be daunting in the midst of a pandemic without support.”

Getting Home
For families working to bring a loved one home from a hospital or a facility, Home Instead recommends beginning discharge plans early and exploring all your options, including what services may be available at home vs. inpatient.

“Many seniors have not explored what their aftercare options are if they were to be hospitalized,” said Lakelyn Hogan, gerontologist and caregiver advocate with Home Instead. “We know that, more than ever, home is not only the preferred but the safest place for older adults to recover from a recent hospital stay or heal from a health issue.”

Staying Home
In a time when the number of available hospital beds is at a premium, keeping seniors safe and healthy at home is critical. Home Instead recommends reviewing home safety checklists to remove potential home hazards, such as addressing fall risks, and simple, inexpensive home improvements like grab bars and improved lighting.

Staying Well
No matter the location, staying healthy for seniors means paying attention to both physical and mental wellness.

“Families must remain vigilant with infection control practices but also with regular communications to address seniors’ emotional well-being,” Hogan added. “While we all have experienced isolation during this health crisis, the implications are most severe in older adults.”

Home Instead resources include recommendations to connect with your senior loved one safely, whether via technology or in-person, as well as a simple checklist to go through each time you visit your loved one to assess COVID-19 risk.

All of these free guides, and more, to help seniors get home, stay home and stay healthy during the pandemic are available at www.HomeInstead.com/COVID-19.

“Our goal in sharing these materials,” Woodka said, “is to make it as easy as possible for families in our community to ensure home, wherever that may be, is a safe and healthy environment for older loved ones, not just during this pandemic but for good.”

Home Instead Senior Care is at 929 S. Alpine Road, Suite 202, Rockford.

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