A COVID-19 vaccine could soon be available to the general public. In a year or so, health restrictions may be eased or lifted altogether, and the world will regain a semblance of normalcy. “Normal,” however, doesn’t exactly mean going back to life before the pandemic. This is especially true for older adults.
If you’re responsible for the welfare of an older adult in your family, then it’s worth knowing what you can expect in a post-pandemic world. Anticipating these top three changes can help you prepare financially, mentally, and emotionally so that they can live out the rest of their lives healthily and peacefully.
Independence Will Look Differently
The physical limitations of many older adults make it unwise for them to live alone. Still, it’s not unusual to have a select few who prefer to keep their independence for as long as possible. While this may have been manageable pre-pandemic, it might not be worth the risk even when the virus is gone. Current health standards are unlikely to die down with the pandemic in the future, which is why it’s important to have options available for extra assistance.
If you live in driving proximity of each other, then it’s possible to make less costly arrangements within your family. In case you’re in another state. However, one of your best options is to transfer them to one of the assisted living homes in your area. It’s a good compromise for older adults who seek to be independent to some degree. Assisted living homes to give them that privilege, as well as the security of knowing that help is nearby should anything happen.
Make sure to introduce the idea slowly to them, as it’s not always the easiest transition to make. Once they’re receptive, involve them in narrowing down your options to give them that sense of control over their future. Doing so should make it easier to keep them in a safer and medically-accessible environment.
Mental Health Issues Could Skyrocket
You can expect a certain level of disengagement from older adults, even post-pandemic. Just because COVID-19 is gone doesn’t mean that a new, more dangerous virus won’t surface. Social distancing and extensive sanitation measures will persist, especially in public gatherings.
Older adults may disengage for many reasons as a consequence of society’s new attitude towards health. They may voluntarily decline invitations out of fear for their own safety. Certain organizations or family members may opt-out of inviting them for their own benefit, or they may be excluded when they exhibit flu symptoms.
The reduced sense of community could increase cases of anxiety and depression among this demographic. As the person in charge of them, you’ll want to make sure that they get enough socialization without risking their health. This is another great reason assisted living homes will become a popular solution, especially when it comes to maintaining their mental health.
Simple Activities Will be More Costly
Despite the aforementioned attitude of the public towards older adults and vice versa, their participation in some social activities is inevitable. They’ll still likely travel by plane, go to the grocery store, and eat out in restaurants with you and other relatives, no matter how seldom. Due to the increased risk in their health, you could take extra measures to ensure their safety. These measures, however, also mean extra costs.
It’s likely that stores and other commercial spaces will enforce these precautions and make it more of a necessity than an option. As such, it’s crucial that you prepare your finances as early as now to accommodate these changes in the future.
There’s no telling exactly how the world will look like post-pandemic, but it’s safe to say that drastic changes are due. Minimizing the risks to the older adults of the family means making preparations as early as now. The better prepared you are, the more secure they’ll be.