As the coronavirus shelter-in-place order continues, many people are concerned about their older neighbors and wondering how they can help them. And while it’s natural to want to help at a time like this, it can be tricky because this group of people is extremely vulnerable.
You may be wondering if you should offer to run errands so your elderly neighbors can avoid public places and other people? Or do you risk the chance of inadvertently bringing the virus to their door? Today Dr. Joel Segalman, Dr. Stephen Lazaroff, and Dr. Brittany Ciaramello at Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC, in New Haven County and Fairfield County are sharing some ways you can safely help elderly family, neighbors, and friends.
The first step is to contact them first to confirm if your help is welcome and warranted. If it is, avoid face-to-face contact and communicate by phone or a note in the stairwell as often as possible.
Check whether any local charities or community groups are coordinating to provide services for the elderly, vulnerable, or sick and contact them to see if you can donate or help.
Set up or join a WhatsApp group for your specific community to keep in touch.
Offer to pick up medications or shop for groceries. If picking up medications, check ahead to determine if you need prior authorization.
Or, if you can, order your neighbor’s groceries by phone or online. Make sure that the suppliers you use have put procedures in place to decrease the chance of transmitting the virus during delivery.
Cleaning services are probably discontinued for the duration of the quarantine, so offer to clean the stairwell. And don’t forget to disinfect any shared surfaces you touch.
Call your neighbor to talk or let them know they can call you.
Take out their trash for them.
Take pets to the vet or take the dog for a walk if the owner can’t get out.
Unfortunately, there will always be some unscrupulous people who try to take advantage of a situation like this and several frauds targeting the elderly have already been reported. Stay informed and let your neighbors know what to look out for.
We hope these tips from Dr. Joel Segalman, Dr. Stephen Lazaroff, and Dr. Brittany Ciaramello at Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC in New Haven County and Fairfield County help guide you in the right direction.
We’re in this together, so if you need us, call our Waterbury office at (203) 755-0489 or our Newtown location at (203) 270-6724.
Stay healthy and in good spirits and help others whenever you can.