How to Manage Your Chronic Illness Amidst a Pandemic
Navigating a chronic illness is frightening and overwhelming during normal times, let alone during this COVID-19 pandemic. These unprecedented days have us all grasping for any sense of normalcy, consistency, and stability amidst all the uncertainty. Unusual words and phrases have become part of our daily life, including “social distancing”, “flattening the curve”, and more. Visits in from family and friends have all but become nonexistent in an attempt to protect each other.
So how does COVID-19 affect those in Chandler hospice care, and those facing chronic and debilitating sickness?
Limitations & Shortages
Those in Chandler hospice care or with chronic illnesses such as COPD, MS, diabetes, renal failure, cancer, and more still need access to quality healthcare regardless if there is a pandemic or not. Unfortunately, this process looks quite different than you may be used to, in light of the pandemic. There are many new limitations and shortages in place.
Many healthcare clinics and specialty offices have donated their supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, gloves, and gowns to hospitals dealing with extreme shortages of these materials. While this is noble, it means that these offices must have limited hours and access due to not having enough protection for their own staff to use.
Additionally, hospitals have strict rules and policies regarding who can enter their facilities, which doors they can use, and what times they can enter or exit.
Mesa inpatient hospice centers and long-term care facilities have either severely limited visitors or completely prohibited them from entering. Some long-term care facilities are even denying entry to healthcare providers, all in an attempt to protect the fragile or nonexistent immune systems of their patients and residents.
Along with the growing scarcity of toilet paper, some grocery items, and everyday necessities, stores have struggled to keep daily, over-the-counter medications on their shelves for people to purchase as needed. This can be very scary for people dealing with chronic illnesses that have a life-or-death reliance on certain medications.
Plan of Action
With all these crazy changes, how can Chandler hospice patients and those dealing with chronic illnesses safely continue to receive proper health care? While there is sadly no good answer to this question, there are quite a few precautionary measures that can be taken to protect yourself as much as possible during COVID-19.
– Do not wait until the last minute to restock your supply of necessary medications or supplies
– Monitor your symptoms closely and communicate with your healthcare provider immediately if you notice any changes
Follow Your Physician’s Orders
– Do not skip any prescribed medication doses even if you are trying to avoid running out
– Continue to monitor your glucose levels if ordered by your physician
– Continue maintaining appropriate hydration and good nutrition
– Be aware of any changes in your healthcare office, such as telehealth visits instead of in-person trips
Follow Proven Techniques
– Be sure to get an appropriate amount of sleep each night
– Keep your stress levels reduced by taking a walk, sitting in the sunshine, reading a book, turning off the news and social media, visit with a family member or friend via phone call or video chat
– Try to find enjoyment or a new hobby while staying “safer at home”
Follow CDC Recommendations
– Wash your hands with soap and water
– Practice social distancing and use a mask when necessary
– Clean all surfaces as recommended with approved cleaning solutions and disinfectants
– Stay away from those who are ill or exhibiting any symptoms such as cough, runny nose, fever, etc.
Social distancing and staying safer at home can be extremely isolating and lonely for those in Mesa in-home hospice care or living in a long-term care facility. Though it is to protect your own health, it is still difficult to be unable to visit with family and friends, and continue with daily life as normal. At Americare Hospice & Palliative Care, our medical team takes a unique, caring approach to each person in our care. We believe that it takes a community to care for each individual, and in these unprecedented times, we are deeply committed to providing that community in every way safely possible. Your health and well-being are our top priority, and we want to help you and your family cope in healthy ways in these trying times. Call us today at (480) 726-7773 to learn more.